Failing to preach Humanae Vitae has destroyed marriages and endangered children

By Rick Fitzgibbons on Life Site News

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In the Church’s ministry to Catholic families, marriages, and children, a major goal should be protection from the severe trauma of divorce, as well as assisting those traumatized by divorce. The divorce plague has afflicted millions of loyal Catholic spouses and innocent children worldwide and, unfortunately, continues to do so.

St. John Paul has given the Church an outstanding guide for assisting Catholic families, including those who are divorced, remarried and not reconciled to the Church, in The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World. This Apostolic Exhortation was the fruit of the gathered reflections from Bishops of the month-long Synod of Bishops on the Family in 1980.

A major issue raised by Cardinal Kasper for the Synod on the Family and supported by other Synod Fathers is ministry to divorced Catholics who have remarried such that they can receive the Eucharist without further reconciliation with the Church.

St. John Paul in The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World, n.84. has offered the Church and her pastors a great deal of insight and wisdom in assisting such families.

He wrote, “Together with the Synod, I earnestly call upon pastors and the whole community of the faithful to help the divorced, and with solicitous care to make sure that they do not consider themselves as separated from the Church, for as baptized persons they can, and indeed must, share in her life. They should be encouraged to listen to the word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and community efforts in favor of justice, to bring up their children in Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace.”

St. John Paul II has criticized to the ideas of Cardinal Kasper to waive the 2,000-year moral teaching of the Lord and his Church. He wrote, “The Church reaffirms her practice, which is based on Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.”

He offered additional wisdom for such families and their children. These couples should, “undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, the take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, abstinence from acts proper to married couples.”

This teaching from one of the most important documents in the Church on the Catholic Family by St. John Paul II demonstrates that the Church seeks to serve, love, and want the best for divorced and remarried couples not yet reconciled with the Church and their children. Contrary to the recent statement of Pope Francis, the Church does not, “… keep them (the parents) far from the community life (of the church) as if they were excommunicated.”( [1] Full text here)

It is difficult to understand why the Holy Father failed to cite in his recent statement the outstanding, merciful contribution to assist these families from St. John Paul II.

One of most challenging and painful aspects of my clinical work as a psychiatrist over the past forty years has been that of attempting to help youth, young adults and loyal spouses who have been severely traumatized by divorce. Psychological science has documented the life-long damage from divorce, particularly to young males who demonstrate difficulties in giving themselves successfully in school and in work.

The Holy Father’s additional criticism of the Church and her priests of causing harm for these youth by “additional weight beyond what the children in this situation have to bear” is completely unclear and inconsistent with my 40 years’ clinical experience with such families. Youth in such families are regularly welcomed into the life of parishes and participate in the sacramental life and numerous activities for youth if encouraged to do so by their parents. Unfortunately, divorce seriously harms the spiritual life and practice of faith of the children of divorce, which Elizabeth Marquadt has described in her book, Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce. This psychological damage to trust and subsequent anger are what keep youth away from the Church.

Dr. Norval Glenn, the late distinguished family scholar from the University of Texas wrote in the introduction to Marquadt’s book, “The proportion of emotionally troubled adults is around three times as great among those whose parents divorced as among those from intact families. No amount of success in adulthood can compensate for an unhappy childhood or erase the memory of the pain and confusion of the divided world of the child of divorce.”

The major cause of harm to Catholic youth and loyal spouses in divorced families has been the failure to teach the truth of Humanae Vitae to Catholics over the past 45 years. Contraceptive use increases marital mistrust, anxiety, anger, selfishness, and conflicts in communicating. Contraception is a way of saying to a spouse, via the language of the body, that, “I will withhold the total gift of myself to you and not trust you with our fertility.” As both personal anecdotes and statistics bear out, this momentous decision – contrary to rosy predictions of greater marital happiness when contraception was first legalized – has undermined the foundation for giving and receiving love from one’s spouse.

The growth in marriage from “me” to “we”, which St. John Paul II describes as an aspect of betrothed love in Love and Responsibility is also dependent upon trusting the Lord with every aspect of one’s marriage. In using contraceptives, the couple is unconsciously communicating to the Lord, “We do not trust you with our fertility.”

A clear and scientifically irrefutable relationship exists between the use of contraceptives, the epidemic of narcissism, and the plague of divorce, with its life-long damage to millions upon millions of young children, young adults, loyal spouses, and Catholic families worldwide.

The refusal to proclaim the saving-truth contained in Humanae Vitae to Catholic youth and marriages and to address the psychological and sociological science related to the damage done by the divorce-epidemic need to be addressed in October’s Ordinary Synod on the Family. Divorce prevention can and should occur. Children, youth, loyal spouses, and the Faith will be protected if the truth is finally communicated to Catholic families.

A clear and scientifically irrefutable relationship exists between the use of contraceptives, the epidemic of narcissism, and the plague of divorce, with its life-long damage to millions upon millions of young children, young adults, loyal spouses, and Catholic families worldwide.

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47 Responses to Failing to preach Humanae Vitae has destroyed marriages and endangered children

  1. An excellent essay, but is it really so “difficult to understand why the Holy Father failed to cite in his recent statement the outstanding, merciful contribution to assist these families from St. John Paul II”?

    Sadly, many of us have come to the conclusion that Pope Francis wants to make his own “merciful contribution,” by having the October Synod allow divorced and “remarried” Catholics to received the Eucharist. The Pope will then approve this action by the Synod, calling it not a change in doctrine but a change in pastoral care.

    A lot of people have come to believe that if the gates of hell are not to prevail against the Church, we may need a miracle to prevent it.

  2. John A. Kehoe says:

    If the Synod, with the endorsement of the Pope, does allow divorced and remarried persons to receive holy communion in certain circumstances should those who disagree go off and found their own Church ?

  3. For me i would ask my priest whose side is he on-if he agrees with the Heretic Kasper proposal i would leave my Parish Church and go to the SSPX Masses and The Tridentine Masses.You KNOW whose side they are on and it aint Kasper!!!

  4. John A. Kehoe says:

    The Society of St Pius X as far as I aware has no Canonical status within theCatholic Church. Of course they favour the Tridentine Mass and a lot more besides from Pre Vatican II.
    I wonder in what manner a proposal, in certain circumstances, to admit to Communion divorced and remarried Catholics would affect the individual rights or offend the sensibilities of Catholics who are not so divorced and remarried ?
    Catholic legislators who have voted in parliament for same sex marriage recognition, and more liberal abortion laws, are not being barred from Communion without any general condemnation arising.

  5. Mr. J.A.K. at 20:23

    Canon 915
    Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.
    This (as my writing) applies to politicians who have voted for such things as you have mentioned in your comment, and to those who remarry while in a valid marriage. I know the point of your comment was about lay reactions, but this Canon gives your remarks context.

  6. The Raven says:

    Unless my recollection of history is defective, Mr Kehoe, the great majority of the “plebs” (as the Roman patricians were pleased to name us common folk) were in favour of gladiatorial contests. Did that affect the morality of those contests? Did the acclamation of the many validate the actions of the gurbenatorial class who supported and paid for such spectacles?

    Is your claim that popular acclamation changes the nature and morality of an action? Even in the face of the explicit words of Our Lord?

  7. johnhenrycn says:

    Can I ask for a seven letter word that rhymes with…oh, never mind.

  8. johnhenrycn says:

    …but seriously, Mr Kehoe (13:20) – asking a loaded hypothetical like that concerning the outcome of the October hootenanny is out of order. We are well advised to keep our powder dry – not to load up and fire wildly in all directions.

  9. johnhenrycn says:

    Failing to preach Humanae Vitae has destroyed marriages and endangered children

    …says the headline, yet no mention of the encyclical’s author. Why no reference to Paul VI who wrote it? I ask this because of whisperings in the loggia, including some things I only stumbled upon whilst reading or in consequence of reading CP&S, namely these:
    http://www.chiesaviva.com/donluigivilla%20ing.pdf
    -and-
    http://huttongibson.com/PDFs/Paul-VI-Beatified-Book.pdfhttp://www.chiesaviva.com/donluigivilla%20ing.pdf

    Father Luigi Villa, referenced in the first link, is author of the second link. I’m put off by all of the bold print and bold capitals in his screed – the second link – but others reading it may feel differently.

  10. John A. Kehoe says:

    The Hapsburg Restorationist @ 23.36 on Aug.20
    Yes, I understand Canon 915 which you quote, but Catholic legislators who supported abortion and same sex marriage legislation have not been excluded from Communion in this country, Ireland. I do not know about the United States where one or two bishops have spoken out about such possible exclusion but I am not aware if this threat was actually carried out, even in one such identifiable case.

    I do not favour divorce and remarriage but I wonder why this group is treated in one way, while other prominent Catholics who publicly defy Catholic dogma are left unscathed

  11. John A. Kehoe says:

    The Raven @ 00.35 Aug 21. I made no such claim that popular acclamation changes the nature or morality of an action. My point is simply that whereas the Catholic Church is to date firm in the exclusion from Communion of divorced and remarried Catholic, it is not at all in practice as consistent in such exclusion from Communion of Catholic legislators who vote in parliament for abortion and same sex marriage despite occasional warnings from one or two bishops, never implimented

  12. The Raven says:

    Mr Kehoe,

    Is your conclusion to urge on us an equality of laxity or an equality of rigour?

    The plain fact is that to receive communion while in a state of unrepentant sin is to make the cup of life into the cup of damnation: we have this on the authority of the Apostle.

    It is an act of mercy to be clear in the teaching of Our Lord on remarriage and to prevent people from deluding themselves that they are justified in receiving communion when it may harm them instead of helping them.

    As for the politicians, they know the teaching of the Church (or at least they should do) and they know that the teaching of the Church excludes them from communion if they vote in favour of such measures, that they persist in receiving communion is a scandal, but a scandal of their making, not the Church’s.

  13. John A. Kehoe says:

    The Raven. August 21 @11.47.
    The scandal of dissenting politicians being permitted to receive Communion is something the Church has control over but in which it chooses not to intervene. In that sense the Church is contributing to the scandal..

  14. The Raven says:

    I note that you have chosen to evade my question, John.

  15. johnhenrycn says:

    “…the Church is contributing to the scandal.”

    I agree, except that the word Church should read clergy.

  16. John A. Kehoe says:

    The Raven August 21, 2015 at 14.51. To the extent that the clergy choose to permit Catholic dissenting politicians to receive Communion, they should also choose to permit divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion . Otherwise there is inconsistency of practice.

  17. John A. Kehoe says:

    johnhenrycn August 21,2015 at 14.54.

    Agreed, substitute ‘clergy’ for ‘Church’ but should the Church stand idly by when its clergy will not enforce its doctrinal practices ?

  18. johnhenrycn says:

    Mr Kehoe at 15:24 – Why are two wrongs a better choice than one wrong? If a synod “with the endorsement of the Pope” (which, with respect, is a formulation you favour when speaking of synodial outcomes) were to allow artificial contraception, it would inconsistent not to allow abortion as well. We cannot, must not, give an inch on that front; nor should we on the divorced receiving Communion one.

  19. johnhenrycn says:

    Mr Kehoe at 15:29 – The Church can do no wrong. Full stop. But we’re just quibbling. An occupational hazard.

  20. Michael says:

    Hello John,

    I must say I kind of agree with you here (which is a nice change!) in that the ecclesia docens very much should do more to condemn Catholic politicians who are anything less than firm in upholding Church teaching on abortion, and that pastors should withhold the Sacrament from them (after all, they cannot claim that they do not know who the culprits are in this case).

    However, I am curious – are you simply pointing out an inconsistency here, or are you arguing that because the Church has not prevented such politicians from receiving the Eucharist, that this is some kind of justification for allowing the divorced and remarried to receive?

    I know you are in favour of the latter (admittedly only in certain circumstances, a view which I do not think can really be upheld in practice, but that’s another story…) so I am curious to know whether or not you are making a case for Kasperite proposals based on current inconsistencies, or just pointing out that there is one?

  21. johnhenrycn says:

    Like you, Michael, I’d like to know where he stands on the issue of divorced people receiving Communion. You say that he accepts it in certain circumstances. He says (10:56) that he does not “favour” divorce. Does he mean that he would not personally choose divorce, but nevertheless accepts it as a valid Catholic option? Or does he mean that it is not a valid Catholic option, but nevertheless should have no Catholic consequences?

  22. John A. Kehoe says:

    johnhenrycn August 21,2015 at 17.19 and 17.24.

    Two similar wrongs are not, of course,, a better choice than one wrong but at least they would be consistent.
    If the Church can do no wrong,as you say, its clergy certainly can, for example, by their accommodating attitude to the reception of communion for dissident Catholic politicians and when they do wrong it raises serious credibility issues for the Church itself. As Catholics,we do not as individuals meet the Church in the abstract, but we do necessarily engage with the Church through its clergy. In this sense the Church and the clergy become synonymous terms

  23. johnhenrycn says:

  24. Michael says:

    @JH, August 21st, 18:57:

    Indeed – despite the many debates surrounding this topic that have arisen recently, I am still not entirely sure what John’s desired outcome is (although his comments have certainly been in favour of Kasperite ‘progress’, generally speaking). One thing that has been fairly consistent though is the insistence that whatever the outcome of the Synod in October, its findings will be given automatic papal endorsement and have to be accepted de fide – this I am, to say the least, a little sceptical about.

  25. Michael says:

    Correction – ‘…accepted as de fide

  26. johnhenrycn says:

    “Correction – ‘…accepted as de fide‘ “

    Are you sure? I thought your original was right. People say “the hoi polloi” when “hoi polloi” will do. But we shall have to rely on our resident experts.

  27. johnhenrycn says:

    I’d say John was king ‘de facto’, not ‘as de facto’.

  28. Michael says:

    Are you sure? I thought your original was right.

    I think (not 100% sure mind) that I am right that I was wrong! Yes, you would say John was king ‘de facto’ and not ‘as de facto’ because in this case the ‘de facto’ is referring to the reason John is king (John is king ‘from law’). In the other case though, ‘de fide’ describes the thing we are to accept (a particular dogmatic definition for example) and so we are to accept that it is ‘of the faith’ – therefore we accept it as (being) of the faith, not just ‘of the faith’.

  29. Michael says:

    To condense what I just wrote, I think the difference is that in the king example the description refers to the subject (or at least something pertaining to the subject) whereas with ‘de fide’ it refers to the object (of our faith).

  30. John A. Kehoe says:

    Michael August 21 2015 at 18.12.
    Hello Michael. I am pointing out one inconsistency which I argue raises credibility issues for the Church it its position on what is morally necessary for a worthy reception of Communion in individual circumstances. Of itself, the inconsistency does not make the case for Cardinal Kasper’s proposals.
    However, morality- or rather what the correct interpretation of it is- is a shifting concept as was the theme of ‘Does Morality Change’ a book by an Irish theologian Father Sean Fagan C.M.
    One example of that moral shift, raised by me in another blog, was the insistence by the Catholic Church in former times that the punitive regime in Catholic schools to combat sin in young people was necessary, wholesome and entirely beneficial. This strong conviction has in recent times given way to an express insistence, by the Catholic Church itself, that such a punitive regime must not be tolerated in their schools ‘under any circumstances’. This is not to condemn Catholic priest teachers and religious of that era who beat us. Maybe they were right. Who am I to judge ? But I must engage in moral gymnastics to get my mind around it.
    Times change,as does our view of what morality or practice should be.
    Tempora mutantur et nos in illis mutamur.
    I look forward with great interest to what the outcome of the Synod will be.

  31. johnhenrycn says:

    Some examples from the Web support you, Michael, but de fide literally means “from faith”; so I submit to you that your original statement about something being “accepted de fide” was at least as correct “as de fide”, the as in which seems superfluous.

    But really, all of this is de trop😉

  32. Michael says:

    but de fide literally means “from faith”

    Yes, indeed it does, although the alternative meaning ‘of faith’ or ‘of the faith’ is I think acceptable as well, and English usage I think leans towards the latter. In fact, even if one were to use the strictly literal translation (‘from faith’), I think the ‘as’ would still make for a smoother sentence, given that what is being referred to is an object, or more correctly, the status of that object (e.g.; one would accept proposition x as being true). Nevertheless, as much as it is important to be de rigueur in linguistics, this is, as you say, all de trop, so I shall remove myself de profundis forthwith 🙂

  33. The Raven says:

    Dear John

    Your argument is for uniformity in laxity: let the “remarried” be damned alongside the genocidal proabort politico.

    How exactly is that an expression of mercy?

  34. Michael says:

    Of itself, the inconsistency does not make the case for Cardinal Kasper’s proposals.

    Good, that’s all I wanted to know.

    However, morality- or rather what the correct interpretation of it is- is a shifting concept

    If you really believe this, how can you ever be sure of making sound moral judgements? Practices change yes, and what is accepted by society at a given time, but the moral principles upon which we base our reasoning cannot, or else there is no basis for our making judgments at all. The issue of corporal punishment, and its use in all schools, has been gone over ad infinitum already, so I will not go into that at the moment. ‘Correct interpretation’ (or rather what you mean by this) may need a little more clarification before I could comment – as it stands, it comes across as a little bit weasely (copyright Toad, 2015).

    As Catholics,we do not as individuals meet the Church in the abstract, but we do necessarily engage with the Church through its clergy. In this sense the Church and the clergy become synonymous terms

    This is a false inference John – there is a reason that the Church makes a distinction between the teaching office of the Magisterium and the day-to-day preaching/practice of clergy at parish level. I agree that a consistency between the two would be highly desirable, but their parity cannot be expected, and thus the infallibility of the Church does not reside in an aggregate of ‘front-line’ practice. If it did, Our Lord’s promises re the gates of hell not prevailing would have been undermined centuries ago.

  35. John A. Kehoe says:

    Michael 22 August 2015 at 10.00.
    I raised the issue of corporal punishment in Catholic schools in this context ( as a Catholic I am not concerned with practices elsewhere) to show that a practice which had significant impact on the early lives of so many Catholics could – as such practice- be not merely abandoned without explanation, but could suddenly be forbidden ‘ under any circumstances’.. While this issue has indeed been gone over many times, and has been the subject of sociological and historical comment, the opposite positions have not been satisfactorily resolved in a Catholic moral context. Inconveniently for the Catholic Church,it does show a moral shift and that is no small matter.
    If after the forthcoming Synod there should be another such shift, this time in Catholic practice with regard to the reception of Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, I fail to see how this should upset any Catholic who himself or herself is not involved.

  36. John A. Kehoe says:

    The Raven August 21 2015 at 21.34.
    Dear The Raven,
    The difficulties Catholics who divorce and remarry are in with regard to the Church can hardly be compared with ‘the genocidal proabort politico’. We should not be too sure about damnation being their final destination. Somewhere in the gospel, Christ, in rebuking the self righteous, spoke about fornicators and adulterers getting into heaven before them.

  37. johnhenrycn says:

    Mr Kehoe says: “We should not be too sure about damnation…”

    That’s a bit condescending. Anyway, you’re the one who first (at 15:24 on 21 Aug) suggested an equivalency between pro- abort politicians and divorced Catholics.

  38. The Raven says:

    John

    As JohnHenry points out, you raised the pols in the course of this discussion.

    And the self righteous have no more hope of heaven than the unrepentant adulterer. I believe that I have already pointed out that it is not an act of mercy to allow a man or woman to do something inimical to his or her salvation.

    I believe that your argument is commonly called “whataboutery”.

  39. John A. Kehoe says:

    johnhenrycn August 22 2015 at 16.33. I did indeed mention the two groups, pro-abortion politicians and divorced Catholics but not to show equivalency but the different treatment by the Catholic Church of them; in the first group of failure to exclude them from Communion and in the second group excluding them from Communion.

  40. John A. Kehoe says:

    The Raven 22 August 2015 at 16.41. I did indeed raise the matter of Catholic politicians who support abortion and same sex marriage but only to show the different treatment of them by the Catholic Church which does not, like the Church’s attitude to divorced and remarried Catholics, withhold Communion from them.

  41. Michael says:

    I raised the issue of corporal punishment in Catholic schools in this context ( as a Catholic I am not concerned with practices elsewhere) to show that…

    Yes, I know – as I said, this topic has been gone over many times already. The point of disagreement is that you contend that this represents a genuine shift in moral theology with respect to the legitimacy of any corporal punishment, and that there has even been some kind of magisterial pronouncement on the matter. I (and others) contend that this is false.

    If after the forthcoming Synod there should be another such shift, this time in Catholic practice with regard to the reception of Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, I fail to see how this should upset any Catholic who himself or herself is not involved.

    a.) There is a profound difference between changed approaches to corporal punishment and the allowing of people in a state of mortal sin to receive the Eucharist.

    b.) Given that this would be the case (to make it clear, I will repeat myself: the allowing of people in a state of mortal sin to receive the Eucharist) – a situation which would involve overturning either dominical teaching on marriage, apostolic teaching on the Eucharist, or both, how could any Catholic possibly fail to be upset about this?

    c.) You’ve made several comments to the effect that you are simply awaiting the outcome of the Synod with impartial interest, and don’t really have a favoured outcome. But it seems to me from everything else you’ve written that you very much favour the Kasperite proposals – will you admit this? And if so, how can you not see this as a fundamental betrayal of Catholic teaching, undermining the promises of Our Lord that His Church would be protected from error in faith and morals?

  42. johnhenrycn says:

    “…it seems to me from everything else you’ve written that you very much favour the Kasperite proposals…”

    My thought too, Michael, about Mr Kehoe. The Kasperite description is not unwarranted, and indeed, I think Mr Kehoe would accept it.
    ___
    One thing though: Mr Kehoe doesn’t need pre-moderation. We got off on the wrong foot largely because of my banter which he didn’t appreciate, but he has shown himself to be a serious Catholic commenter, and I look forward to his comments appearing once again in a timely fashion.

  43. John A. Kehoe says:

    Michael 22 August 2015 at 18.52.
    You question the existence of ‘some kind of magisterial pronouncement’ against corporal punishment in Catholic schools and that any such claim as I have made ‘is false’.

    In their major policy document ‘Our Children, Our Church’ (2005) The Irish Bishops’ Conference included, inter alia, the following instruction to Catholic personnel working in Irish Catholic schools and institutions:
    ‘Physical punishment of children is not permissible under any circumstances’.

    In the Irish Catholic Church context we do not get instructions any more magisterial or authoritative than that which officially proceeds from the Irish Bishops’ Conference.
    A similar ban on corporal punishment for similar ‘change of mind’ reasons has gradually occurred in Catholic schools in the U.S. where I had a hand in bringing an end to it in the last Catholic school in which it was practised in the deep South.

    I stand over my assertion that in this matter there has been a volte-face in Catholic practice from harsh to benign treatment of children and that a similar outlook in respect of divorced and remarried persons may follow the Synod’s deliberations

  44. John A. Kehoe says:

    johnhenrycn August 22 2015 at 19.26. Call me Kasperite,if you wish, but since we do not yet know what Cardinal Kasper’s final position before the Synod will be, it is not possible to endorse him absolutely in advance or, I trust, to denounce him either. I think his proposals, or such as have emerged in the media,and those of others, should be fully discussed. Otherwise why is the Synod being convened ?

    I thank you for your comment that I don’t need pre-moderation. Alas, I am still regarded as dangerous in my most recent post marked ‘Your comment is awaiting moderation’.
    Might I respectfully draw the attention of the moderators to the Socratic question :
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes ?
    [The moderator – Nemo judex in sua causa, Mr Kehoe]

  45. Michael says:

    In the Irish Catholic Church context we do not get instructions any more magisterial or authoritative than that which officially proceeds from the Irish Bishops’ Conference.

    Really? Not even from the Vatican say, or an ex cathedra statement from the pope? My point is that you seem to think statements from the Irish bishops is equivalent to a magisterial declaration, which it isn’t. Furthermore, there certainly has been a change in practice, but that this represents a change in moral principle is something that I would question, and I further suggest that to do so is the result of a confusion of categories.

    I stand over my assertion that in this matter there has been a volte-face in Catholic practice from harsh to benign treatment of children and that a similar outlook in respect of divorced and remarried persons may follow the Synod’s deliberations

    I don’t think any volte-face will follow from the Synod*, nor do I believe that, even if findings contrary to the Faith were produced, that this would actually constitute in a change in doctrine – synods cannot do that. However, my main point here is that the equivalency you see between the two cases does not exist – the latter (following Kasper’s proposals re the divorced and remarried) would represent a fundamental change in Catholic teaching, which the former case does not.

    …since we do not yet know what Cardinal Kasper’s final position before the Synod will be

    I know this was not directed to me, but I must say that I am amazed you claim we can be ignorant of what Card. Kasper’s position is, given the wealth of information available here (including a full-length book written by the cardinal). It is especially strange for you to have (on several occasions) written in support of his proposals, if we cannot actually be sure what his position really is… Anyway, I’m off to bed – cheerio for now!

    *I repeat my earlier question to you John – how can you not see such a volte-face as a fundamental betrayal of Catholic teaching, undermining the promises of Our Lord that His Church would be protected from error in faith and morals?

  46. The Raven says:

    John

    The Catholic Church most emphatically prohibits pro-abort politicians from receiving communion, the fact that many such politicians continue to present themselves for communion in circumstances where to refuse would cause scandal is further proof of the depths of their immorality and wickedness.

    The fact that the great majority of remarried people do not present themselves for communion is a testimony to their virtue and may, by God’s grace, be a marker of their redemption.

    The weakness of clerics in teaching the faith is not an argument for changing the faith, any more than the weakness of the enforcement of laws against mobile-phone use while driving is an argument for the abolition of those laws.

  47. John A. Kehoe says:

    Michael August 22 2015 at 22.17..

    Good night to you, too, sweet adversary and may flights of angels help us to sleep off our differences.

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