Monday 29 June 2015

More Thoughts on the so-called 'Kasper Proposal'

It seems to me that if we trust in the Lord we have to have some hope that He will keep the Fathers of the Synod on the right track. It also seems to me that when we talk about those who propose questionable novelties that we must do so in charity. That does not mean I am not disturbed by those who make such proposals, or blind to the fact that a Synod can go very wrong in its outcomes (Synods are not an infallible action of the Church, and even Popes are bound by Tradition). Only those with an unreal, exaggerated opinion of the teaching authority of a pope or Synods could be so stupid as to blindly, unquestioningly follow a Synod or a Pope. We retain the right to question even dubious papal acts, as Paul questioned the prudential judgement of Peter.

While I am not a professional theologian, just a priest with what we might call in parenting terms a “good enough” understanding of The Faith, I do have an ability to think logically. Looking at the accepted doctrine of The Faith, I continue to say that the proposal to “allow civilly remarried divorcees to receive Holy Communion after a period of penance” is gravely wrong. A number of bishops have supported this proposal on the grounds that, to paraphrase, “if people are allowed to make spiritual communions we cannot say they are in a state of mortal sin, and if they are not in mortal sin, they can take Sacramental Communion too.”

The first problem with this is that we do not know the state of a person’s soul. We may encourage a person to make a spiritual communion but we cannot know how the Lord responds to the individual soul. He may well in His Soverign Freedom respond simply by giving extra actual graces that prompt within the person a repentance and a return to the living out of His moral teaching, so that the soul may receive His sanctifying grace.

A second problem is that if we follow the proposal we undercut all the Church’s moral teaching on marriage and sexuality per se, since if we can allow Holy Communion in the adulterous situation of divorce with re-marriage, we also have to allow Holy Communion in cohabitation, in sex before marriage, in homosexual activity, in contraception etc. Why? Because sexual experiences with someone who is not one’s spouse is either OK or it is not. And if it is OK, then it matters not a jot with whom we have sexual experiences, and the Church has been wrong to teach that it does.

The canard of ‘just changing the discipline, not the teaching’ simply does not work: discipline flows from belief and expresses it. An engineer does not ignore the laws of physics when constructing a bridge; a physician does not ignore the laws of biology and disease pathology when prescribing a medicine. Practice follows theory in all areas of life, it never contradicts it. Thus, I find it unbelievable that educated men are seeking to have the Church act contrary to her teaching. I have spoken about this before: we simply cannot say it is wrong to do something then allow the wrong to be done on the pretext of mercy.

Deferring to ‘mercy’ is of course right and proper with those who are repentant, but the proposal’s concept of mercy is erroneous; it seeks no amendment of life; no turning away from the irregularity. Yet true mercy operates only when the wrong is given up; it cannot exist in a situation where a wrong-doing is continuing, because that would be to cooperate with the wrong-doing. To accept the proposal would be to endangers the wrong-doers eternal happiness for the sake of temporal happiness; it would be to cooperate with evil, since it is, in fact, a lie told to those to whom it seeks to extend mercy: “you are at rights with God”. The Father of lies is not God but the devil, and we must not cooperate with his work. 

Yes, let us demand that those in “irregular situations” be spoken about in non-offensive terms, but without losing any clarity on the wrongfulness and indeed the eternal danger of their situation. Let us also welcome them to Mass; to times of prayer; to Spiritual Direction etc., but not formal roles which would present them as in a situation acceptable to The Truth.  We can always extend to them the hand of friendship and we should always insist that their human dignity entitles them to life, housing, education, work, a just wage, career progression, health care etc. But we cannot present them as in line with what the Truth Himself (Christ) has revealed to us, either by placing them in official roles or by admitting them to Holy Communion. It is not that Holy Communion is a reward for goodness (it is medicine for the sick and it cannot be ‘earned’ or deserved), but we don’t want it to be a reward for continually living in a situation contrary to the teaching of the Lord and His Church either. 


  1. Excellent presentation of truth Father. You should be sent to the Synod to present this. Truth is simple, which is why these modernist documents are so long, to obfuscate the truth. Kasper's proposal is the nose of the camel under the tent to ultimately approve of all sin, but make it look good as "pastoral practice." A great many will follow that, since with itching ears they will hear what they want to hear, approval of sin, spoken by the wolves in sheep's clothing.

  2. Thank you, R.C.,
    I think many in the Synod know the truth but are not willing to stand up for it because they are driven by their emotions rather than conscience, which they quieten by affirming one another, without attending to the reality that numbers do not make for truth, which does not come by majority decision. The Episcopate has given way to so much since 1965; Huamane Vitae did not just set the theologians at the throat of Rome, it prepared for an initiated the collapse of the episcopate -few still stand against the onslaught of the enemy, but I think the current situation may make those who have sat on fences come down on the side of truth; those who still have Faith in Christ; the humility to accept His Gospel, and the courage to proclaim Him.
    God Bless

  3. Father,

    Charity, yes , but also clarity and honesty.

    I f a “period of penance “ does not include Confession and a sincere intent to dis-continue the adulterous relationship, then it is meaningless, against the Teaching of the Church and therefore implicitly heretical. Simple logic.

    The spiritual communion idea is a “red herring” It is a wish, not an act. Simple logic.

    The answer for such people living in adulterous relationships either within a second invalid marriage or just as a couple, is to desist. Simple logic.

    Mercy is making clear to people the eternal implications of their mortally sinful practise. That could be hell, Simple logic.

    If any of these ideas are accepted, or tolerated in any way by the synod , which is not in any way infallible, it will not and cannot change the Teaching of the Church.

    But heretical schism is almost certain. Simple derived logic.

    1. Thank you, Jacobi.
      Indeed! As I said, those in what are charitably called 'irregular situations "be spoken about in non-offensive terms, but without losing any clarity on the wrongfulness and indeed the eternal danger of their situation".
      There is an apostasy going on from Church teaching when clergy give the impression that homosexual acts and cohabitation and civil unions after divorce are acceptable to the Lord and pose no problem as regards salvation. the Church has taught otherwise for far too long now for folk to say these teachings can be changed, which is what many are trying to do. I hold to the fact, as i said, that "mercy operates only when the wrong is given up; it cannot exist in a situation where a wrong-doing is continuing, because that would be to cooperate with the wrong-doing".
      God Bless

    2. This is a very good thread Father. Thanks for speaking the Truth.

    3. Thank you!
      I cannot understand any serious Catholic being OK with the so-called 'Kapser proposal'.
      God Bless.


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