oktober 2014

Ubehagelig å være vitne til (den uryddige) prosessen

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. …

Disse tre paragrafene i dokumentet fra bispesynoden ble ikke vedtatt

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]

Et par kardinaler intervjues

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:

Mer uro under bispesynoden

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.

Om bispesynoden

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.» …

Fr Hunwicke har besøkt København

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.

Leder av den amerikanske bispekonferansen om familiesynoden

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. …

Ratzingers bok og Kaspers foredrag

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. …

George Deek og kristne arabere i Israel

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.

Hva skal skje på bispesynoden?

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.

Om katolsk ekteskapsforberedelse

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. …..

Om antatt gyldige ekteskap

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. …

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