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Walter Kasper: Nogle frygter en dominoeffekt på familiesynoden

29. sept. 2014

Gerard O'Connell, America Magazine, skriver bl.a.:

Not since the Second Vatican Council has a gathering of representatives of the world’s Catholic bishops sparked such interest and controversy as the extraordinary synod of bishops on the family which opens in the Vatican on October 5. While the agenda is very wide, public interest has mainly focused on how this synod, and the follow-on synod in October 2015, will address the situation of Catholics who are divorced and remarried, and whether they can be re-admitted to communion.

As is well known, Pope Francis asked the German cardinal-theologian Walter Kasper, emeritus President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, a former university professor and diocesan bishop, and author of a book of mercy that he greatly appreciates, to give the keynote address on the family to the College of Cardinals when they met last February to discuss this subject. In one part of that long presentation Kasper envisaged a possible way forward on the question of the divorced and remarried. The subsequent debate revealed two very different theological approaches to the question.

Several cardinals – including the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Gerhard Muller, and the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Segnatura, Raymond Burke, have opposed Kasper’s opening on the question of the divorced and remarried, but Pope Francis publicly praised his contribution.

The temperature rose significantly, however, on the eve of the synod when five cardinals – including Muller and Burke – published a book rejecting Kasper’s line, while another Vatican cardinal, George Pell, wrote a preface to a different book in the same vein. Many in Rome perceived these initiatives as a clear attempt to close the discussion on this delicate topic even before the synod opened, some interpreted it as resistance to the Pope.

In this context, America and La Nación – Argentina’s leading daily, interviewed Cardinal Walter Kasper in his apartment in Rome, September 26, and asked how he reads the opposition and the contrasting theological visions at work here, and what he expects to happen at the synod. This is what he said.

 Q. There is much interest in this synod, especially regarding how it will deal with the question of whether there will be some opening towards Catholics who are divorced and remarried.

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