Rorate Caeli

Synod: In interview, Kasper says he won - in video, Pell is not so sure. We report, Francis decides.

Cardinal Kasper clearly considers the Final Relatio of the Synod favors his position in an exclusive interview to Il Giornale, translated only by Rorate. Cardinal Pell (see video below) does not. Whose view will Francis favor if the language is unclear?...

“Communion for the divorced if they repent; homosexual [unions] are not family”

Serena Sartini
October 26, 2015

At the closing of the Synod, where his progressive line prevailed, the high-ranked Prelate says: "We will do everything we can to save couples" The Pope will have the last word [on the matter]. Time is needed for the document

“I’m satisfied and happy with the work of the Synod. The final report (approved by a two-thirds majority) is a good text. Now it’s up to the Pope to make a decision. I hope he issues a document which highlights the joy of Christian marriage.” Cardinal Kasper, leader of the progressive front, draws up a balance of the Synod on the Family which has just concluded. In this interview to ‘IL GIORNALE’ he describes the atmosphere of the Synod’s work and the significance of an opening to the divorced and remarried being admitted to Holy Communion, something he strongly supports.

Your Eminence, your line prevailed at the Synod, that is, the possibility of the divorced and remarried being admitted to Communion on a ”case by case” valuation. How would you evaluate the Synod Fathers’ discussions on this theme?

“I’m satisfied; the door has been opened to the possibility of the divorced and remarried being granted Communion. There has been somewhat of an opening, but the consequences were not discussed. All of this is now in the Pope’s hands, who will decide what has to be done. The synod made suggestions. There has been an opening, but the question has still to be resolved in full and needs to be studied more.”

What is meant by it’s up to the presbyter to decide case by case?

“There has to be some conditions in order to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist. In the meantime, an appraisal has to be made [to see] that everything possible has been done to save the first marriage; then that there has to be a path of repentance by the couple. And then a path of reflection and accompaniment [will] be necessary as divorce is a disaster and leaves traumatic experiences in it tracks. Time is needed to overcome the wounds of a separation.”

But doesn’t such an opening risk backing divorce?

“No, not at all. The doors aren’t opened for divorce. Parish priests have to do everything they can to reconcile the couple. Divorce is never a pleasant thing; it is a sad moment most of all for the children of the couple who are separating.”

There have been many disturbing elements: ‘the coming out’ of Monsignor Charamsa who declared his homosexuality, the 13 cardinals’ letter who contested the work methods of the Synod, the news diffused about the Pope having a benign brain tumor. Did all of this destabilize the work at the gathering?

“The Synod did not allow itself to be manipulated. We went ahead with our work along the lines of the fixed agenda, without allowing ourselves to be influenced or manipulated by external factors.”

However, a ‘no’ came from the Synod as regards homosexual unions…

“The theme of the Synod was the family, and homosexual unions are not family. We didn’t linger on the subject of homosexual unions but just on the reality of people with homosexual tendencies inside families. The Church has to help live these situations, and has to help in avoiding discriminations.”

What can we expect now from the Pope?

“I hope that the Holy Father issues a convincing text that highlights the joy of Christian marriage, this is the most important thing. The indissolubility of marriage is not in question, but there is [also]no opposition between mercy and the Truth of the Gospel.”

How long will we have to wait for Francis’ decision?

“Some time is necessary, it is not a document that can be done in one or two days. The final report of the Synod is a base for the Pope. I hope the text arrives during the Year of Mercy. It would be a very good sign.”

Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana


Cardinal Pell is interviewed by Catholic News Service:


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