Skip to comments.Satan is right now shaking the Church to her very foundations over this divorce issue
Posted on 03/08/2014 8:49:47 AM PST by Brian Kopp DPM
Dear Dr. Moynihan,
In your latest Letter from Rome, commenting on the new appointments to the College of Cardinals, you report rather nonchalantly that "[Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig] Müller is also known for having said that the Church's position on admitting to divorced and remarried Catholics to the sacrament of Communion is not something that can or will be changed. But other German Church leaders, including Cardinal Walter Kasper, have recently gone on record saying the teaching may and will be changed."
Your brief, matter-of-fact report on this controversy reminds me of the tip of an iceberg. It alludes to, but does not reveal the immensity of, a massive, looming threat that bids fair to pierce, penetrate and rend in twain Peter's barque already tossing perilously amid stormy and icy seas. The shocking magnitude of the doctrinal and pastoral crisis lurking beneath this politely-worded dispute between scholarly German prelates can scarcely be overstated. For what is at stake here is fidelity to a teaching of Jesus Christ that directly and profoundly affects the lives of hundreds of millions of Catholics: the indissolubility of marriage.
The German bishops have devised a pastoral plan to admit divorced and remarried Catholics to Communion, whether or not a Church tribunal has granted a decree of nullity of their first marriage. Cardinal-elect Müller, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has not only published a strong article in L'Osservatore Romano reaffirming the perennial Catholic doctrine confirmed by John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio; he has also written officially to the German Bishops' Conference telling them to rectify their heterodox pastoral plan. But the bishops, led by their conference president and by Cardinal Kasper, are openly defying the head of the CDF, and predicting that the existing doctrine and discipline will soon be changed!
Think of the appalling ramifications of this. If German Catholics don't need decrees of nullity, neither will any Catholics anywhere. Won't the world's Catholic marriage tribunals then become basically irrelevant? (Will they eventually just close down?) And won't this reversal of bimillennial Catholic doctrine mean that the Protestants and Orthodox, who have allowed divorce and remarriage for century after century, have been more docile to the Holy Spirit on this issue than the true Church of Christ? Indeed, how credible, now, will be her claim to be the true Church? On what other controverted issues, perhaps, has the Catholic Church been wrong, and the separated brethren right?
And what of Jesus' teaching that those who remarry after divorce commit adultery? Admitting them to Communion without a commitment to continence will lead logically to one of three faith-breaking conclusions: (a) our Lord was mistaken in calling this relationship adulterous - in which case he can scarcely have been the Son of God; (b) adultery is not intrinsically and gravely sinful - in which case the Church's universal and ordinary magisterium has always been wrong; or (c) Communion can be given to some who are living in objectively grave sin - in which case not only has the magisterium also erred monumentally by always teaching the opposite, but the way will also be opened to Communion for fornicators, practicing homosexuals, pederasts, and who knows who else? (And, please, spare us the sophistry that Jesus' teaching was correct "in his own historical and cultural context", but that since about Martin Luther's time that has all changed.)
Let us make no mistake: Satan is right now shaking the Church to her very foundations over this divorce issue. If anything, the confusion is becoming even graver than that over contraception between 1965 and 1968, when Paul VI's seeming vacillation allowed Catholics round the world to anticipate a reversal of perennial Church teaching. If the present Successor of Peter now keeps silent about divorce and remarriage, thereby tacitly telling the Church and the world that the teaching of Jesus Christ will be up for open debate at a forthcoming Synod of Bishops, one fears a terrible price will soon have to be paid.
Fr. Brian W. Harrison, O.S.
St. Louis, Missouri
He needs to get in front of this or it will bury him.
Divorce-remarriage is the slippery slope to homosexual marriage.
It should be possible to retain the tribunals for their original purpose - factual disputes over consent and objective externals such as age and fraud.
However, it is the tens or hundreds of thousands of tribunal verdicts which are being procured illegitimately that are the earthquake. I believe the bishops (most of them) would much prefer to divert the "I was immature" or "I didn't understand" cases into some other forum. This would actually improve the tribunal process considerably.
I also think the verdict is already in, as expressed by Francis and by ++Kasper - they are going for the EO "sacramental economy" solution for the vast majority of "I made a mistake, just tell me how to lie about it" cases. There are so many of these people, and so many spouses and children, who are now outside of the sacramental system of the Church that, I believe, there is a spirit that "something must be done".
Just my 2c.
I agree completely with Father Harrison. Don’t open the door to still more problems.
Not as much as premarital sex, and porn is.
NO-FAULT divorce, yes. But not for legitimate reasons, which I would include to be actual physically dangerous spouses of both sexes. Or those that will not stop addictive gambling and alcohol and destroying the family that way.
Anyone opposed to divorce is welcome to spend a week with my ex-wife.
Amen! and “Gay”- “Marriage” is an Abomination of the largest proportions!
Might she say the same about her ex-husband?
> Not as much as premarital sex, and porn is.
> NO-FAULT divorce, yes. But not for legitimate reasons,
> which I would include to be actual physically dangerous
> spouses of both sexes. Or those that will not stop
> addictive gambling and alcohol and destroying the family
> that way.
As far as I can tell, there are only two legitimate reasons for divorce.
1. Fornication, which is any kind of sexual infidelity, including porn
However, I do not see any license to remarry after a divorce.
Of course, once it’s fait accomplis, then the sinner must repent (never do it again), and move on in confidence that God has forgiven the believer of all his transgressions.
Abandonment could be read many ways. Physically leaving or addiction (mentally leaving).
She'll cheerfully and sincerely tell you that I am the devil incarnate.
Regardless, we remained excellent friends and communicate frequently and raised outstanding kidlets.
We just shouldn't be in the same house for any time longer than an hour or so.
I recall my daughter remarking on this once when she was in college. Her comment was that her peers had been so inadequately catechized that they really didn't know what they were getting into when they married. Their marriages were probably invalid because they didn't know enough to give proper consent.
She may have been right. That was already a generation ago.
Considering that people like Robert Kennedy jr. was granted an annulment, I really don’t think much of all the hew and cry
The Pope delaying a statement then made things worse and it looks like this Pope is going the same route.
The solution to these examples is already available in the Catholic Church, annulment. The divorce talk is only to create controversy and chip away at peoples faith. The Church has been around the block and has positions well thought out that are centuries old. Most the Catholics I know are not shopping for a new religion that sees thing their way. They accept the value in the rules and try to keep them.
And instead of Pope Francis putting the German bishops firmly in their place, he gives their point man, Kasper (who has repeatedly proclaimed to the media that the pope will soon be making changes) the honor of launching the discussions and then publicly praises his theology. No wonder expectations are being raised. Though doctrine can't be changed, it is starting to appear as though some sort of compromise may be in the works in regard to practice. The pope may institute new "pastoral" approaches to this issue under the guise of mercy which will result in effectively undermining doctrine. If such plans are not under discussion, why did Cardinal Maradiaga (one of the pope's Gang of 8) chide the Prefect for his inflexibility, and why would Cardinal Kasper and company be permitted such open defiance of Church teaching and Kasper allowed to promote his schismatic views to the College of Cardinals?
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