Thursday, May 08, 2014
The Clericalist Mindset.
My favorite Cardinal has it. And he just revealed it today in imitation of the Hagan Lio style of his boss:
"That’s a real problem. I’ve spoken to the pope himself about this, and he said he believes that 50 percent of marriages are not valid. Marriage is a sacrament. A sacrament presupposes faith."
Leaving aside the ridiculous imprudence of Kasper revealing such, there's another serious problem. Namely, that statement is wholly, purely clericalist. Yet neither Commonweal's interviewer nor "Best-educated laity ever!™" commenters even noticed it.
"Oh, so it's only the sacrament confected by the *laity* that's invalid half the time--but you *clerics* nail it every single time? How happy for *you*!"
Really. I mean, if we're going to indict the laity for defective sacramental intention, then we'd better worry about the clerics that the same frivolous, dork laity have produced, right? They didn't emerge from some pristine dimension unsullied by the culture, correct? If you're not willing to consider such, then why not? That's one of the places that unfortunate assumption leads.
Yet another problem with this mindset is that it's an assault on natural marriage, as commenter Danielius points out below:
Hilarious. There goes the tradition that natural marriages are real marriages. Then what about amending the Canon Law, to make some additional rules about entering a marriage? Because if indeed 50% are not valid then how is that not a mockery of the Holy Matrimony to allow this to continue? Oh well, that would be unmerciful, wouldn't it? So instead, lets delegate the power of annulling marriages to the same priests that didn't bother to check if all is in order in the first place. That will work.
The last is crucial: nowhere in Kasper's meanderings is there a hint of clerical negligence in the marriage crisis. If you genuinely believe half of marriages are invalid, that should prompt serious soul-searching on your part, a mea culpa and admission of gruesome failure. But, nope. Vague waving at "bureaucratic" presentations, and that's it.
Again, how convenient.
No. Half of marriages being null also suggests that this is not exactly the golden age of the church we're told it is, nor is all remotely well. A 50% failure rate is only spectacular in the batting box. And a true church of mercy shouldn't be so sanguine with souls.
Sorry, but that doesn't cut it. At least it shouldn't.