nov 232014

På liturgi-bloggen PrayTell kan man lese et intervju med en nytt medlem av Vatikanets Internasjonale teologisk kommisjon, Karl-Heinz Menke, professor i dogmatisk teologi ved universitetet i Bonn. Han sier bl.a.:

One must admit that the Church is polarized. That applies also to the Germans. There is tension between those who wish to adapt to modernity and those who have more conservative tendencies. It is found in the bishops’ conference. This internecine battle has made its way right into the Vatican.

On the question of the day, communion for the divorced and remarried, Menke spoke honestly about the state of affairs in Germany: I have the impression that there are only a few divorced and remarried people in our communities who wish to live a church life. And those who want this have found a path for themselves. I have never heard of a pastor who turns someone away at the communion rail.

And this: I’ll name another topic for you: we keep acting as if we’re still a church of the whole population [Volkskirche]. At Confirmation, for example, the bishop receives the promises of the youth that they will be models of faith. But certainly 90 percent of them have utterly no intention of keeping this promise – one sees that they do not observe the law to go to church on Sundays. The official teaching and reality have spun free of each other.

Menke hopes that the International Theological Commission will take up such issues. Speaking of topics such as sexual ethics he remarked: Long term, it can’t continue that we teach something that is ignored by 90% and more of the grass-roots.

He hopes for a middle path: It’s not an “either/or.” It is just as false to adapt to the zeitgeist as it is to work toward a ghetto Catholicism in which those remaining think of themselves as the elite believers. A healthy middle way would be important.

nov 182014

Søndag 23. november kl 08.00 feires den tradisjonelle latinske messen i St Hallvard kirkes kapell.

Det er 24. og siste søndag etter pinse som skal feires, og alle messens tekster og bønner kan leses her.

I evangeliet på denne domssøndagen hører vi bl.a.:

… Et tunc parébit signum Fílii hóminis in cælo: et tunc plangent omnes tribus terræ: et vidébunt Fílium hóminis veniéntem in núbibus cæli cum virtúte multa et majestáte. Et mittet angelos suos cum tuba, et voce magna: et congregábunt eléctos ejus a quátuor ventis, a summis cælórum usque ad términos eórum. …

… Og da skal Menneskesønnens tegn komme til syne på himmelen, og da skal alle jordens slekter jamre seg, og de skal se Menneskesønnen komme i himmelens skyer med stor kraft og herlighet. Og han skal sende ut sine engler med basuner og mektig klang; og de skal samle hans utvalgte fra de fire verdenshjørner, fra den ene ende av himmelen til den andre. …

nov 172014

sandro_magister Etter bispesynoden for noen uker siden har flere viktige biskoper/ kardinaler rundt om i verden begynt å undere seg over hva pave Frans egentlig ønsker. I et intervju med den svært kjente «vatikanisten» Sandro Magister – som bl.a. står bak nettsiden WWW.CHIESA – sier leser vi bl.a.:

Q: And so the Americans?
R: They are somewhat uneasy. The Cardinals and Archbishops, like Timothy Dolan from New York, Patrick O’ Malley from Boston, José Gomez from Los Angeles or Charles Chaput from Philadelphia, are all uneasy. This is the episcopate that Burke himself comes from and is certainly not restricted to the marginal traditional circuits, but continues to be part of one of the most solid national Churches.

Q: And also the Italian Episcopal Conference as you said before, appears to be a bit in difficulty.
R: Yes, there are many difficulties in trying to keep up with this Pope. The President, Angelo Bagnasco seems to be the one in most difficulty.

Q: Also since his successor Archbishop of Perugia, Gualtiero Bassetti has already been indicated. He was made a Cardinal by Bergoglio.
R: But, as far I know also Bassetti is among the Italian bishops who are uneasy.

Q: Among the Italians, the most explicit were perhaps the Milanese, Angelo Scola and the Bolognese, Carlo Caffarra.
R: Yes, they were with their interventions before and during the Synod. But it was all inevitable considering the Pope’s decision to assign the opening of the discussions to Cardinal Walter Kasper, and so this basically was the start of the hostilities.
Q: Why?
R: Because Kasper is proposing again today exactly the same theses defeated in 1993 by John Paul II and Joseph Ratzinger, the latter being the Prefect of the Holy Office at the time.

Les mer på

nov 172014

Kardinal Francis George i Chicago er 77 år gammel, alvorlig kreftsyk, og skal tre av fra sitt embede i morgen. For et par dager siden ga han et langt intervju til John Allen, der han bl.a. nevner noen spørsmål han gjerne skulle ha stilt pave Frans:

… I’ve described George before as the “American Ratzinger” for his blend of intellectual chops and tenacious commitment to Catholic tradition, in the spirit of the former Joseph Ratzinger, the man who became Pope Benedict XVI. (For the record, George shuns the label, insisting he’s not of Benedict’s intellectual caliber. He is, in any event, the closest thing to it on these shores.) …

… To begin, George said he’d like to ask Francis if he fully grasps that in some quarters, he’s created the impression Catholic doctrine is up for grabs. Does Francis realize, for example, “what has happened just by that phrase, ‘Who am I to judge?’ ”

Francis’ signature sound-bite, George said, “has been very misused … because he was talking about someone who has already asked for mercy and been given absolution, whom he knows well,” George said.

“That’s entirely different than talking to somebody who demands acceptance rather than asking for forgiveness,” George said. “Does he not realize the repercussions? Perhaps he doesn’t,” George said. “I don’t know whether he’s conscious of all the consequences of some of the things he’s said and done that raise doubts in people’s minds.”

“The question is why he doesn’t he clarify” these ambiguous statements, George said. “Why is it necessary that apologists have to bear the burden of trying to put the best possible face on it?”

He said he also wonders if Francis realizes how his rhetoric has created expectations “he can’t possibly meet.” …

… Second, George said he’d like to ask Francis who is providing him advice — which, he said, has become the “big question” about this pope. “Obviously he’s getting input from somewhere,” George said. “Much of it he collects himself, but I’d love to know who’s truly shaping his thinking.”

Third, George noted that Francis often makes references to the Devil and the biblical notion of the end-times, but said it’s not clear how that shapes his vision and agenda. …

nov 162014

Forrige uke valgte den amerikanske bispekonferansen hvilke biskoper som skal delta i neste års bispesynode i Roma – og de valgte ikke biskoper som vil ønske å støtte den radikale linjen. Dette referatet har jeg hentet fra den nokså progressive nettstedet Catholic News Agency:

… More than a year and a half into the papacy of Pope Francis, the U.S. bishops still appear like deer in headlights, not knowing which way to jump. There are no leaders in the tradition of Joseph Bernardin, John Roach, John Quinn, or James Malone who can articulate a vision for the conference in light of the new papacy.

There are no liberals among the bishops, and the moderates are a minority. The conservative majority is divided into two groups: the ideologues and the pastors.

The ideological conservatives make up 10 to 20 percent of the conference, and they are convinced that Francis is sowing confusion in the church where certitude and stability should be the marks of the church. Francis’ statement that «facts are more important than ideas» is incomprehensible to them; they believe reality must bend to their theological ideas.

The pastoral conservatives, on the other hand, are simply confused. They were raised in conservative families, went to conservative seminaries, don’t pretend to be intellectuals but are loyal churchmen who never questioned anything under the last two papacies. They like Francis, but they are not sure what he is doing. They are in need of a leader who can reassure them and point them in the right direction.

The election of delegates to next year’s synod of bishops reflected the makeup of the USCCB.

Archbishops Joseph Kurtz and Daniel Dinardo, the USCCB president and vice president, were elected as expected. Also elected were Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia and Jose Gomez of Los Angeles. Chaput had been critical of the confusion surrounding the synod. He will also host next year’s international conference on the family. Elected alternates were Blaise Cupich, newly appointed by Pope Francis to Chicago, and Salvatore Cordilone of San Francisco, the bishops’ point man on gay marriage.

If the bishops were totally behind Pope Francis they would have elected as delegates his best friend in the American hierarchy, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, and Archbishop-designate Cupich, his first major appointee.

A big part of the trouble with the American hierarchy is that the bishops have no one to consult. The conservative theologians, who have been advising them during the last two papacies, are as upset as the ideologically conservative bishops. Since progressive theologians were labeled heretics, kicked out of seminaries, and shunned like Ebola patients, bishops have no one to explain to them how to thrive with the discussion and debate being encouraged by Francis.

Sadly, few bishops would feel comfortable inviting theologians from the local Catholic college over for dinner and conversation, yet that is exactly what is needed. …

okt 202014

Dette er essensen i en artikkel St Sunniva av Selja lenker til – som er skrevet av Fr Robert Barron. Han siterer kardinal Newman som skriver at det er fint å være ombord i kirkeskipet, men ikke så hyggelig å være i maskinrommet. Etter de første dagene med en hel del forvirring under årets bispesynode, skriver han:

… The interim report on the Synod represents a very early stage of the sausage-making process and, unsurprisingly, it isn’t pretty. Two more weeks of discussion will follow; then a full year during which the findings of the Synod will be further refined, argued about, and clarified; then the Ordinary Synod on the Family will take place (the one going on now is the Extraordinary Synod), and many more arguments and counter-arguments will be made; finally, some months, perhaps even a year or so, after that, the Pope will write a post-Synodal exhortation summing up the entire process and offering a definitive take on the matter. At that point, I would suggest, something resembling edible sausage will be available for our consumption; until then, we should all be patient and refrain from bloviating. …

okt 192014

John Allen skriver her en ganske grundig oppsummering av bispesynoden. Den er gitt følgende overskrift – Divided bishops water down welcome to gays and the divorced – og begynner slik:

A dramatic Vatican summit of bishops ended Saturday night by significantly watering down an opening to both gays and divorced and remarried Catholics contained in an interim report released Monday.

Paragraphs on those two points were the only items that failed to receive a two-thirds majority of the Synod of Bishops in voting on its final document. While there’s no magic to the two-thirds threshold in this sort of Vatican ballot, the results clearly reflect a divided hierarchy on both issues.

Så langt jeg forstår ble alle paragrafene i det avsluttende dokumentet fra synoden vedtatt med minst 2/3 flertall (dvs mer enn 123 stemmer) bortsett fra de følgende tre. Det var artiklene om gjengifte og om homofile som vakte en hel del oppstyr for en uke siden. De hadde blitt ganske mye moderert i denne endelige teksten, men fikk likevel ikke 2/3 flertall:

… [52. The possibility for the divorced and remarried to accede to the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist was considered. Several Synod Fathers insisted in favor of the current discipline, in consideration of the constitutive relationship between participation in the Eucharist and communion with the Church and her teaching on indissoluble marriage. Others expressed themselves in favor of a non-generalized welcoming to the eucharistic table, in certain particular situations and in very specific circumstances, especially in cases that are irreversible and linked to moral obligations towards children who would [otherwise] be subjected to unjust suffering. The eventual access to the sacraments should be preceded by a penitential path under the responsibility of the diocesan Bishop. The matter should still be deepened, taking into consideration the distinction between an objective situation of sin and attenuating circumstances, considering that the «Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified» by several «psychological or social factors.» (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1735)]

[This paragraph did not reach the required 2/3 of the Fathers: 104 in favor, 74 against]

[53. Some Fathers maintained that divorced and remarried persons can fruitfully accede to spiritual communion. Other Fathers asked why they cannot accede now to the sacramental one. A deepening of this question is hereby demanded so as to make clear the particularity of both forms and their connection with the theology of matrimony.]

[This paragraph did not reach the required 2/3 of the Fathers: 112 in favor, 64 against]

[55. Some families live the experience of having within them persons with a homosexual orientation. Regarding this, it was asked what pastoral attention is suitable concerning this situation, with reference to what the Church teaches: «There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.» Nevertheless, men and women with homosexual tendencies must be welcomed with respect and gentleness. «Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.» (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons, 4)]

[This paragraph did not reach the required 2/3 of the Fathers: 118 in favor, 62 against]

okt 172014

Det er lettest å forstå engelsk syns jeg (og sikkert mange andre), så her er to korte intervjuer med to engelsktalende kardinaler som deltar i bispesynoden. Den første er Australias kardinal Pell, som har vært ganske tydelig i sin kritikk av organiseringen av synoden. Han sa i går:

Den andre er kardinal Napier fra Sør-Afrika, som i går ble valgt inn i redaksjonskomiteen for synodens endelige dokument (som skal stemmes over lørdag ettermiddag, paragraf for paragraf, og trenger 2/3 flertall for å bli vedtatt). Dette intervjuet er fra forrige uke:

okt 162014

I dag var det ganske intens debatt under bispesynoden, da det ble gjort kjent at rapportene fra gruppesamtalene (som skulle vurdere synodens hoveddokument) ikke skulle offentliggjøres, mens det kontroversielle hoveddokumentet etter synodens første uke hadde blit offentliggjort. Father Z skriver slik om dette:

The General Secretary of the Synod [Card. Balidsseri] announced the decision not to publish the reports of the Circuli Minores. The announcement provoked the protest of Card. Erdo [the president or chairman for this Synod], and numerous other Synodal Fathers. The Pope, silent and very serious. …

Erdo took the floor, implicitly distancing himself from the report that bore his name, and saying that if that “disceptatio” had been made public, then the others of the Circulo Minores ought to be made public.

His speech was followed by an avalanche from many others along the same line, underscored by thunderous applause.

The Secretary of the Synod, Card. Balidisseri, was watching the Pope, as if in search of advice and lights, and the Pope remained silent and very serious.

Finally, Fr. Lombardi announced that the reports of the Commission would be made public.

okt 152014

Jeg følger godt med på hva som skjer i bispesynoden i Vatikanet, men jeg har ikke skrevet så mye om den. Det virker nok som dokumentet som ble offentliggjort mandag formiddag ikke var særlig representativt. Også en ganske «progressiv» katolsk kilde (The Tablet) skriver slik om dette:

A key document from the bishops’ Synod on the Family calling for the Church to make radical changes to its pastoral approach to gays, divorce and remarried and those in civil marriages has been criticised by Cardinal George Pell as “tendentious and incomplete”.

The text – known as the relatio – was released at the synod’s midway point and sought to summarise the discussions at the gathering so far. It has been described as a “pastoral earthquake” and suggests the Church should recognise the good in unions outside marriage.

But Cardinal Pell, one of Pope Francis’ close advisers, who has been tasked with reforming Vatican finances, said that the document was an “incomplete resumé” of what the Synod Fathers had said it needed to be “enhanced and corrected”.

He added that after the relatio had been presented three-quarters of the participants in the synod hall who had made interventions had voiced problems with the text.

Og AP/CBS skriver om dette, og siterer kardinal Dolan i New York City:

It’s one of the great mysteries of the meeting on family life taking place behind closed doors at the Vatican this week: Just where did the authors of a draft report come up with such ground-breaking language that gays had gifts to offer the church and that even homosexual partnerships had merit?

Officially speaking, the draft report was a synthesis of the interventions from more than 200 bishops, a starting point for small working groups to propose amendments, elaborations, additions and subtractions to the drafting committee preparing a final report that will be released on Saturday.

But conservative cardinals have said their views were not reflected in the draft, they blasted the report as «unacceptable» and said it was in sore need of an overhaul.

U.S. Cardinal Timothy Dolan said his fellow American, hardline Cardinal Raymond Burke, reflected the view of «a good number of people in saying, boy, this document is a rough draft, does it ever need major revisions.»

«I think he’s right, he’s picked up on the side that a lot of bishops, and I would include myself, feel that it needs some major reworking,» Dolan told «CBS This Morning.» …

okt 122014

En av de engelske preste-bloggene jeg leser skrives av Fr John Hunwicke, og kalles nå «Fr Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment«. Han skriver nå at han nylig har vært i København:

Privileged, once again, to be invited to sing Mass for the Latin Mass Group in Copenhagen and to deliver a lecture (on the Fiftieth Anniversary of Unitatis Redintegratio), I again had a marvellous weekend. Danish hospitality is immensely warm; and a lead in this is given by Bishop Czeslaw. He seems to know priests and people intimately and individually, and is very much liked. I can see why. On my first visit, last year, I had breakfast with him, preceded by an invitation to celebrate the Extraordinary Form in his private Chapel … which the Bishop served. After breakfast, he took me on a fascinating tour of some spectacular Lutheran churches. (This year, because of the timing of my flight back, we could only find time for coffee together.) He is a very nice man and a fine example of a model of episcopacy which is simple, warm, immediate, and unprelatical. He was very interested to have an update on the Ordinariate.

Deretter beskriver han et par museumsbesøk – les hele dette innlegget her.

okt 112014

John Allen intervjuet i går erkebiskop Joseph Kurtz fra Louisville, Kentucky om den pågående bispesynoden om familien (de amerikanske biskopene ser ikke ut til å være for at gjengifte skal kunne motta kommunion):

There’s no consensus yet in the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the controversial question of allowing divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion, according to president of the US bishops’ conference, but he said many American bishops have their doubts.

American prelates generally have “a great concern with maintaining the bond of marriage, the integrity of that bond,” said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, who is taking part in the synod.

Both American bishops and bishops from around the world taking part in the synod do appear, Kurtz said, to support a streamlined process for annulment, which is a Church declaration that a first union was never a real marriage because it failed to meet one or more of the tests for validity.

He also predicted that if a reformed process ends up meaning more annulments each year, any backlash over such an increase will be manageable. …

okt 082014

Den amerikanske presten P. Raymond J. de Souza skriver om den nokså langvarige uenigheten mellom de to tyske kardinalene, Ratzinger og Kasper. Først skriver han:

… St. John Paul had called the special synod in January 1985 to assess how Vatican II had been received in the life of the Church, examining both achievements and failures. In 1985, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was still in his first years as John Paul’s doctrinal lieutenant, and Cardinal Danneels was the boy wonder of the College of Cardinals, having recently been made a cardinal while in his 40s. John Paul’s biographer, George Weigel, explains that the Belgian was not happy with the German as the synod opened.

“Shortly after the extraordinary synod convened on November 24, 1985, Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium complained at a press conference that ‘this is not a synod about a book; it is a synod about a council!’” Weigel wrote. “The book in question was Cardinal Ratzinger’s review of the post-conciliar state of the Church, a lengthy interview with the Italian journalist Vittorio Messori, which had been published in early 1985 under the provocative title The Ratzinger Report. Danneels was right, of course, and Ratzinger would be the first to admit it. … [But] The Ratzinger Report was a major factor in setting the intellectual framework in which the synod’s deliberations were conducted and its recommendations framed.” ….

Ved flere anledninger på 90-tallet viste det seg at pave Johannes Paul støttet kardinal Ratzingers synspunkter:

What might Benedict himself think of all this? He likely would be surprised — perhaps rueful? — that the long Ratzinger-Kasper theological rivalry has followed them both into retirement. In a peculiar symmetry, the role that he played before the 1985 synod in advancing John Paul’s agenda is apparently now being done for Pope Francis by Cardinal Kasper. The synod of 2014 marks just the latest twist in the intertwined careers of him and Cardinal Kasper. In 1993, Kasper, like Ratzinger, a gifted academic theologian appointed a diocesan bishop in Germany, issued a pastoral letter advocating admitting the divorced and remarried to Communion. Ratzinger, then doctrinal prefect, rejected Kasper’s claim in no uncertain terms on behalf of the Holy See.

In 1999, Pope John Paul appointed Kasper as secretary of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. When, during the Great Jubilee of 2000, Cardinal Ratzinger published the declaration Dominus Iesus, teaching that Jesus alone is the unique Savior of mankind and that the Catholic Church alone is the fullness of the Church he founded, Kasper was publicly critical. So great was the criticism, fanned by then-Archbishop Kasper, that Pope John Paul took the unusual step of voicing his support for Dominus Iesus at a Sunday Angelus address, making it clear that in the sharp conflict between the two German Curial cardinals, it was Ratzinger who spoke for the pope. …

Før denne synoden har pave Frans valgt kardinal Kasper legge fram synspunkter som går tydelig imot det Ratzinger alltid har hevdet:

(In 2013), Pope Francis would invite Cardinal Kasper to address the consistory of cardinals, wherein he reiterated his 1993 proposals. …

The degree to which Cardinal Kasper’s proposals have been publicly criticized reflects primarily their contradiction of the clear teaching of Jesus in Matthew 19, but there is undoubtedly an element of loyalty to Pope Benedict too, as many who consider Ratzinger/Benedict a great gift to the Church in our time are astonished that Cardinal Kasper should be given a leading role in this synod. …

okt 072014

George Deek er førstesekretær ved den israelske ambassaden i Oslo, og fortalte lørdag 27/9 sin egen families historie fra Jaffa/ Tel Aviv. Hans bestefar flyktet først til Libanon – i 1948 da krigen begynte – men kom senere tilbake til Israel og fikk tilbake sin gamle jobb. Hans familie i Israel har klart seg godt, det samme har familiemedlemmer som reiste til Canada, Australia og andre vestlige land – men de som ble værende i arabiske land har fortsatt ikke fått statsborgerskap eller andre rettigheter i landene der de bor.

Med Israel for fred har her lagt ut en norsk oversettelse av talen.

okt 062014

John Allen skriver ved starten av årets ekstraordinære bispesynode (et stykke ned) på denne siden:

A viewer’s guide to the Synod of Bishops

Sunday marks the formal opening of the Synod of Bishops on the family, though to be honest there’s been so much public jockeying in the run-up it feels like the Oct. 5-19 summit of bishops actually started months ago.

… Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics is likely to be one flashpoint, but all manner of other issues should be in play too, given that there’s almost no hot-button concern that doesn’t somehow fall under the rubric of the family. … Here I’ll lay out a brief viewer’s guide to the Synod of Bishops, with four things to bear in mind as the drama unfolds.

1. It’s truly the journey that matters rather than the destination.

The point applies generically to any synod, since a synod is merely consultative. This isn’t a political convention, in which platform items will be voted in or out, candidates nominated or rejected, and so on.

At most, what a synod does is present recommendations to the pope, and it’s always up to him what to do. As a result, there will be no new policy in Catholicism on anything as of Oct. 19, when the synod ends.

This time the final product is even less decisive, because this synod is merely preparatory for another, larger synod on the family set for October 2015. At most, all that will be accomplished over the next two weeks is setting an agenda for the second meeting, and presumably Francis won’t make big-picture final decisions before both synods run their course.

As a result, the best way to view this synod is as a way to take the temperature of the bishops on a variety of issues, looking for clusters of opinion and surprising notes along the way, rather than investing much importance in whatever they come up with at the end.

2. There is no single narrative about “what happened” at the synod on any given day.

Although in theory there are themes for each day’s discussion in the synod, they’re extremely broad: “natural law,” for instance, or “difficult pastoral situations,” which can apply to basically everything under the sun.

In reality, the roughly 180 bishops and few dozen other participants can talk about whatever they want. Francis also has asked that time be set aside each afternoon for free discussion, and there’s no set theme for that period.

Each day, therefore, a wide variety of points will surface, and different media outlets and advocacy groups will highlight things of interest to them. One account may stress what a bishop from Europe said about gay marriage, and another what an African said on polygamy. Viewers probably will have to piece together the full picture.

Moreover, it’s also important to realize that the working sessions of the synod are closed, so reporters have to rely on daily briefings and after-the-fact conversations with participants. Given that, accounts will likely vary in terms of reaction in the room when certain points were made, what people were buzzing about over coffee breaks, and so on.

The bottom line is that covering a Synod of Bishops is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, only without the picture on the box telling you what it’s supposed to look like at the end.

3. Perhaps the best thing about a Synod of Bishops is the global perspective on Catholicism it provides.

Truth to be told, most American Catholics probably won’t be terribly surprised by the kinds of things American and European bishops say at this synod, especially if you already know who the players are and the views they represent.

Americans will have something to learn from bishops and other participants from Asia, and from Latin America, and Africa, and the Middle East. They will relate experiences and perspectives we don’t generally hear, and thus the Synod of Bishops is a sort of graduate-level crash course in the realities of living in a global church. …

4. Finally, expect the unexpected.

This will be the ninth Synod of Bishops I’ve covered over the years, and in each of the previous eight there was some “black swan” development, meaning something out of the blue, that at least momentarily steered the debate down an unpredictable path. … The basic message is, don’t go to sleep on the synod, because you never know when something out of left field might change the game.

okt 042014

Før bispesynoden om ekteskapet begynner, leser jeg en artikkel som tar opp forberedelsen til katolske ekteskap. Katolikker skal lære om ekteskapet gjennom hele sitt liv; i sin egen familie og i Kirkens katekese f.eks. før konfirmasjon, og så er det endelig et obligatorisk ekteskapskurs før man gifter seg. De kursene jeg har nå består av 5×2 timer om katolsk ekteskapsteologi og noen praktiske tips om hvordan man kan få et godt ekteskap. Dette kurset kort tid før vielsen skal visst tas opp på bispesynoden:

On the eve of the Synod of Bishops on the family, battle lines have been drawn on hot-button issues such as divorced and remarried Catholics and annulments. Yet little is being said about two reasons that often cause a marriage to fail in the first place: lack of preparation, and forced marriages.

An approved marriage preparation program is one of the four usual requirements to marry in the Church, the others being a six-month notification to the parish priest, Catholic baptism of at least one of the partners, and documentation certifying the freedom to marry of both partners.

Yet according to a preparatory document that will guide discussion for the synod, preparation is often more honored in the breach than the observance.

Programs come in different formats, such as intensive weekends, a series of weekly encounters, on-line formation, and “in-home” mentor couple programs.

They can be offered by priests, experts, and married couples, and the content of the programs varies from one country to another. The one thing they have in common is that they generally require less time than the hours spent by many brides choosing their wedding dresses.

Compared to the lead-in time for the other two sacraments that require mandatory preparation — confirmation and holy orders — eight hours preparing for a lifetime commitment seems a fairly modest requirement. Yet as the synod document notes, it’s often seen “more as an obligation than a freely undertaken opportunity for growth.”

Cardinal Raúl Eduardo Chiriboga of Ecuador certainly sees it that way. “Preparing for marriage shouldn’t be seen as part of the routine that couples have to go through to finally get married,” he said.

Speaking in March, Chiriboga said the Church “should carefully examine these ‘marriage prep classes,’ so that they give couples a deep formation and take all the time that is necessary.” …

The Rev. Héctor Franceschi, one of Rome’s leading church lawyers at the University of the Holy Cross, said the Church needs to rethink the preparation for marriage. “Many times, it’s reduced to two or three lessons on theoretical issues, with priests not even knowing what the future spouses are being taught,” he said.

Franceschi says the Church actually has rich teaching on family issues, with documents such as Familiaris Consortio, Mulieris Dignitatem, Gratissimam Sane, and Humanae Vitae. “The problem is that very few pastors and laymen have read them,” he said. …..

okt 012014

Man antar at et ekteskap er gyldig, og i alle fall én av ektefellene er sikker på at alt er i orden, men så kan det vise seg – ut fra katolsk kirkerett eller også sivil rett – at det likevel ikke er gyldig. Etter sivil rett erklæres ekteskap ugyldige nokså sjelden, men etter katolsk kirkerett kan dette skje noe oftere – og det er Tribunalene som avgjør slike spørsmål.

Kirkerettseksperten Edward Peters skriver om dette i et innlegg, der han uttrykker svært stor forbauselse over at en kjent katolsk kardinal (Kasper) ikke ser ut til å forstå disse tingene:

Misunderstanding – sometimes seasoned with plain ignorance – about canon law, annulments, and tribunal work is common among Catholics and pervasive among non-Catholics. What is unnerving to see, however, in the wake of Cdl. Kasper’s call for holy Communion to be administered to those living in “public and permanent adultery” (CCC 2384), is how high up in Church life such problems apparently reach.

In his latest remarks on annulments, Kasper says: “There are situations in which annulments are possible. But take the case of a couple with ten years of marriage, with kids, which in the first years [was] a happy marriage, but for different reasons fails. This marriage was a reality and to say that it was canonically null makes no sense.”

Taking the cardinal’s words at face value, he flatly rejects (for it “makes no sense”) declaring null any putative (a term Kasper does not use, but which I will discuss below) marriage if it seemed happy for a time, produced children, and lasted ten years. Let’s look at these factors.

Though some these days are put off when canon law is quoted in correction of canonical errors, nevertheless, a legal principle from the thirteenth century is important here: Non firmatur tractu temporis quod de iure ab initio non subsistit, or, “What is null at the start does not become valid with the passage of time.” Regula Iuris XVIII (1298). …

Om «putavive marriage» (et antatt gyldig ekteskap) sier engelsk Wikipedia:

A putative marriage is an apparently valid marriage, entered into in good faith on the part of at least one of the partners, but that is legally invalid due to a technical impediment, such as a preexistent marriage on the part of one of the partners. Unlike someone in a common-law, statutory, or ceremonial marriage, a putative spouse is not legally married. Instead, a putative spouse believes himself or herself to be married in good faith and is given legal rights as a result of this person’s reliance upon this good-faith belief.

Putative marriages exist in both Catholic canon law and in various civil laws, though the rules may vary. In some jurisdictions, putative marriages are a matter of case law rather than legislation. …

sept 302014

Jeg lar en ganske progressiv, katolsk stemme komme til orde nå jeg her referer til en artikkel i National Catholic Reporter, som gelder seg til bispesynoden som arrangeres 5.-19. oktober 2014. Artikkelen er skrevet av skrevet av Robert Mickens:

When the Vatican held its first synod on the family in 1980, the Polish-born John Paul II — a man «from a far-away country» — had been pope for only two years. Curiously, next week’s gathering of bishops on the very same theme also comes quite early in a new pontificate. It is less than 19 months from the day a Jesuit from Argentina, «the end of the earth,» was elected bishop of Rome and took the name Francis.

The nearly 35 years that have passed between these two international meetings of bishops span a bit more than two generations. And while there is a similarity in two non-Italian popes confronting issues related to marriage and the family early in their papal ministry, their approaches could not be more different.

John Paul II was a forceful and charismatic 60-year-old, and his 1980 synod came in the wake of a determined program to crack down on dissent, put an end to open debate on thorny pastoral and theological issues, and to ensure that the world’s bishops were in lockstep with directives issued by the Holy See.

To reform-minded Catholics, his surprisingly successful effort to get all the church’s pastors singing from the same song sheet, undertaken relatively soon after the Second Vatican Council, has been devastating. Avenues for discussing and debating ways to change pastoral approaches that clearly no longer work have been tightly closed off. But this has not stemmed the widening gap that many Catholics — both priests and people — experience between themselves and the doctrinaire approach of many so-called John Paul II and Benedict XVI bishops. Nowhere is this disconnect more apparent than how their own convictions differ from the hierarchy’s official teaching and policy on family life, marriage and human sexuality.

Francis, who will soon be 78, clearly understands this. And although he professes to be a loyal «son of the church,» the Jesuit pope has decided that conversation, dialogue and, yes, even debate are healthy and necessary for the life of the community of believers. …

sept 292014

Sandro Magister skriver med utgangspunkt i utnevnelsen av ny erkebiskop i Chicago at pave Frans ikke ser ut til å ta så mye hensyn til hva andre mener når han utnevner nye biskoper. Han overrasket alle ved sin utnevnelse av biskop Cupich, og en del er svært så overrasket over valget:

…. So Cupich seems to be bringing Chicago back to the heyday of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, George’s predecessor, a champion of “liberal” Catholicism in the United States and the creator of the mountainous bureaucratic machine of the episcopal conference, of which he was president from 1974 to 1977 and “dominus” until his death in 1996.

And the Bernardin era seems to be coming back thanks to a move of Pope Francis, who has taken by surprise and wrongfooted an episcopate, like that of the United States, today widely characterized by appointments made by John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

That it was a surprise can be noted from the fact that a few days before the appointment the newspaper “Our Sunday Visitor,” the most official of the American Catholic periodicals – its president is the journalist Greg Erlandson, a member of the commission for the reorganization of the Vatican media that met in Rome for the first time last week – in listing eight names of possible successors to Cardinal George did not present the one selected by pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio, that of Cupich.

The fact that the appointment wrongfooted the U.S. episcopate is evident from the results of the elections of the current president and vice-president of the episcopal conference that were held less than a year ago, in November of 2013.

At that electoral cycle, in fact, the ten candidates included Cupich. And his was considered by his colleagues the most distinctly “progressive,” ecclesiasticaly speaking, of the candidacies presented.

So then, at the first round of voting, which saw the immediate election as president of the outgoing vice-president, Archbishop Kurtz, with 125 votes out of 236, Cupich was back in seventh place with only 10 votes.

More ballots went to Houston cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo (25), Philadelphia archbishop Chaput (20), archbishop of Los Angeles José H. Gomez and of Baltimore William E. Lori (15 votes each), and New Orleans archbishop Gregory M Aymond (14).

In the two rounds of voting for the vice-presidency, Cupich was far from being elected, coming in fifth (out of nine) both at the first round, with 24 votes out of 236, and at the second, with 17 votes out of 235.

For Chicago, then, Pope Francis did not take the outlook of the local episcopate into account, unlike for example what he did in Spain, … Nor does it seem that the pope took account of the recommendations of Cardinal George, who is believed to have asked for a priest of his diocese as coadjutor. …

There is only one point on which Francis used the same procedure in Chicago as he did in Madrid and Sydney. In all three cases he proceeded with the appointment without having it discussed first by the cardinals and bishops of the congregation for bishops, …

sept 242014

Søndag 28. september kl 08.00 feires den tradisjonelle latinske messen i St Hallvard kirkes kapell.

Det er 16. søndag etter pinse som skal feires, og alle messens tekster og bønner kan leses her.

Inngangsverset til denne messen er slik:

Miserére mihi, Dómine, quóniam ad te clamávi tota die: quia tu, Dómine, suávis ac mitis es, et copiósus in misericórdia ómnibus invocántibus te. (Psalm) Inclina, Dómine, auram tuam mihi, et exaudi me: quoniam inops, et pauper sum ego. Gloria Patri …. Miserére mihi …

Miskunn deg over meg, Herre, for dagen lang roper jeg til deg; for du, Herre, er mild og god og rik på miskunn for alle dem som påkaller deg. Herre, bøy ditt øre til meg og bønnhør meg; for jeg er hjelpeløs og fattig. Ære være Faderen … Miskunn deg over meg …

sept 242014

Kirkerettseksperten Edward Peters skriver om Tribunalenes arbeid nå som bispesynoden om ekteskapet nærmer seg (selv om denne synoden ikke må få lov til å handle bare om skilsmisse og gjengifte, ifølge pave Frans og flere andre), og han skriver i et innlegg han kaller «The annulment argument: a quick guide to the two sides.»

There are basically two groups agitating for annulment reform, one saying that there are too many annulments, the other saying that there are too few. Let me suggest that (a) the first group is mistaken if it thinks the annulment problem lies in the annulment process and (b) the second group seeks not so much reform of the annulment process as its effective abolishment.

The first group (those holding that there are too many annulments), can scarcely suggest any procedural reforms (short of requiring tribunals to stamp DENIED on every annulment petition) for nothing about current canon and special law makes declaring marriage nullity easy. Under current ecclesiastical law, nullity must be proven, on specific grounds, based on sworn declarations and testimony, over the arguments of an independent officer, and confirmed on appeal. There are, that I can see, no gaps in the process through which marriage cases may slip quietly but wrongly into nullity. …

No, the objections of the first group to the number of annulments being declared is, I suggest, not to the annulment process but to the people running that process. Tribunal officers are, it is alleged, too naive, too heterodox, or just too lazy to reach sound decisions on nullity petitions; they treat annulments as tickets to a second chance at happiness owed to people who care enough to fill out the forms. How exactly members of this first group can reach their conclusion without extended experience in tribunal work and without adverting to the cascade of evidence that five decades of social collapse in the West and a concomitant collapse of catechetical and canonical work in the Church is wreaking exactly the disastrous effects on real people trying to enter real marriages that the Church has always warned about, escapes me. Nevertheless that is essentially their claim: the process needs no major reform, processors do.

Neither can the second group (those holding that there are too few annulments) credibly point to specific reforms of the annulment process for (with two exceptions …) every phase of the current annulment process is required by natural law to serve the ends of justice (and, as Pope St. John Paul II repeatedly reminded us, the annulment process is about justice—not mercy, not charity, not warm fuzzy feelings, but justice); to eliminate any of these steps would be to gut the unavoidably juridic nature of the annulment process. Natural law requires that presumptions (here, of validity) be overturned only for specific reasons (here, grounds) demonstrated by objective information (here, declarations and testimony) weighed by independent minds (here, judges) subject to review by superiors (here, appeal). Remove any of these steps and, whatever ‘process’ one is left with, it’s not a legal one. Thus I say, push proponents of the second school to be clear, and what most of them must admit seeking is the “de-juridicization” of the annulment process. It’s their right, of course, to make such a proposal, but one should not confuse calls tantamount to elimination of a process with calls for reform of a process. …. LES VIDERE HER.

Peters skriver i et annet innlegg på sin blogg om én av kardinalene som argumenterer mot kardinal Kaspers synspunkter, likevel ikke kan følges i alt han foreslår:

Cdl. Angelo Scola of Milan (not a canon lawyer but appreciative of the connection between canon law and doctrine) is the latest high-ranking churchman to come out solidly against what Sandro Magister calls the Kasper-Bergoglio proposal in regard to Communion for divorced-and-remarried Catholics. Toward the end of his essay, however, Scola offers a ‘fourth suggestion’ for dealing with the annulment problem, namely, a non-judicial canonical process wherein bishops will decide on marriage nullity petitions. Scola’s idea, I suggest, underscores the point that the annulment process does not lend itself to easy reformation. …

At biskopene skal overta annulleringsprosessen, og at dette ikke lenger skal være en juridisk prosess, syns Peters er en svært dårlig idé. LES HANS ARGUMENTER HER.

sept 242014

John Allen skriver en artikkel med følgende overskrift: «Maybe Francis isn’t after a lurch to the left, but a new balance.» Her sier han først at den nye erkebiskopen i Chicago nok er litt til venstre for midten teologisk, mens den nye erkebiskopen i Sydney, Australia, er ganske så konservativ. Han legger også til at mange nye medlemmer at Vatikanets teologiske kommisjon er (dyktige teologer) tydelig konservative. Så fortsetter han:

… So, what gives? Is Francis suffering from multiple personality syndrome, or is there another explanation?

For one thing, in both the Fisher appointment and the ITC nominations, the driving force wasn’t the pope himself. Pell was the prime mover with Fisher, and the choices for the theological commission came from German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, head of the doctrinal congregation, and his staff.

Yet Francis is a hands-on pope, and he wouldn’t sign off on these decisions if he weren’t aware of what they meant.

Perhaps the best hypothesis is that what Francis is really after isn’t a turn to the left, but a new balance. He’s said he wants the church to be in dialogue with everyone, and one way to accomplish that is to ensure a mix of points of view in leadership positions. …

sept 232014

Kardinal Kasper foreslo i vår at Kirken skal lette på restriksjonene (mht å motta sakramentene) for personer som er i et nytt (sivilt) ekteskap. Han har nå blitt kritisert for dette av flere andre kardinalet (i forkant av bispesynoden i oktober) og liker dette lite (fra

In an interview published Sept. 18, a proponent of changing church practice to allow such Catholics to receive Communion answered criticism from some of his fellow cardinals, suggesting they are seeking a «doctrinal war» whose ultimate target is Pope Francis.

«They claim to know on their own what truth is, but Catholic doctrine is not a closed system, but a living tradition that develops,» German Cardinal Walter Kasper told the Italian daily Il Mattino. «They want to crystallize the truth in certain formulas … the formulas of tradition.»

«None of my brother cardinals has ever spoken with me,» the cardinal said. «I, on the other hand, have spoken twice with the Holy Father. I arranged everything with him. He was in agreement. What can a cardinal do but stand with the pope? I am not the target, the target is another.»

Asked if the target was Pope Francis, the cardinal replied: «Probably yes.»

Cardinal Kasper, who will participate in the upcoming synod by personal appointment of the pope, was responding to a new book featuring contributions by five cardinals, including three of his fellow synod fathers, who criticize his proposal to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

Kardinal Müller er en av kardinalene som går mot Kasper, men hans artikkel i den omtalte boka ble trykket i L’Osservatore Romano allerede i oktober i fjor.

Men i tillegg til kardinal Müllers bidrag til denne første boka, er det også utgitt et langt intervju med ham om samme tema (også denne på Ignatius press i USA – SE HER) Et udrag av denne boka er gjengitt på Firt Things nettsider, og der leser vi bl.a.:

Cardinal Müller: Not even an ecumenical council can change the doctrine of the Church, because her Founder, Jesus Christ, entrusted the faithful preservation of his teachings and doctrine to the apostles and their successors. The Gospel of Matthew says: “Go and teach all people everything that I commanded you” (cf. Mt 28:19–20), which is nothing if not a definition of the “deposit of the faith” (depositum fidei) that the Church has received and cannot change. Therefore the doctrine of the Church will never be the sum total of a few theories worked out by a handful of theologians, however ingenious they may be, but rather the profession of our faith in revelation, nothing more and nothing less than the Word of God entrusted to the heart—the interiority—and the lips—the proclamation—of his Church.

We have an elaborate, structured doctrine about marriage, all of it based on the words of Jesus himself, which must be presented in its entirety. We encounter it in the Gospels and in other places in the New Testament, especially in the words of Saint Paul in the First Letter to the Corinthians and in Romans. We also rely on tradition, with many writings and reflections of the Fathers of the Church, such as those of Saint Augustine. These are joined by the particular development that Scholasticism and the Magisterium made in the Councils of Florence and Trent. Lastly, a final stage in the progressive exposition of dogma is magnificently expressed for us in Lumen Gentium and, above all, in Gaudium et Spes (nos. 47–51), which are a complete synthesis that the Second Vatican Council made of the Church’s entire doctrine on marriage, including the question about divorce also.

In this regard, the Church cannot allow divorce in the case of a sacramental marriage that has been contracted and consummated. This is the dogma of the Church. I insist: the absolute indissolubility of a valid marriage is no mere doctrine; rather, it is a divine dogma defined by the Church. In the case of a de facto break-up of a valid marriage, another civil “marriage” is not permissible. Otherwise, we would be facing a contradiction, because if the earlier union, the “first” marriage, or, more precisely, the marriage, really is a marriage, the other later union is not a “marriage.” In this regard, I think we are playing with words when we speak about a first and a second “marriage.” A second marriage is possible only when one’s legitimate spouse has died or when the previous marriage has been declared invalid, whereby the preceding bond has been dissolved. Otherwise, we are dealing with what is called an “impediment of the bond.” …

Ganske tydelige ord av kardinal Müller – som er leder av Troskongregasjonen.

sept 232014

kurset i katolsk tro i St Hallvard kirke i går kveld snakket vi bl.a. om forholdet mellom tro og viten, Kompendiet til den katolske kirkes katekisme skriver slik om dette:

3. Hvordan er det mulig å erkjenne Gud ved fornuftens lys alene?

Med utgangspunkt i skaperverket, det vil si verden og den menneskelige person, kan mennesket gjennom fornuften alene med visshet erkjenne Gud som universets opprinnelse og fullendelse, som det høyeste gode og som sannhet og uendelig skjønnhet. (31-36, 46-47)

4. Er fornuftens lys alene tilstrekkelig til å erkjenne Guds mysterium?

På veien mot erkjennelsen av Gud ved fornuftens lys alene, støter mennesket på mange vanskeligheter. Faktisk kan det ikke på eget initiativ tre inn i det indre guddommelige mysterium. Derfor er det avhengig av å bli opplyst av Guds åpenbaring, ikke bare om de sannheter som overstiger menneskets forståelse, men også om de religiøse og moralske sannheter …

John Allen skriver (et stykke nede på siden) om det som skjedde 12. september 2008 – også i en egen artikkel – at det virker som pave Benedikt fikk rett mht Islam, i sitt Regensburg-foredrag, at de som kritiserte ham den gang kanskje nå må beklage. Men det bør de egentlig ikke, for pave Benebikst foredrag handlet jo ikke om Islam, men om forholdet mellom tro og viten:

… In the Catholic commentariat, there’s been discussion lately about whether Pope Benedict XVI is owed an apology for the brouhaha that broke out in 2006 over a speech he gave in Regensburg, Germany, which opened with a citation of a 14th-century Byzantine emperor linking Muhammad, the founder of Islam, with violence.

At the time, Benedict’s quotation was seen as a crass religious slur. Now, with the rise of the self-declared ISIS caliphate in northern Iraq and its bloody crackdown on religious minorities, things look a little different.

However, the revisionist take on his words risks a repeat of the fatal mistake of eight years ago, only in reverse. Aside from its second paragraph, the Regensburg speech really had nothing to do with Islam, and reading it that way distorts the point the retired pontiff was trying to make.

If you read the entire 4,000 word text – which, to this day, relatively few of the pundits commenting on it seem to have done – you’ll discover that Benedict’s primary points of reference aren’t Muslims, but rather Socrates, Duns Scotus, Immanuel Kant and Adolf von Harnack, luminaries of the Western intellectual tradition.

If Benedict was criticizing anything, it wasn’t Islam, but rather Western secularism and its tendency to limit the scope of reason to what can be scientifically and empirically verified, excluding any reference to ultimate truth.

The heart of Benedict’s argument at Regensburg was that reason and faith need each other. Reason shorn of faith, he suggested, becomes skepticism and nihilism, while faith deprived of reason becomes extremism and fundamentalism. In isolation, each becomes dangerous; to be healthy, they need each other.

In Regensburg, Benedict warned against “a reason which is deaf to the divine,” among other things pointing out that ignoring the transcendent handicaps the West in trying to engage the rest of the world, which takes religion seriously, indeed.

“Listening to the great experiences and insights of the religious traditions of humanity, and those of the Christian faith in particular, is a source of knowledge, and to ignore it would be an unacceptable restriction of our listening and responding,” he said.

Benedict XVI saw himself as a teaching pope, not a governor or a diplomat, and there’s no doubt his eight-year reign suffered because of it.

Yet as a teacher, he had an impressive record. ……

sept 232014

John Allen skriver om utnevnelsen av biskop Blase Cupich til ny erkebiskop i Chicago – andre skriver at dette kanskje hadde med å gjøre at Cupich kjenner erkebiskopen/kardinalen av Boston, O’Malley, og denne kardinalen er en av pave Frans’ spesielt utvalgte rådgivere. Men han skriver også om hva slag biskoper pave Frans ønsker:

… by now we have a fairly clear picture of what Francis wants.

First, he wants moderates rather than ideologues, men who will defend church teaching but whose first instinct isn’t political confrontation, and who keep lines of communication open with all camps.

Second, he wants bishops of the “Social Gospel,” meaning leaders with a special concern for the poor, for immigrants, and for those at what he’s called the “existential peripheries” of the world.

Third, he wants men who see themselves as pastors rather than bureaucrats or diplomats, shepherds who, in his memorable image, “carry the smell of their sheep” because they’re close to the ordinary people they’re called to serve.

By all accounts, that’s what Francis has got in Cupich, an Omaha native whose previous job was as the bishop of Spokane in Washington.