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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