Pope Attacked Over Motu Proprio; Cardinal Kasper Reasserts His Proposal

Pope Attacked Over Motu Proprio; Cardinal Kasper Reasserts His Proposal


Reports have emerged that a seven-page dossier, obtained by the German newspaper Die Zeit, is circulating around the curia in which senior Vatican officials have voiced discontent with the recent change in Church law on annulments, and an absence of consultation over the matter.

On Tuesday, the Pope made sweeping reforms to make the process of obtaining a declaration of nullity simpler, quicker and cheaper.

According to Die Zeit, the officials juridically “tear to pieces” the Pope’s motu proprio (papal decree) on annulment reform, accuse the Holy Father of giving up an important dogma, and assert that he has introduced de facto “Catholic divorce”. The report also mentioned “physical aggression coming up against the Pontiff.”

Further concerns mentioned in the document are that, despite the gravity of the issue, no dicasteries, including the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as well as bishops conferences, were consulted about the decision — a claim the Register has had confirmed by numerous sources.

Critics say this goes against the Pope’s calls for synodality and collegiality, and resembles an ecclesialized “Führerprinzip”, ruling from the top down, by decree and without any consultation or without any checks.

The dossier, which speaks of “unsettling developments”, argues that Francis “circumvented” the regulated process for changing legislation for the universal Church. Instead, the papal commission that drafted the motu proprio had been ordered to keep silent throughout the drafting process, probably to avoid the reforms being thwarted by the CDF and others in the curia.

The Register has learned via other sources that this decision and others are effectively isolating the CDF and that the Pope is steadily making their work superfluous.

The report also voices concern that the motu proprio will lead to a flood of annulments and that from now on, couples would be able to simply exit their Catholic marriage without a problem.

“A number of monsignors who are officially in charge of directing the affairs of the Church at large, are beside themselves,” the reports alleges, according to Die Zeit. They are also concerned about the vagueness of the motu proprio, especially the reasons for a speedy trial, such as “lack of faith” or other motives that are not clearly defined.

Although the need to streamline the annulments process gained a two-thirds consensus at last year’s synod, the report also points out that synod fathers loudly protested against the idea of a speedy process for determining the nullity of a marriage under the supervision of the local bishop. Now it is Church law, even before the synod could discuss it.

We hope to look into these claims in more detail in the near future.

Meanwhile, in a fresh interview, Cardinal Walter Kasper has returned to pushing forward his proposal for readmitting Catholics to Holy Communion, saying he is “confident” that a “broad consensus” can be found.

He also said in the Sept. 11 interview with Vatican Insider that it’s “necessary to wisely build” such a consensus over the proposal.

The cardinal’s comments come a few days after many felt Pope Francis’ annulment reform upended the Kasper proposal by offering a compromise to both sides.

Kasper’s remarks, however, show his determination to reassert his proposal which consists of allowing civilly remarried divorcees receive Holy Communion after a penitential period. It also proposes that readmittance can take place after “an honest judgment of the person concerned about his own personal situation” and support from the sacramental confessor. The process would be overseen by the local bishop.

Widely supported by the German hierarchy, the proposal has been firmly rejected by prominent theologians and Church leaders as a serious abuse of the sacraments of the Eucharist, marriage and penance. It also failed to reach a two-thirds majority at the previous synod in October, although the Pope insisted it remain in the list of propositions to be discussed for the forthcoming synod next month.

Cardinal Kasper’s comments come as tensions rise ahead of the Ordinary Synod on the Family in October. Yesterday, it emerged that 50 concerned theologians have appealed to Pope Francis to uphold the teachings of Humanae Vitae (Bl. Paul VI’s encyclical banning contraception) and Veritatis Splendor (Pope St. John Paul II’s 1993 encyclical underlining the Church’s moral teaching).

The signatories, who include Jesuit Father Kevin Flannery, professor of moral philosophy professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and philosophy Professor Robert Spaemann, a close ally of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, argue that a specific paragraph in the Instrumentum Laboris (working document) for the synod is gravely flawed, effectively emptying Humanae Vitae of its central teaching.

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13 comments on “Pope Attacked Over Motu Proprio; Cardinal Kasper Reasserts His Proposal

  1. QUOTE: The cardinal’s comments come a few days after many felt Pope Francis’ annulment reform upended the Kasper proposal by offering a compromise to both sides.


    It’s looks like there is hope it will blow up.

    That Kasper is biting the hand that feeds him isn’t very surprising. That’s just goes with the territory with revolutionaries.

    But it is encouraging that Pope Francis’ easy annulment attack on marriage seems to have rightfully triggered some significant resistance.

    And that the National Catholic Register is coming darn close to being blunt about it.

    Time to redouble prayer and penance.

  2. St Francis, since I cannot access my personal messaging here on the new AQ format, please allow the following: Maybe it’s just me, but I want to offer a sincere, genuinely benign and, I hope, helpful thought… I’d suggest thinking twice before using the word “f__l” about anyone, especially the Vicar of Christ.

    I am reasonably sure that your intent is to convey the PRACTICAL silliness (about which term there is no question or impropriety) that precedes, follows and is on all sides and above and below every footfall of Francis’ entire pontificate.

    But the actual term, singularized, might be running up to the edge in light of what an ex-jew accountant / tax collector related. ( Having worked for decades with CPAs, I’ve learned that they’re usually pretty accurate, out of sheer necessity )

    5 22 But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. ego autem dico vobis quia omnis qui irascitur fratri suo reus erit iudicio qui autem dixerit fratri suo racha reus erit concilio qui autem dixerit fatue reus erit gehennae ignis (DR/Vulgate)

    Again, I’m sorry I could not get this to you privately. Could I have done so, I would have. And you are not alone in using the term. I’ve seen it a number of times on other posts on other websites, and from outstanding trads, in almost all cases.

    Its use has become habituated but I think we all need to be a tad cautious in a matter about which Our Good Lord Himself was quite precise.

    Pax et bonum.

  3. Thanks for the heads up gpm.

    But I stand by my words.

    Bergoglio is a fool, among other things, yeah he’s the legitimate pope, (sadly) but he is what he is.

  4. My sincere and ONLY concern is that the term, f__l really DOES carry a Divine sanction.

    Just sayin’…

    Look, I’m sure you and everyone else here on AQ would love to have devoted the countless hours we’ve spent (and in my case, for over eight years!) ululating all kinds of pious odes on behalf of whichever pontiff we’ve had plopping himself onto the royal Throne.

    I don’t for an instant disagree with your own, which is my own, assessment of what the Argentine has said, done and pixie-dusted all over the planet, to the edification of every last idiot liberal, progressive, enviro-wakco and commie-symp doofus with a media outlet.

    But if Our Lord decided to single out a specific term for a specific reason, I have no choice but to take Him very seriously.

    If the only reason He created me was to bring this point to people’s attention, then I hope I’ve at least done His will in the matter.

    He certainly knows I’ve done nothing else of which He would, or can, approve.

    Beside which, I’m quite sure that Jorge knows EXACTLY what he’s doing.

    Otherwise, the only TWO votes he’d have won in what may yet go down as the most disastrous conclave since the one a thousand years ago that elected that teenager, Benedict IX – an earlier version of Hugh Hefner – would have been from Cd Baloney and Cd “Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’, Keep them Doggies Movin” Dolan.

    Again, pax et bonum.

  5. Gpm,

    What you say is true. And you’re right, we should watch our use of the word fool. There are so many other words that won’t get us into trouble we can use to describe Jorge with.

    Seriously, this is something I will repent next time I go to the Sacrament of Penance.

    The other day after prayer I was contemplating the last 40 or so years and the conciliar popes and comparing them to Jorge.

    While they were all, let’s just say negligent, at upholding and defending the de-fide teachings of Holy Mother Church and their promotion of modernism, they all had at least one good thing that they did to uphold the teachings of the Church. (Which is not an excuse for the other 99%)

    Paul VI with Humanae Vitae, JPII warning against the evil of communism, and upholding the Church’s teachings on abortion and marriage, Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum etc.

    But with Jorge, I can’t find one thing he has done or said that is significant to really defend the Church or Her dogmatic teaching.

    • I’m sure everyone who reads this forum will know exactly where you are coming from by using the word “fool”, and I am sure we have all had similar thoughts or worse. But I am sure that gpm is right.

      Nevertheless, if we recall the traditional distinction between loving the sinner and hating the sin, I am sure that it is quite correct to say that the Pope has done very foolish things. Personally I would say that many of his acts have been evil.

      What we cannot judge is his culpability for those acts because we cannot know his heart. Three weeks into this pontificate I proposed that he suffers from a mental disorder and should be evaluated psychologically. If he does, then that would significantly diminish his culpability for what he has done. If I am wrong and gpm is right – that he knows EXACTLY what he is doing – then he would be a very evil man indeed – maybe the antichrist or the false prophet.

      We are unlikely to know the veracity of either position during his lifetime, however. What we can do in the meantime is pray that he be deposed or depose himself under Canon 401c.

      • As our language has grown to give us more nouns of deprecation, should we take care with these synonyms for “fool”?


        • Although schlemiel and turkey MIGHT find you standing in front of Eric Holder’s good squad on charges of racism, that’s a pretty decent list, Cyprian. Nice work!

        • Probably.

          Certainly at my last confession I confessed using some of those terms about him. I tried to take to heart the wise counsel offered that “we do not need a sledgehammer to crack a nut.” and the wider dangers of the sin of detraction. Unfortunately I have only been partially successful.

      • Deacon, it scares the daylights out of me whenever (which ain’t often!) someone thinks I might be “right” about just about anything!

        After, all, I’ve muddled and scuttled for over six decades and I wouldn’t want to ruin my reputation now!

        But I will say this much, and seriously, Nobody gets into the Jesuit order unless he has a very, very keen mind. I was educated by them, and though my predilection is in the direction of the Dominican tradition, I never met a dumb jebbie.

        I even had a Jebbie lib theo advocate in one of my major studies and, I’ll tell ya, you couldn’t lay a glove on him. He was massively impressive, and deeply pious, to boot! It just happens.

        As far as Jorge goes, one thing I’m convinced of is that HE is convinced that he’s on the side of the angels.

        And that’s another thing that scares the daylights out of me!

        ( Yikes! Run for it! Women and children first! )

        • Why I think your timing to bring up the “Raca” text is particularly right is that I have an ominous feeling about these next few weeks – a “final conflict” type feeling. As one who is likely to be “hung by the tongue”, your reminder of the text convicted me. I’m not sure whether we are going to have many more opportunities to go to Confession.

          As to the Jebbies, I have met many of them who made my skin crawl, but like you I can’t say I’ve met a dumb one.

          • Yeah, when the good Lord sends us trials, He doesn’t much spare us, does He?

            I’m literally and physically sickened by what I see and read, daily. And, believe me, I am the LAST man on earth who has any right to “feel” that way.

            This ain’t my circus. Those are NOT my monkeys. But…

            I literally hate emotion. And yet, it consumes me.

            Which, of course, is my own ****ed fault.

  6. Well, I really don’t know (Who am I to judge?) if what I wanted to bring up IS a matter for Confession but I sure as heck wouldn’t discourage you or anyone else from confessing ANYTHING!!! As I said, I’m sure you meant the term in the way it is simply used, ad libitum, by all and sundry these days, even Trads.

    On the other hand, I think you might be a bit remiss in your assessment of what this most progressive of all progressive popes actually HAS accomplished.

    The folks at YouTube cannot account for the sharp increase in hits on Elmer Fudd videos!

    : – )

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