Rorate Caeli has a great story on Cardinal Caffarra's, Archbishop of Bologna, rebuttal to Cardinal Kasper and the Germans' push for communion and remarriage for divorced Catholics. The Church's complete sexual doctrine is at stake.
National Catholic Reporter has an interesting March 14, 2014 editorial that begins with Pope Francis' famous quote: "I want things messy and stirred up." Bishop Stephen Ackerman of Trier, Germany, comments on the results of the survey the Vatican sent out. He said that the current teachings on remarriage after divorce, cohabitation without marriage, and artificial contraception had been decisively rejected by Germans. The National Catholic Reporter claims that trend holds for the West in general. Of course, does it surprise anyone that people would prefer the Catholic Church didn't comment on their sex lives? What did they expect would result from sending out surveys?
Just so you all caught that, this is what the good bishop was talking about:
- divorce and remarriage
- cohabitation without marriage
Of course, all of this, from the stupid survey to the synod, stems from Pope Francis himself. He called Cardinal Kasper's recent all-out assault on marriage before the Consistory of Cardinals "beautiful." I don't think he necessarily means he approves (although I don't know). Francis enjoys being perceived as open to controversy, even chaos. See how I shake things up? For him, it is humble and trusting to bring together bishops and throw doctrine up for grabs. It's so Vatican II, don't you know? Such are the novelties of the Franciscan Church. But what happens if the Germans carry the day?
Or what if they don't, but go back and pastorally Humanae Vitae him anyway? This is not on the radar screen now, but I promise expectations will be raised sky high when October rolls around. Does he suddenly become Francis the Idealogue, dust off his throne and set the erring Teutons straight? (That was St. Corbinian's mission in the 8th century, which is how the Frankish holy man found himself in the wilds of Bavaria.) Or does he think his personal popularity is going to trump people's sex lives? That would be naive, to say the least.
Friends, the Synod is in October. The Bear does not think people are scared enough about this. We need to storm heaven with our prayers. St. Corbinian was persecuted by Germans for upholding the sanctity of marriage, and would make an excellent patron of the synod.
Vatican II showed what happens when well-prepared German, Benelux and French liberals catch conservatives flat-footed. And while we're on the subject, let us remember wise and courageous Cardinal Ottaviani's observation that there is only one instance in the gospels where the apostles acted collegially: "They all fled."