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Kasper the Friendly Wolf

by Christopher A. Ferrara

One of the biggest scandals of the post-conciliar epoch is the elevation of that neo-modernist wolf in sheep’s clothing, Walter Kasper, to the status of Cardinal, with the Vatican titles of President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and President of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. This was Kasper’s reward for years of dissent concerning the Pope’s demand that the German bishops stop issuing abortion counseling certificates women were using to obtain abortions, and also to stop administering Holy Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics.

Kasper, being the neo-modernist wolf that he is, has already used the pulpits the Pope gave him to deny any necessity of conversion on the part of Protestants and Jews, as I have reported in previous columns under this heading.

Now Kasper has returned to his dissent from the teaching against giving Holy Communion to the divorced and remarried, which John Paul II has reaffirmed in his recent encyclical on the Eucharist, Ecclesia de Eucharistia.

CWNews.com reports (May 21, 2003) that Kasper "has offered clarification for statements in which his position seemed to differ from the teaching of Pope John Paul's latest encyclical." But the "clarification" is a typical neo-modernist pretense of obedience that barely disguises Kasper’s refusal to submit to the teaching.

As CWN notes, in light of the new encyclical the Italian magazine 30 Giorni prodded Kasper to explain comments he and his fellow neo-modernist, Cardinal Karl Lehmann "had made in 1993, when the German prelates said that pastors should use ‘pastoral discernment’ in judging whether or not remarried Catholics should receive the Eucharist. Their remarks were widely interpreted as approval for allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion."

Confronted with his own prior statements, Kasper told the magazine: "We did not affirm that divorced and remarried people, understood as a sociological category, should approach the Eucharist. We only suggested that, in evaluating particular cases, pastoral discernment is useful. The rule is maintained in the sense that everyone who wishes to receive the sacraments must show a sincere intention for conversion."

In other words, Kasper and his fellow German bishops decided that "in particular cases" they would decide to grant exceptions to the papal teaching against allowing divorced and remarried persons to receive Holy Communion unless there is repentance for the sin of divorce and a commitment to live in continence until death. But there are no exceptions. Oh yes, the rule is still "maintained," he says, but there are these "particular cases," you see. So, Kasper has merely reiterated his dissent from the teaching while paying it mere lip service.

Kasper went on to opine that there are cases in which divorced and remarried people were "unable to produce proof of nullity [of their previous marriage]  —  a nullity of which they are certain" and that this personal conviction that the first marriage was not valid "should be taken into account in judging delicate cases."

What delicate cases? Divorced and remarried persons are not to receive Communion unless they repent and agree to live in continence. There is no "delicate case" exception for people who insist that their new marriage is valid because they really, really believe their prior marriage was invalid.

It is absolutely astonishing, and absolutely outrageous, that this man has not only been made a Cardinal, but given prominent titles in the Vatican apparatus  —  the same apparatus that announced to the world, only one day after 9/11, the bogus "suspension" of Father Nicholas Gruner. What an atrocity against Holy Mother Church.