The Kasper proposal: a friendly amendment

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Sep 24, 2014

An old friend recently wrote to me with a suggestion that seems so practical, it deserves broad consideration:

I find in myself growing sympathy for Cardinal Kasper's concern for a "pastoral solution" to the problem of admitting divorced and remarried Catholics to Communion, and I wish to propose an adjustment in liturgical practice that, I believe, should work to the satisfaction of all parties to the dispute.

I believe it opportune that, at public celebrations of the Eucharist, the presider should add to the ciborium a certain number of hosts made of invalid matter, such as rice-, rye-, or barley- flour, preferably distinguishable by shape and/or color from the valid wheaten hosts. It is these hosts that should be distributed to the divorced and remarried at Communion-time, inasmuch as the reception of the apparently valid but actually profane wafer corresponds perfectly to their superficially regular but actually defective communion with the Church Catholic.

But how, you ask, is the Minister of the Eucharist to know which communicants are true Catholics and which belong to the class of the divorced and remarried? Not a problem. The divorced and remarried will be distinguished by wearing a large red upper-case alpha on their chest, indicating their reception of the antidoron (as the Orthodox churches term the non-consecrated bread distributed after the Holy Synaxis).

This pastorally sensitive adaptation would demonstrate to the world not only the Church's due regard for those in "insoluble marital situations," but her openness to ecumenical progress as well.

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 See full bio.

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  • Posted by: filioque - Sep. 26, 2014 7:10 PM ET USA

    Oh, too cute. Let's have more of these modest proposals!

  • Posted by: - Sep. 26, 2014 5:12 PM ET USA

    So fitting. Red is the wrong shade. Scarlet is the color we are looking for. antidoron my eye!

  • Posted by: - Sep. 24, 2014 2:00 PM ET USA

    Ain't it 7 months or more til April Fools Day? U can't possibly be serious with this post, right? R u now writing for high schoolers exclusively?