Cardinal Kasper: ‘Amoris Laetitia’ controversy is over

He accused critics of making the mistake of committing “one-sided moral objectivism” that does not do justice to the role that personal conscience plays in moral acts

Cardinal Walter Kasper. (Credit: Bohumil Petrik)

The controversy regarding Amoris laetitia has come to an end, according to German cardinal Walter Kasper. What is more, he has affirmed that the admission of remarried divorced persons to the sacraments in individual cases is, in his view, the only correct interpretation of the post-synodal apostolic exhortation.

Writing in an op-ed for the German language section of Radio Vatican, the prominent prelate asserted that “with the official publication of the letter from Pope Francis to the bishops of the Buenos Aires region, the painful dispute over the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia is hopefully over.”

The “great majority of God’s people have already received this letter with gratitude and may now feel confirmed [in this stance],” Kasper wrote in the article published Dec 7. He accused critics of making the mistake of committing “one-sided moral objectivism” that does not do justice to the role that personal conscience plays in moral acts.

The admission of remarried divorced persons to the sacraments in individual cases, as the papal letter dated September 5, 2016 to the bishops of the Buenos Aires region of Argentina agrees with, according to Kasper, has its basis in traditional doctrine, “especially that of Thomas Aquinas and the Council of Trent.”

Full story at Catholic News Agency.

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  1. Steve Seitz says:

    I wish the cardinal would cite a concrete example of a situation were conscious would allow the intentional, continuos contravening of divine revelation.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Sure, that would be nice if he had done that. But you don’t have to wait for it, all you have to do is reach out and listen to people in that situation. Women who have been beaten by their husbands, watched their children be beaten by their husbands, fear for their life – these people have a moral obligation to remove themselves from that relationship. If they then find consolation in a new healthy relationship – one which might allow for a better economic circumstance for the child especially – and who still sense a calling to the married order. What else would you have them do? Live in misery from no fault of their own? God doesn’t want us to be in misery, but in joy.

      • Most people who remarry struggle even more in the second marriage. The issues are not resolved and more second marriages end in divorce. To ask someone to live a chaste life is not to make them suffer. It’s to alleviate the suffering. In no way does it prevent people in abusive situations to seek help and develop healthy relationships. As Christians we are called to live chastely in our relationships with one another.

      • YFC,
        Long time – no see, eh? 🙂

        I’ve talked to many women who’ve escaped abusive relationships. Most of these marriages were annulled or probably could have been. But I’ll concede that some could have been valid.

        God truly wishes our happiness. But because of sin, our ultimate happiness is typically found through suffering. I’m sorry to say this because I HATE suffering. But it’s typically through suffering that we become holier, thus closer to obtaining our ultimate happiness with God.
        [1 of 2 – Continued]

      • [2 of 2 – Continued from Previous]
        I’ve twice undergone a decade of very serious suffering (one spiritual: one social). Both times, I remained faithful to Christ during these periods. In retrospect, I wouldn’t trade that suffering for anything: I’ve come to realize that it was grace. I’ve known others who’ve suffered more yet have the same view. In the cases that you mentioned, it could be that Christ is offering this cross as a means to their holiness.

        There are things about our current culture that makes it tougher for me to be holy. But I’ve come to realize that it’s precisely through this culture that my holiness will be found.

      • YFC, I disagree that there is a moral obligation to remove oneself from an abusive spouse. There is a moral obligation to protect children however divorce may not be necessary.
        There is no such thing as a “calling to the married order.” Marriage is not an order. And even if marriage is a calling from God, it is a sure thing that God does not call one to a second marriage while the first spouse is still living.
        God wants us to find our joy in Him so that things of the earth do not make us miserable.

  2. Deacon Craig Anderson says:

    It appears that if the one committing adultery (Jesus’ words) impregnates his mistress, then he might be able to receive Holy Communion more easily, write the Argentine bishops. Might his mistress receive as well? They specifically mention children. “In other, more complex cases, and when a declaration of nullity has not been obtained… Nonetheless, a path of discernment is still possible. … especially when a person believes they would incur a subsequent wrong by harming the children of the new union, Amoris Laetitia offers the possibility of access to the… Eucharist (cf. footnotes 336 and 351).” Also, how does an unclear footnote in an Apostolic Exhortation outweigh previous Papal Encyclicals, Canon Law, the long tradition of the…

    • Steve Seitz says:

      Deacon Craig,
      Thank you for the examples. The first example doesn’t make sense to me from a conscience perspective.

      The second example is more weighty. But the couple could live together without sexual intercourse. Not only would this be the best option, but it could also be viewed as a type of penance that helps offset the grave disorder that the couple introduced in the first place.

      In other words, the conscious option doesn’t seem valid in either example.

  3. If ‘Amoris Laetitia’ controversy is over, Catholicism is over.

  4. One must wonder whats there next topic, married priests (same sex) and women priests ? There sure are in a hurry to wrape AL up.

  5. If Amoris Laetitia means one can receive Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin (vis a vis being in an adulterous ‘marriage’), then it is contrary to the words of Our Lord and the 2000 year teachings of His Church. These princes of the Church that endorse AL are leading the faithful astray.

    • No. Amoris Laetitia does not mean that one can receive communion in a state of mortal sin. It means that, for various and rare reasons, one could be in a second marriage and not be in mortal sin. One could live as brother and sister, for example. The first marriage was not valid could be another reason. One would try to obtain an annulment but in some cases if the annulment is not granted, a couple could appeal it.
      No one should approach the sacrament knowing they committing a grave sin or were not in a state of grace.
      That teaching has not changed.

      • “Hence it is can no longer
        simply be said that all those in any “irregular”
        situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are
        deprived of sanctifying grace.” -AL Chapter 8 301

        The teaching has not changed? Where in previous Church teaching would one have found anything similar to the above?

        • AL Chapter 8 Paragraph 301 states: For an adequate understanding of the possibility and need of special discernment in certain “irregular” situations, one thing must always be taken into account, lest anyone think that the demands of the Gospel are in any way being compromised. The Church possesses a solid body of reflection concerning mitigating factors and situations. Hence…(the quote as above).
          So I cannot tell you what those are and there is no footnote to elaborate, but unless you are just calling the Pope a liar, they exist.

          • Who did you call a liar?

          • Again, where in the previous teaching of the Catholic Church was it ever proclaimed one could receive the Holy Eucharist in a state of mortal sin? The answer is of course, is that it was never the teaching or practice to give the Holy Eucharist to those in a state of mortal sin. Amoris Laetitia teaches a novelty never before taught in the Church.

          • Clinton R., no one has ever said, including Pope Francis, that one can receive the Holy Eucharist in a state of mortal in. Amoris Laetitia does not teach that.

    • WELL SAID
      Clinton R.

  6. If they can defy traditional RC Church teaching here on this subject and get away with it, then the unraveling of Church Doctrine will only continue. There will be no V2 Church left in a generation or two. Pitty those souls that will be lost. Pray for those souls with the courage to ask for God to show them, where they can find Him, where He will remain with his faithful Roman Catholic followers until the end of time as He so promised!

  7. This controversy isn’t over by a long shot. Most priest’s I know ignore the troublesome passages of AL.

  8. Some people show that they can be very inventive when coming up with situations in which the only choice that a person can make to avoid some evil is to have sex outside a valid sacramental marriage. They can be writers for porn films.

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