There is no doubt that the German bishops and, I would guess, the Swiss bishops and perhaps others, want to address the problem of the civilly divorced and remarried Catholics receiving the Eucharist. The Holy Father wants to address the pain this causes. I think everyone would like to find a way to mitigate the isolation these Catholics experience.
The question is how? Perhaps nothing can be done. The current teaching is consistent, coherent and maintains continuity with the past. As harsh as it sounds, it does look like such a person is living in perpetual adultery. If there is a nicer way to say it, good! But right now I think this summarizes the problem. You can’t permit someone to Holy Communion who is living in mortal sin. People who remain celibate in this second marriage can come to Holy Communion. But this seems to be a small percentage.
Nevertheless, the Church can deepen in its understanding of its truths. This won’t contradict the doctrine but will deepen our understanding of it and, in some cases, may change accompanying disciplines.
So, having watched this discussion and having read much of the pertinent contemporary literature, I am still unable to make out exactly what Cardinal Kasper’s proposal really was. It is possible that it sits in a foreign language document somewhere, But if so, then why are we so interested in it what we don’t know since I can’t find anyone stating it in English.
All I can say with certainty is that there is definitely a sense among the German bishops that, perhaps, there is a penitential act that can be performed and some new look at the annulment process. But this is hardly a proposal.
The fine books that have come out exploring the avenues he wanted to pursue seem to have blocked those paths. Ignatius Press has two very good books. Paulist Press has Cardinal Kasper’s lecture under the title Gospel of the Family.
Has anyone located an actual proposal by Cardinal Kasper?
Watch Raymond Arroyo’s interview on EWTN tonight at 8 EST and last week’s as well.
AND IF YOU FIND CARDINAL KASPER’S CONCRETE PROPOSAL SEND IT TO ME!