Church must reconcile divorce and remarriage, German cardinal says
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/12/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
The Church needs to find a middle ground that does not destroy or abandon doctrine in regards to divorce and civil remarriages, Cardinal Walter Kasper says. The church must offer a "renewed" interpretation of Church teaching in order to help those whose marriages have failed, he reiterated.
"The Church has to bridge this abyss," Cardinal Walter Kasper said, but that "does not mean pure appeasement policies, but the Church must explain in a new way what family and matrimony are in order to help people and at the same time remain faithful to the Gospel."
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Speaking on Vatican Radio, the German theologian said that "I propose a path that goes beyond strictness and leniency."
Finding a medium between these extremes "isn't against morality, it isn't against doctrine, but rather, (is meant) to support a realistic application of doctrine to the current situation of the great majority of people and to contribute to people's happiness," he said.
Referring to a lengthy talk he gave last month entitled "Gospel of the Family," the talk will be published in March in German and Italian by private publishing houses.
Cardinal Kasper also told Vatican Radio that the responses to a widely distributed Vatican questionnaire about Catholics' family life showed "there is a difficulty, an abyss" between Church teaching and the actual situation of many people.
"The Church has to bridge this abyss," he said, but that "does not mean pure appeasement policies, but the Church must explain in a new way what family and matrimony are in order to help people and at the same time remain faithful to the Gospel."
The cardinal said a similar process might be seen in how the Church developed its current approach to ecumenism.
"There were doctrines of the Holy Office (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) before the (Second Vatican) Council against ecumenism, yet the council found a way not to destroy or negate the doctrine but found ways to interpret it in an adequate way," he said.
"I ask myself why it could not be possible also with other doctrines."
The changes, he says are not "a revolution, as much as a deepening and a development because the doctrine of the Church is a river that develops and also the doctrine of matrimony has developed like this.
"It's not about something new as much as a renewal of Church practice, which is always necessary and possible," he said.
The primary purpose of his speech to the cardinals, he continued, "was not to speak about divorced and remarried people, but to speak about the Gospel of the family" and to foster "a new, better, more deep understanding of family life" as God intended, which is built on a faithful, exclusive and lifelong union between one man and one woman.
"I think the majority of young people want stable relationships, want to live in a family. and therefore, the Church has to help them," he said.
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