Kirkerettseksperten Edward Peters er ganske så kritisk til kardinal Kaspers påstand om at halvparten av ale ekteskap er ugyldige (jeg skrev om det her). En slik påstand er ikke dokumentert, skriver han, og påstanden skader som er gift og forsøker å få ekteskapet til å fungere så godt som mulig. Han skriver bl.a.:
….. I worked in tribunals for ten years. I saw hundreds of null marriages—not all of them Catholic, many not even Christian, but hundreds nevertheless. I need no more proof that there are far too many null marriages (including many between Catholics who married in Catholic rites) to let us ignore the great crisis in marriage today. But to parlay “there are too many null marriages” into “half of all marriages are null” seems like hysteria to me.
But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Kasper (and the pope?) are right, maybe half of all marriages (or at least half of whatever kind of marriages the prelate has in mind) are null. What then?
Well, the first step (or the second, depending on whether one wishes first to know whether this dark view of marriage really is the pope’s) would be, I think, to ask for some evidence in support of such an astounding assertion. Is there a better time than now to present such evidence, if it exists? Surely those preparing for upcoming Synod on Marriage need to know whether the sacrament they are examining is being conferred invalidly as often as it is validly. But, if it turns out that there is no evidence for the claim that marriage is as often chimeric as it is real, then the immediate project shifts to one of repairing the damage done to the psyches of all those preparing for, or struggling in, marriage, damage done by telling such folks that their chances for nothing were as great as their chances for something.
Then, I trust, we can refocus on the real problems in marriage today and marriage law. Of which there are plenty.