Kasper continues talk of communion for divorced and optional celibacy

German Cardinal Walter Kasper has called for a reconsideration of the question of whether Catholics who are divorced and remarried should continue to be banned from receiving Communion.

"I cannot imagine that the discussion is closed," said Cardinal Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. "It is a question that exists, and we have to reflect on it in order to be able to respond."

Catholic World News reports that Cardinal Kasper was speaking at a press conference in Rome. He said that he has been discussing the question with other bishops for ten years, "and every bishop in every Western country recognizes that this is a grave problem."

The Synod's decision, Cardinal Kasper continued, "is not the final result."

He observed that the Synod has presented its conclusions to the Pope, who will prepare an apostolic exhortation on the topic. The cardinal added that although the Synod had voted to affirm the current Church policy, calls for change had also been heard.

Similarly, the German cardinal said that the door is not closed to the possibility of ordaining married men. Although he said that he recognises celibacy as "a gift for the Church," he suggested that "in certain cases" it might be better to "remain open to the hypothesis" that married men of proven virtue could be well equipped for the ministry.

Cardinal Kasper, who participated in the 3-week meeting of the Synod, has been outspoken in the past in his calls for a change in Church teachings regarding divorce and remarriage.

Cardinal Kasper questions Synod conclusion on divorce and Communion (Catholic World News 24/10/05)

25 Oct 2005