Cardinal Kasper says communion for divorced remains unresolved
In a commentary published in the Italain Catholic newspaper Avvenire, the Vatican's Cardinal Walter Kasper has said that there is "no easy solution" to the problem of communion for Catholics who divorce and remarry.
Zenit reports that Cardinal Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, was correcting media reports that he had supported the admission of divorced persons to Communion
He said: "Every Catholic theologian well knows that the answer might be found only on the basis of the teachings of Jesus and the doctrine of the Church in regard to the indissolubility of marriage. If we want to remain faithful to Jesus' words, we can only say that, when a marriage has been contracted with sacramental value, while the spouse lives there cannot be a second sacramental marriage recognized by the Church. The civil marriage of a divorced person is, objectively, in contradiction with Jesus' teachings."
Cardinal Kasper added that in certain circumstances, the ecclesiastical tribunals can be of help declaring the first marriage invalid.
"There are, however, complex cases from the pastoral point of view, for example, when the first marriage, despite its validity, was entered into in a superficial way and, in the end, fails, while the second is lived in a consciously Christian manner and is happy and harmonious. In such situations, certainly impossible in themselves, some Greek Fathers of the Church have recommended the exercise of indulgence."
He concluded by declaring that the "experts are not in agreement on the consequences that must be drawn from these and other points of view".
Cardinal Kasper Clarifies Issues on the Divorced-and-Remarried (Zenit 28/11/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Declaration by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts
Kasper continues talk of communion for divorced and optional celibacy (CathNews 25/10/05)
Kiwi bishop challenges Synod to review communion ban for divorced (CathNews 6/10/05)
Love is better if it's not lived in sin (Sydney Morning Herald 27/11/05)
Strangers to Rome; Marriage as a Mission (Zenit 24/11/05)
30 Nov 2005