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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pope Benedict's Big Edit.

It appears that Pope Benedict XVI did not care at all for Cardinal Kasper's attempt to press-gang him into supporting the latter's assault on indissolubility. 

How do we know that? According to the largest newspaper in his homeland, the Pope Emeritus has removed his previous (1972) support for giving communion to civilly-remarried divorcees from the official collection of his theological works. Instead, he now favors a revised annulment process. The editorial framing notes this development with disapproval, calling it "political."

For those who have made politics a substitute religion, I imagine it is.

For those who care about the Catholic teaching on marriage, this is big news. And a most welcome note of support.

[Update, 11/19/2014: Father Zuhlsdorf has more detail about the story, including the fact Pope Benedict addresses his change of mind in the introduction.]


  1. Dale. Do you know if Bishop Emeritus Ratzinger changed his premises and research about this question or just his conclusions for M.J has read elsewhere - not Fr z - that that is the case.

    If that is so, if one changes conclusions but retains his premises and research, doesn't that smack of opportunistic politics and doesn't that violate Ratzinger's promise to stay silent?

    This is all quite novel and disgraceful and it appears to continue the practice of applying naturalism to the papacy - begun with Paul VI forcing Cardinals to retire at age 80 (If Cardinals, why not Popes?) and so one now is already inured to the idea of Popes, just like other CEOs of major corporations, retiring even though Saint Paul wrote about dying with his flock.

    This is all alarmingly novel and seriously depressing

  2. I don't have any more data than what I've linked to. From my perspective, one can look at the same data and premises and come to a different conclusion without compromising one's integrity. One could come to a more pessimistic view of human behavior, or start to worry about slippery slopes and incentivizing bad behavior, for example. But, yes, I'd like to see the introduction in full to get a flavor for why.

    I admit I'm a bit biased in favor of Benedict generally, but also I'm a big fan of the great weathervane of American intellectual life, Orestes Brownson. He changed his mind because he changed his mind, not because he was an opportunist. For example his pessimism about the political life of the American people grew over time, even though he still had a profound regard for the Constitution.

    Further, in the case of Benedict, I think it was incumbent upon him to announce any change of mind because of the nefarious use to which Kasper put his 1972 essay.

  3. Good points but as regards the last paragraph, one desires the actual Pope pipe-up about whether or not he agrees with Kasper who claims that he does.

    What a pathetic pickle we are in with a Pope and an abdicated Pope at loggerheads over this issue.

    Surely, at some point the raises against his hole cards will be so strong that Bergolio will have to concede the pot and throw in his hand, right?

    Maybe not, as Pope he prolly thinks he can declare his pair of deuces, Aces, and that will win the pot and leave the Synod flat broke and busted.

  4. Can we please stop referring to Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Emeritus? He abdicated his position, so he no longer holds it in any way.
    Just because Pope Francis has called Ratzinger Emeritus is no reason we have to do it. In my opinion Pope Francis uses Ratzinger terribly. Then back he goes into the box. Shameful.

  5. *** The painfully slow process of uncovering the child abuse that happened within the Catholic Church continues. The members of the church continue to try and protect the wrong people, at the expense of victims, their families and the American public. ***

    The Archdiocese of Chicago has voluntarily released documents related to 36 Archdiocesan priests who have at least one substantiated allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor. These documents are in addition to those released in January on 30 other priests. This release, together with the January release, covers priests who have substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct with minors identified on the Archdiocese's website as of November 2014. Documents pertaining to two priests, former Rev. Daniel J. McCormack and Rev. Edward J. Maloney, are not included, due to ongoing processes that do not permit release.

    Inquiries may be directed to the Office of the Protection of Children and Youth, Archdiocese of Chicago, PO Box 1979, Chicago, IL 60690.


Be reasonably civil. Ire alloyed with reason is fine--slagging the host gets you the banhammer.