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New book by Cardinal Kasper explores pastoral approach for divorced/remarried Catholics

Catholic World News - March 10, 2014

A new book on the family by Cardinal Walter Kasper, expanding on the ideas that he explored in a speech to the February meeting of the College of Cardinals, will soon be published in German and Italian editions.

In his lengthy address to the consistory, looking forward to the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops, which will be dedicated to the family, Cardinal Kasper suggested a new pastoral approach to Catholics who are divorced and remarried. The German cardinal told Vatican Radio that he introduced the subject with the encouragement of Pope Francis, who “wanted an open discussion about an urgent problem.”

Cardinal Kasper’s address was not made public, and reporters received only a short summary. But The Gospel of the Family, the new volume by the former president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, offers a fuller treatment of the theme.

“I maintain the full teaching of the Church, but the teaching has to be applied to concrete situations,” Cardinal Kasper said in his Vatican Radio interview. He explained that the Church must find ways to reach out to divorced and remarried Catholics, “to help, support, and encourage them.” His own suggestion, he said, was an attempt to avoid both “rigorism” and “laxism” in that effort.

Cardinal Kasper said that responses from the laity to a questionnaire distributed by the Synod office suggested a widespread difficulty in understanding the Church’s pastoral approach. The Church must “bridge this abyss,” he said.

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Defender - Mar. 11, 2014 2:26 AM ET USA

    And the pope puts up with him....

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Mar. 11, 2014 2:06 AM ET USA

    Interesting question: Has the Church failed to adequately prepare Catholics for sacramental marriage? In my opinion, there is no question that in many cases the Church has. How? By her failure to prepare Catholics for life in the real world, i.e., for informed evangelization. One cannot hand on to another what one does not already possess. How many Catholics have been prepared to stand toe to toe in a discussion of the Catholic faith with Protestants, cultists, agnostics, atheists? Not many.

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