UPDATE2: Edward Pentin, the reporter who posted the interview has posted the audio of the interview. This is getting interesting.
Cardinal Kaspar has been the lightening rod when it comes to the Synod on the Family, starting with his initial interview where he suggested changing Church teaching on the moral requirements for Holy Communion and on through the synod with his proposals. Now he has hit a new low by suggesting that the Synod can be handled by the enlightened (heterodox) Western Europeans and everyone else, especially those recalcitrant Africans can just sit down and shut up. From his latest interview:
ZENIT: It has been said that [Pope Francis] added five special rapporteurs on Friday to help the general rapporteur, Cardinal Peter Erdo. Is that because he’s trying to push things through according to his wishes?
Cardinal Kasper: I do not see this going on in the Pope’s head. But I think the majority of these five people are open people who want to go on with this. The problem, as well, is that there are different problems of different continents and different cultures. Africa is totally different from the West. Also Asian and Muslim countries, they’re very different, especially about gays. You can’t speak about this with Africans and people of Muslim countries. It’s not possible. It’s a taboo. For us, we say we ought not to discriminate, we don’t want to discriminate in certain respects.
ZENIT: But are African participants listened to in this regard?
Cardinal Kasper: No, the majority of them [who hold these views won’t speak about them].
ZENIT: They’re not listened to?
Cardinal Kasper: In Africa of course [their views are listened to], where it’s a taboo.
ZENIT: What has changed for you, regarding the methodology of this synod?
Cardinal Kasper: I think in the end there must be a general line in the Church, general criteria, but then the questions of Africa we cannot solve. There must be space also for the local bishops’ conferences to solve their problems but I’d say with Africa it’s impossible [for us to solve]. But they should not tell us too much what we have to do.
I really can’t believe the arrogance of this man. Is he really suggesting that anyone, especially Africans and Asians, who have “issues” with homosexual behavior is only that way because of primitive “taboos”? It is fortunate that we have such an enlightened leader of a
thriving dying church pointing the way in the synod discussions.
The rest of the interview didn’t improve much:
ZENIT: But people feel the Church’s teaching is going to be undermined by your proposal if it passes, that it’s undoing 2,000 years of Church teaching. What is your view on this?
Cardinal Kasper: Well nobody is putting into question the indissolubility of marriage. [Except for everyone proposing that people who continue to live in an adulterous relationship aren’t actually really in mortal sin.] I think it wouldn’t be a help for people, but if you look to the word of Jesus, there are different synoptic gospels in different places, in different contexts. It’s different in the Judeo-Christian context and in the Hellenistic context. Mark and Matthew are different. There was already a problem in the apostolic age. The Word of Jesus is clear, but how to apply it in complex, different situations? It’s a problem to do with the application of these words. [Because consistent teaching in the Catholic Church for the last 2000 years doesn’t mean anything.]
ZENIT: The teaching does not change?
The teaching does not change but it can be made more profound, it can be different [How can a teaching be different but not change?]. There is also a certain growth in the understanding of the Gospel and the doctrine, a development. Our famous Cardinal Newman had spoken on the development of doctrine. This is also not a change but a development on the same line. Of course, the Pope wants it and the world needs it. We live in a globalized world and you cannot govern everything from the Curia. There must be a common faith, a common discipline but a different application.
Cardinal Kaspar is an expert at twisting words to his own purposes and it is clear that as much as he wants to claim “mercy” and no change in doctrine, the practical result of what he proposes is practice contrary to doctrine and fake mercy where people are told that their sin is okay.
Instead of this, read some clear presentations of the beauty of Christ’s teaching about marriage.
He lives with his lovely wife and eleven kids in northern Colorado.