The Catholic Church needs to find a way to offer healing, strength and salvation to Catholics whose marriages have failed and who are committed to making a new union work within the Church, Cardinal Walter Kasper has told the world's cardinals.
- Catholic News Service
Jesus' teaching on the indissolubility of sacramental marriage is clear, the retired German Cardinal said, and it would harm individuals and the Church to pretend otherwise. However, 'after the shipwreck of sin, the shipwrecked person should not have a second boat at his or her disposal, but rather a life raft' in the form of the sacrament of Communion, he said.
Pope Francis had asked Cardinal Walter Kasper, a well-known theologian and author of a book on mercy as a fundamental trait of God, to introduce a February 20-21 discussion by the College of Cardinals on family life. The Vatican did not publish the Cardinal's text, but Catholic News Service obtained a copy.
The Catholic Church needs to find a way to help divorced and remarried Catholics who long to participate fully in the life of the church, Cardinal Kasper told the cardinals.
While insisting - for the good of individuals and of the church - on the need to affirm Jesus' teaching that sacramental marriage is indissoluble, he allowed for the possibility that in very specific cases the Church could tolerate, though not accept, a second union.
From the first moments of creation, the Cardinal said, God intended man and woman to be together, to form one flesh, to have children and to serve him together. But sin entered the world almost immediately, which is why even the Bible is filled with stories of husbands and wives hurting and betraying one another, he explained.
Christ, who came to set people free from the bonds of sin, established marriage as a sacrament, 'an instrument of healing for the consequences of sin and an instrument of sanctifying grace,' he said.
FULL STORY Cardinal outlines possible paths to Communion for divorced, remarried (Catholic News Service)