Kardinal Kaspers foredrag om ekteskapet

Kardinal Kasper holdt et langt foredrag om ekteskapet for en stort antall kardinaler, i Vatikanet 20. februar. Det gikk ikke lang tid før hele foredraget nådde pressen, og siden er det blitt diskutert ganske så grunding – mest fordi kardinal Kasper gjerne ville finne en løsning slik at skilte og gjengifte katolikker likevel kunne motta nattverden. Denne artikkelen av professor Robert Fastiggi i Detroit, USA,tar på en interessant måte opp hele innholdet i foredraget, og jeg tar med noen utdrag under:

…. In his March 5, 2014 interview with the Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, Pope Francis was asked about the Cardinal’s presentation. The Holy Father remarked that Cardinal Kasper had given “a most beautiful and profound presentation” (una bellissima e profonda presentazione). He indicated, though, that section five of the Cardinal’s talk is likely to generate an intense discussion, which we should not fear because it can lead to theological and pastoral growth. …

… Cardinal Kasper provides a very rich anthropological and biblical synthesis of the theology of marriage. He also takes note of the many challenges facing the Church with regard to the present state of marriage and family life. His address is divided into five parts with two appendices. The five sections are: 1) the family in the order of creation; 2) the structures of sin in the life of the family; 3) the family in the Christian order of redemption; 4) the family as domestic Church; and 5) the problem of the divorced and remarried.

I agree with Pope Francis that there are many beautiful insights about marriage in this presentation, especially in the first four sections. Cardinal Kasper highlights the foundation of marriage in the natural law (section 1); the importance of children (section 2); the family as the fundamental cell of society and a school of the virtues (section 3); the Church’s need for the family and the family’s need for the Church (section 4). In my opinion, these first four sections provide a very beautiful synthesis of the key points of the Catholic theology of marriage.

The fifth section of Cardinal Kasper’s address is the most controversial. In this section he discusses the difficulties faced by Catholics who are divorced and remarried civilly. He affirms the indissolubility of sacramental matrimony and the impossibility of a new marriage while the other spouse is still living. He describes this as “part of the tradition of the binding faith of the Church and it cannot be abandoned or dissolved by an appeal to a superficial comprehension of a cheap type of mercy.” Nevertheless, the Cardinal wonders whether the door might be open to further development regarding the pastoral care of the divorced and remarried without abandoning the binding tradition of the faith. By way of comparison, he mentions how Vatican II was able to develop the Church’s response to the questions of ecumenism and religious freedom without violating traditional doctrine. In this regard, Cardinal Kasper suggests that divorced and remarried Catholics can be allowed to receive Holy Communion in individual cases under certain conditions after an appropriate penance. …

I denne artikkelen problematiseres spesielt fire punkter i kardinal Kaspers foredrag:

1) The move beyond Church tribunals: Cardinal Kasper states that it is not divine law (iure divino) that cases of the divorced and remarried must only be handled by juridical means. He wonders whether the bishop might not entrust these cases to a priest with pastoral and spiritual experience as a type of penitentiary or episcopal vicar. This evasion, though, of the Church’s juridical process seems to have many potential dangers. If the priest is going to make a declaration of nullity of the prior putative marriage, on what basis can he make this judgment other than through the Church’s canon law? ….

2) The need to move from general rules to the consideration of the unique situation of the human person ….

3) The ancient Church provides examples of allowing the divorced and remarried to be re-admitted back to ecclesial communion and the Eucharist. ….

4) The Catholic Church has never rejected the practice of the Eastern Orthodox on allowing divorce and remarriage. ….

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