For the last time, there is zero difference between God's mercy and His Law!!! Anybody who says different is selling timeshares in Hell. Anybody. -- Me

Featured Posts


Creative Minority Reader

The Pope's Über Secret Plan To Save Marriage From The Germans?

"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."

Caveats:
Ok. I am going to throw this out there. I am not saying it is right. I am not even saying I believe this is the case. All I am saying is that if that if the Pope wanted to shut this down without being perceived as the bad guy, this would be one way to do it. So, caveat emptor on the following wild speculation and all that...

You ever watch a movie or read a book or been in a situation where you have that moment that it dawns on you that you might have just been had?

That was the sensation I had last night when reading the RC translation of a La Stampa article relaying the wildly negative reactions of many Cardinals in the consistory to the 'Kasper Theorem' on admitting the divorced and remarried to communion. Wait a second, I thought, I may have just been had. To see why the thought popped into my head, let's go back a year.

Pope Francis is just a few months into his pontificate. He is extremely popular as a result of the general perception that he is more focused on mercy than doctrine. One can imagine that the Pope wishes to use that popularity for good and did not wish to squander it.

So last summer, the German episcopal conference starts making a lot of noise about their plans to allow divorced/remarried Catholics to communion. The Pope's man at the CDF, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, presumably with the Pope's blessing, comes out in vehement opposition to this plan.

The German Episcopal conference, in not so many words, say "Yeah, we don't really care what you say. We are gonna do it anyway!"

That is when the Pope stepped in and basically said, "Hold your horses. Let's all get together on this topic in a Synod next year"

I have been on record that with regard to this specific provision (directly allowing the div/remarried to receive) I fully expect the Pope to say NO. But the Pope, not wanting to damage his popular perception by shutting it down immediately, punts the decision 14 months.

So now the Pope has a little over a year to kill the proposal without seeming like the big bad old school doctrinal Pope that is all happy-clappy talk with no happy-clappy walk.

So how do you kill it? Well, in the preparatory meeting held during the consistory, you ask the most wackadoodle advocate of the inadmissible to to give the keynote address. When word (conveniently) leaks as to what he said, you then have Cardinal after Cardinal publicly critiquing the 'theorem' building momentum against it. The La Stampa article seems like the culmination of this reaction. Paraphrasing Cardinal Ruini's comments, 85% of the Cardinals were verbally against it and the other 15% too embarrassed to say anything. That's gotta hurt.

So what now? Well, with mounting criticism and outright rejection among the hierarchy, Cardinal Kasper's Theorem, and by extension the initiative of the German Bishops, seems to be a dead letter and the Pope didn't have to blow any of his street cred to do it. Now with Kasper's suggestions euthanized, some other pastoral initiatives will seem much more tolerable to the synod.

This all not to say that other pastoral provisions could not be the cause of significant alarm or risk, but sacramental marriage is saved at least from the worst impulses of the German episcopate.

Whaddya think? Is the Pope as wise as a serpent?

*subhead*Could it be?*subhead*

Your Ad Here

29 comments:

Patrick Archbold said...

I think we are facing a well crafted plan with many layers. I have seen such machinations played out before under different circumstances but the goal is the same: Create fear of the worst in order to obtain support for what would otherwise be unacceptable.

For example: The annulment process officially becomes "Catholic divorce" because it's the pastoral thing to do. Given the current state of the annulment process there would be little procedural change. Just one more step on the road to perdition - don't worry the devil is patient.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Sadly Catholicism itself has become the elephant.

Patrick Archbold said...

And just where does the salvation of souls come in?

Patrick Archbold said...

Nah, I don't think there is enough intelligence behind this fiasco. It looks to me more like a huge fumble on the part of the Holy Father. But the game isn't over. There will be more support among the bishops in October than among the cardinals. Also - I'm not clear on whether the reported 85% is a percentage of all cardinals, or just the cardinals who spoke. It seems doubtful that enough cardinals spoke to measure the opposition so precisely.

Patrick Archbold said...

Had the same thought...put the wacky guy and most extreme position FIRST in a keynote position...apparently in a favored position...and then knowingly damn it with faint praise and let it twist out there all alone.

Yep. Let's hope so.

Patrick Archbold said...

Except that Pope Francis had nothing but praise for Cdl. Kasper from the beginning of his pontificate. Kasper is viewed as an influential ally, not an extremist or "wacky" advocate of things the pope doesn't want himself.

Patrick Archbold said...

Agreed. I seem to recall Kasper being praised as early as the first week of his pontificate for his theology. Ranks right up there with cardinal Martini (but who knows, maybe all that praise is all part of some Machiavellian plot which will eventually lead to the reinstitution of the Sodalitium Pianum).

I believe the pope does think some major concession should be made towards divorcees, but the bishops of the world are apparently far from unanimously on his side, not even some rather liberal guys will support this. Of course in theory he could strongarm them, but that's probably nothing the pope of nice would want. Far more likely is that this will be how the "doctrinal power of bishops conferences" he's publicly supported before will be launched - let the Germans have a "charism" of mercy, while African nations can have more of a "charism" of orthodoxy etc. God help us.

Patrick Archbold said...

I have only one question: why is the pope interested at all in "not being perceived as the bad guy?" Why does he care what people think of him? Because one thing has been evident above everything else, is that he certainly does care. Quite a lot.

Patrick Archbold said...

I think you've got it at the end, "Now with Kasper's suggestions euthanized, some other pastoral initiatives will seem much more tolerable to the synod." Much more reasonable-sounding suggestions can now be put forward safely because they will look wondrously orthodox in comparison. If this is a strategy, it's a very Italian one. The "anti-homophobia" bill worked exactly the same way. It was a mass catastrophe, that would have put priests not only into prison for teaching the Catholic doctrine on sexuality, but would have required them to join the homosexualist movement as part of their re-education. So outrageous was it, that the Deputies enacted over 400 amendments. Then the bill went on to be passed in the lower house because the perception was that it had been de-fanged. But as it was passed, it got the camel's nose into the tent by creating, for the first time in Italian law, the notion that it is illegal to say anything bad about homosexuality, and that a person who does so can be prosecuted. They scared everyone silly, appeared to back down, then got a massive change in law because it didn't look as bad as it had.

Patrick Archbold said...

You may be correct in your speculations, but be warned: as the Church breathes a communal sigh of relief that the pastors come good on Marriage, watch out for the knife being stuck in to priestly celibacy when nobody is watching. That kite is already being flown by some of the Pope's "close advisers."

Patrick Archbold said...

If the pope were engaging in the political machinations outlined above, he'd be wise as a serpent perhaps, but certainly not innocent as a dove. The means employed (praising the idea that we could give Holy Communion to public adulterers as "serene theology") is objectively scandalous.

Patrick Archbold said...

"reading the...translation"



BACK TO THE FUTURE


"Diabolical Disorientation"
Meant only lost
In mans translation?


"Woo-hoo!" cried Callow,
"Way to reason...
It's not so bad,
This silly-season."

Patrick Archbold said...

I don't think the facts would show that the Pope has been praising much if anything in the hierarchy. So I doubt he did all that much for Cardinal Kasper. He's letting that hang out there in the weather, twisting in the calm cool wind. It is causing hyperventilation on the left and right. That to me is a problem.

Patrick Archbold said...

I think that the most straightforward explanation is generally true, and the straightforward explanation is that Francis has favored Card. Kasper for a while—didn't he quote approvingly from him at his very first Angelus? (See http://www.catholicvote.org/jp-in-rome-pope-francis-first-angelus .) The proffered alternative is that the German Episcopal conference rejected Card. Mueller's comments (saying basically, "you're not the pope, and we follow the pope"), and that instead of simply saying "this is my prefect of the CDF; listen to him," Francis instead engaged in a long, tangled, and scandalous process that hoped to produce a similar effect a year and a half later. Is that really plausible?

Patrick Archbold said...

I think that the most straightforward explanation is generally true, and the straightforward explanation is that Francis has favored Card. Kasper for a while—didn't he quote approvingly from him at his very first Angelus? The proffered alternative is that the German Episcopal conference rejected Card. Mueller's comments (saying basically, "you're not the pope, and we follow the pope"), and that instead of simply saying "this is my prefect of the CDF; listen to him," Francis instead engaged in a long, tangled, and scandalous process that hoped to produce a similar effect a year and a half later. Is that really plausible?

Patrick Archbold said...

I mean, when someone's behavior suggests that they are either a Bond No or Doctor Evil, that they are either so smart that they enjoy wrapping their plans in Rube-Goldbergian machinations just for their amusement or they're just plain inept and cowardly, bet on the latter every time. One can certainly "imagine that the Pope wishes to use [his] popularity for good and did not wish to squander it," but what better good could there be than to slay this particular dragon?

Patrick Archbold said...

Indeed, Francis has had nothing but praise for the very speech of which we are speaking—he called it "a beautiful and profound presentation…." So his plan is to "ask the most wackadoodle advocate of the inadmissible to to give the keynote address," and then you publicly praise that speech?

Patrick Archbold said...

The word of God in the Bible teaches us that all sins can be forgiven, except one; unbelief. The bible also tells us to confess our sins before mass so we will be worthy. What could be more clear? There were no exceptions for forgiveness and all can be forgiven.
Do we understand the magnitude of our sin, that we repeat every day, every minute of every day in our selfish desires for ourselves? Do we see our sins as God sees our sins? We know that we cannot see our sins as God sees them, but we trust in God to forgive us for all our sins.
The mistake of the Catholic view of remarriage is not in the condeming of remarriage (for which forgiveness must be asked) but in the lack of recognizing the magnitude of all of our sins that we practice daily without end. Throwing the remarried out of the Church is an act of judging for an obvious sin, while the just as important sins we continue to practice, every day is downplayed by the Church, but not by God. So should we all be thrown out of the Church for our everyday sins, after all we are constantly, on purpose, repeating them, every day?
Remember there is nothing in the bible about throwing the divorced and the remarried out of the Church. In fact the bible says to be a deacon a man should only have one wife, with the implication being that mere members of the church may not be so pure.

Patrick Archbold said...

That is just not a logical statement. Serial bigamists ("divorced" and "remarried") are not seeking forgiveness because they do not see their "remarriage" as practical bigamy. Moreover, how can they be repentant of their sin if they remain "married" to the "second spouse." You can't be forgiven of that from which you do not repent and you can't be repentant if you persist in the sinful activity. My daily sins are of great magnitude. But I have hope through grace to not persist in them. As for the diaconate in the first century church, you clearly have neither historic nor classical linguistic training and you simply don't know what you're talking about. Symptom of Protestantism, I'm afraid.

Patrick Archbold said...

To answer your last question in the post, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, No. What a stupid theory. As if it would be a good thing that Pope Francis is letting all this scandal happen so he can retain his popularity. That's sickening. Furthermore, it isn't true because NEWSFLASH Pope Francis is a liberal modernist who probably has no more belief in the Church than your average Anglican. Just ask his 'Brother' Bishop Tony.

Patrick Archbold said...

Interesting theory. Is giving wackadoodle cardinals enough rope to hang themselves the same thing as fraternal correction? When can we expect the same tactic to be applied to Cardinal Rodriguez?

Patrick Archbold said...

This was an incredibly long, tortured, and frankly poorly worded way of saying "Since everyone sins, no one should be denied Communion."

Patrick Archbold said...

The one that's been hung out to twist in the wind is the Prefect of CDF, who enjoys no discernable support from his boss.

Patrick Archbold said...

I think at least two other Cardinals have spoken out

Patrick Archbold said...

"But the Pope, not wanting to damage his popular perception by shutting it down immediately, punts the decision 14 months."



I do not believe this, and I am pretty cynical about this pope. He is an old charismatic with one lung, not a conniving politician. I don't think he is thinking about his popular perception. I think our 'traditional' Catholic way of dealing with this problem is becoming ridiculous. Merely saying something is annulled and therefore not marriage does not deal with actual harm done to people, and actual rifts in our 'communion.' We can't paper over real local disunity with superficial unity to Rome. Sometimes perpetrators need to be barred from the Church and victims given dispensations. Additionally, there is something seriously wrong with Christians getting a marriage license these days- it is nothing but a vector through which this thing that should never be torn asunder gets torn.


You've got to remember this is the Pope talking about things like baptizing all the baby momma's babies as an act of charity. He's making the Church safe for bastards, not thinking about what it takes to make sure children aren't born out of wedlock. I don't think the Germans will get what they want, and it probably won't dawn on them to do what I want (marriage without reference to the state for a start), but should Papa err, it shall be along the same lines as with baptism. Got to keep the single mommas happy.

Patrick Archbold said...

I agree with many of the posters. Since the very beginning of his Papacy he has done many things that not just a different style but of substance. WHO AM I TO JUDGE has been said by him twice. Look at the people he surrounds himself with and who gets the boot. Burke Scola. The main problem is he is a Jesuit from South America who does not want to be seen as archconservative so he has very few around it. If he does not approve of the Kasper approach than why would he praise it so much as well as Carlo Martini . GOD Is not CATHOLIC came from the late Cardinal. I pray for Francis daily but I think another Cardinal or two from the Americas would have been a better choice. He should not be this widely liked by those outside the Church even the Masons.

Patrick Archbold said...

This Pope is all about his popularity and he's a big fan of VII so-called collegiality. In my gut, I doubt that he went through all those machinations just to be able to say 'no' months later and still be loved by the secular/atheists/liberal catholics. I think it's more likely that he'd love to change the doctrine but since he actually can't do that, he's creating chaos and confusion. That seems to be his MO.

Patrick Archbold said...

Go easy on your blog host, Rebecca. He's trying his darndest to give Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt, to put the best possible construction on his motives. He can't help it if even the best interpretation looks ridiculous.

Patrick Archbold said...

I would love to agree with Pat, but that would ignore the evidence. It was Pope Francis who gave Cardinal Kasper glowing praise after he made his speech to the preparatory body. It was Pope Francis who has repeatedly praised Cardinal Kasper - AND his theology - in public. So if Pope Francis is really just giving Kasper and the Germanic bishops enough rope to hang themselves, or to somehow construct an opposition to them, he's doing so in an exceedingly unhelpful and odd way. If Pope Francis has maintained silence regarding Kasper, I might be inclined to agree with you, but Pope Francis at this point has given much support to Kasper, at least tacitly.


And if at the Synod next year, the Holy Father lets it be known that he supports the "Kasper theorem," watch opposition evaporate like morning fog.


I think we are seeing fruit of where the disordered ultramontanism that has been rampant in the Church for the past century or so can lead

Patrick Archbold said...

PFFT that would obviously require judging of right and wrong and maybe teaching of it.... That just isn't what the "cool people" do now is it?
I think we need to pray for the salvation of the souls of many leaders of the Church

Post a Comment