Hey! Pope Francis just dropped a strong hint about the Kasper proposal.

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Sep 04, 2015

Last October, when the Synod of Bishops debated the “Kasper proposal,” proponents of the change said that pastoral considerations must come first. Opponents replied that pastoral practice can’t be separated from doctrine.

Today, in a message to a theological conference in his native Argentina , Pope Francis came down firmly in support of the latter argument:

We often identify doctrine with backward conservativism. On the contrary we think of pastoral care in terms of adaptation, reduction and compromise. As if they were not in any way related. This creates a false contrast between the so-called “pastoralists” and “academicists,” those who are on the people’s side and those who support doctrine.

There’s no question that Pope Francis has encouraged discussion of the Kasper proposal. But does he plan to push that proposal through, regardless of broad opposition? If so, why did he just repeat one of the opponents’ strongest arguments?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Bernadette - Aug. 09, 2016 10:16 PM ET USA

    If I thought the hierarchy made up the Catholic Church, I would leave in a minute. It is difficult, but Jesus wants me to pray for the salvation of their souls, and I look to Jesus as my authority in the Church.

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Aug. 09, 2016 6:32 PM ET USA

    I plan to ask my own bishop about this before he leaves for Rome in a month. He is orthodox in his thinking and would be the right one to lead the effort.

  • Posted by: stpetric - Aug. 03, 2016 11:44 AM ET USA

    Outrageous.

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Aug. 03, 2016 7:00 AM ET USA

    How long you ask? Phil, don't hold your breath. In 2008, addressing Biden's position on abortion, Bishop Malooly told the Associated Press that he won’t ask Biden to withdraw from receiving communion even though several of his fellow bishops have done so. He said he would rather change Biden’s opinion on abortion. How has that worked out for him? How long, O Lord is indeed the question.

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Aug. 03, 2016 1:39 AM ET USA

    America's Bishops are too busy studying how to be PC and inoffensive to call out those who give scandal though their actions. Unfortunately, they also think amnesty is a good idea; undoubtedly thinking it will instantly add numbers to the church and forgetting it will add numbers to the abortion party. And more unfortunately for them, they can't say they didn't know.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Aug. 02, 2016 11:29 PM ET USA

    If memory serves, on many media appearances before becoming Vice President, Biden would preface the interview by informing the interviewer of what a good Catholic he was and the fact that he had been an altar boy. It is the antithesis of Catholicism to boast of your presumed status before God and your sanctity when you were ignorant, while today you wink at the Dark-Ages mentality of the Church, shaking your head disapprovingly at the Church's "bigoted" stance in supporting Commandments 5-8.