Rorate Caeli can be somewhat reactionary and antagonistic when it comes to the papal Magisterium. Yet they quote the following in a recent Rorate Caeli post that raises legitimate questions and the one who is doing so is the Cardinal from Bologna, Italia. My comments follow the Rorate Caeli posting:
Cardinal Caffarra's firm stance on communion for "remarried":
Its approval would mean complete end
of "Catholic doctrine on human sexuality"
Regarding the wild proposals of Cardinal Kasper made before the last Consistory of Cardinals regarding legitimizing by way of Eucharistic communion the "remarriage" of divorced couples (we could call the Kasper Doctrine of "mariages sauvages"), Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop of Bologna, had the firmest possible words in an interview to Matteo Matzuzzi published this Saturday in Il Foglio:
[Regarding Cardinal Walter Kasper's proposal on the possibility of readmitting to communion, after a period of penance, the couples of remarried divorcees who ask for it, following a period of penance, Caffarra says:] "If the Church admits [them] to the Eucharist, she must anyway grant a judgment of legitimacy to the second union. That is logical. But now - as I asked - what to make of the first matrimony? The second, it is said, cannot be a true second matrimony, considering that bigamy goes against the word of the Lord. What about the first one? Is it dissolved? But the Popes have always taught that the power of the Pope does not reach that point: the Pope has no power over a marriage that is ratum et consummatum. The proposed solution leads us to think that the first matrimony remains, but that there is also a second kind of cohabitation that the Church legitimizes. It is, therefore, an extramarital exercise of human sexuality that the Church legitimizes. But with this, the foundational pillar of the Church's doctrine on sexuality is negated. At this point, one could ask: so why are not free [extramarital or premarital] unions approved? And why not relations between homosexuals?" [Excerpt provided by TMNews Italy.]
Cardinal Caffarra naturally got the fulcrum of the matter - indeed, the Kasper Doctrine means exactly that, the demolition in one fell swoop of the entire Catholic doctrinal edifice on human sexuality and the sacrament of matrimony. And that consequence is not at all a coincidence.
MY COMMENTS: Cardinal Caffarra is making clear to the pope and the upcoming synod the obvious. And he states it succinctly. And he also states the obvious that the more progressive element in the Church in line with liberal Protestantism wants to fundamentally change Scripture and Tradition as well as natural law to accomodate the political pressure upon the Church by powerful political lobbies. My previous post below this one captures what liberal politicians and governments want the Catholic Church to do.
If the synod on the family fundamentally changes Church teaching of sexuality, then the door is open for us to become just like the Episcopalians.
I don't believe that will happen and I will wager a bet that it won't. It can't. If it does, the Church will be catapulted into schism the likes of which we haven't seen since the Great Schism.
But what can be done to assist those who are divorced and in second civil unions not recognized by the Church as marriage and thus living in a state of objective mortal sin and thus cut off from the Sacraments of the Church which they cannot worthily receive while in this state?
The annulment procedure is the only legitimate external forum for them and the Church could streamline this procedure to make it more pastoral and quite frankly, take the word of the petitioner and respondent without recourse to witnesses apart from them in terms of testimony that could lead to the Church declaring the marriage in question an invalid Sacramental marriage.
The annulment procedure can also and should also be streamlined for Protestants who have previous marriages and are either married to a Catholic in a civil union or desire to marry a Catholic in the Catholic Church. The simplest thing to do here is to simply establish that the Protestant, either the petitioner or respondent did not understand the true Catholic meaning of marriage, which is grounds for an annulment. That should be easy to do!
The other thing the Pope could endorse when the question of Holy Communion to divorced Catholics in an illicit civil union is debated is the "internal forum." There is much confusion in the Church and amongst priests and bishops what this means and when it can be used. In fact it is used quite frequently but perhaps illicitly. The internal forum, which is part of the Sacrament of Penance and thus under the seal of this sacrament needs canonical guidelines. I could see this as a possibility also.