Cardinal Kasper backtracks during interview

June 16, 2015
Source: District of the USA

During a recent EWTN interview Cardinal Kasper backtracked his affirmation that Pope Francis approved his "pastoral solution".

In 2014, Cardinal Walter Kasper affirmed that his “pastoral solution” for giving Communion to re-married divorcees had Pope Francis’ support: “Clearly this is what he wants”.[1]

But during a recent interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo, the German cardinal responded to the question, “Do you agree with that still and are you speaking for the pope?” by backtracking, which LifeSiteNews reported under the headline: "Kasper admits he ‘exaggerated’ by claiming Pope Francis approved his Communion proposal".

No, no, no,’ responded Kasper. ‘Of course I spoke beforehand with the pope ...and he was in favor to open the debate, but not a certain proposal. And I did not ask him what he wants, but he wanted to touch the problem and to open the debate. This he wanted and this I did, but then I had the impression he was, more or less, he agreed (in) what he said afterwards with the Cardinals. It was not against his opinion, but I cannot say that I have now made the proposal of the Pope.’”

Arroyo continued to press the “increasingly exasperated and defensive” Cardinal Kasper, who “at one point denied that he had made any proposal at all.”

Responding to Arroyo’s observation that priests were contending with divorcees and even homosexuals who were demanding that they receive Communion because ‘this is clearly what the pope wants,’ Kasper responded: ‘Well this is a misunderstanding, and first of all, it was a question, and I put the question to open the debate. It’s not a proposal. And therefore, of course a couple can come and want Holy Communion. I spoke about a penitential process, a penitential way, it needs time.’

But you do understand, when a churchman like yourself, a theologian, an esteemed international figure, a curial official, says ‘here is my proposal and the pope agrees with me,’...’

‘Well I did not say that,’ retorted Kasper.

Well you did say, and the quote is: ‘Clearly this is what he wants’ and ‘the pope has approved of my proposal,’ responded Arroyo.

No, he did not approve my proposal,’ the cardinal replied. ‘The pope wanted that I put the question, and afterwards, in a general way...before all the cardinals. He expressed his satisfaction with my talk, but not in the end, not in the special question. I would not say that he approved the proposal, no, no no.’”

Based upon these comments of Cardinal Kasper, LifeSiteNews opinioned in its news analysis that:

Cardinal Kasper’s new, more ambivalent posture regarding a proposal he has so aggressively promoted for two years in tandem with Pope Francis, and his retreat from his claim that the pope supports him, may indicate that Francis is having second thoughts on the matter."

After reviewing Pope Francis’ remarks and actions that were “very amenable to Kasper’s thinking”—starting from a few days after his papal election and continuing up to and even after the October 2014 Synod of the Family—LifeSiteNews then suggested:

Kasper’s new attitude regarding the pope’s position dovetails with the pope’s own increasing public reticence regarding Kasper’s proposal. Following a massive and sustained outcry from clergy and faithful against the proposal, the pope no longer makes statements urging more laxity towards people in illicit unions and has increasingly spoken in favor of traditional marriages, urging larger families and denouncing gender ideology. His statements about the second synod, scheduled for this October, have become increasingly vague, and he has recently hinted that he no longer seeks to give Communion to the divorced and ‘remarried.’

In response to a reporter’s question regarding such cases during a March interview, Francis responded that 'we are not fixing anything' by allowing Communion [to divorced and re-married Catholics]. ‘What the Church wants is for you to integrate your life into the life of the Church,’ he added.”

We would hope Pope Francis’ remark about the importance of integration “into the life of the Church” positively signals that he is done in allowing a speculative view on the issue in question and seeks a return to the sane bedrock of definitive Church teaching. So far though, the scandal of authorizing such a debate and not correcting those who introduce it in the Church remains.

As opposed to an encyclical on climate change, what we really need for saving our planet is a pope who will publicly proclaim the Gospel on earth in the midst of a general moral pollution!

  • [1]. All quotes are from LifeSiteNews, June 9, 2015 article, "Kasper admits he ‘exaggerated’ by claiming Pope Francis approved his Communion proposal".