Cardinal Walter Kasper has said he believes a “growing majority” of the synod fathers are in favour of his proposal to allow some divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion.
Speaking yesterday evening, the German cardinal said: “I hoped there would be some opening and I think the majority is in favour. That is the impression I have, but there is no vote. But I think some opening would be left [to happen]. Perhaps it would also be left to the next part of the synod.”
Asked if he thought his proposal was causing confusion among the faithful, he said: “I can only speak of Germany where the great majority wants an opening about divorce and remarriage. It’s the same in Great Britain, it’s everywhere. When I speak to lay people, also old people who are married for 50, 60 years, they never thought of divorce but they see a problem with their culture and so every family has a problem nowadays.
“The Pope also told me that [such problems exist] also in his family, and he has looked at the laity and seen the great majority are for a reasonable, responsible opening.”
He continued: “Nobody is putting into question the indissolubility of marriage. I think it wouldn’t be a help for people, but if you look to the word of Jesus, there are different synoptic gospels in different places, in different contexts.
“It’s different in the Judaeo-Christian context and in the Hellenistic context. Mark and Matthew are different. There was already a problem in the apostolic age. The Word of Jesus is clear, but how to apply it in complex, different situations? It’s a problem to do with the application of these words.
“ The teaching does not change but it can be made more profound, it can be different. There is also a certain growth in the understanding of the Gospel and the doctrine, a development. Our famous Cardinal Newman had spoken on the development of doctrine. This is also not a change but a development on the same line. Of course, the Pope wants it and the world needs it. We live in a globalized world and you cannot govern everything from the Curia. There must be a common faith, a common discipline but a different application.”