Cardinal Kasper warns German synodal way risks ‘breaking its own neck’

By AC Wimmer for CNA

 

Cardinal Walter Kasper, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, at the Vatican in April 2015. / Bohumil Petrik/CNA.

Berlin, Germany, Jun 22, 2022 / 14:40 pm (CNA).

A theologian considered close to Pope Francis has warned that the German Synodal Way is at risk of “breaking its own neck” if it does not heed the objections raised by a growing number of bishops around the world.

Cardinal Walter Kasper also said organisers were using a “lazy trick” that in effect constituted a “coup d’etat” that could result in a collective resignation, reported CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner.

The 89-year-old German cardinal is President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and was Bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart from 1989 to 1999.

He spoke at an online study day on June 19 of the initiative “New Beginning” (Neuer Anfang), a reform movement critical of the Synodal Way.

Kasper warned that the Church was not some substance to be “re-molded and reshaped to suit the situation”.

In April, more than 100 cardinals and bishops from around the world released a “fraternal open letter” to Germany’s bishops, warning that sweeping changes to Church teaching advocated by the process may lead to schism.

In March, an open letter from the Nordic bishops expressed alarm at the German process, and in February, a strongly-worded letter from the president of Poland’s Catholic bishops’ conference raised serious concerns.

Such concerns “will be repeated and reaffirmed and, if we do not heed them, will break the neck of the Synodal Way,” Kasper warned in his speech.

It was “the original sin of the Synodal Way” that it did not base itself on the pope’s letter to the Church in Germany, he said, with its “proposal of being guided by the Gospel and the basic mission of evangelization”.

Instead, the German process, initiated by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, “took its own path with partly different criteria”, Kasper said.

In June 2019, Pope Francis sent a 19-page letter to Catholics in Germany urging them to focus on evangelization in the face of a “growing erosion and deterioration of faith.”

The president of the German bishops’ conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, has repeatedly rejected all concerns, instead expressing disappointment in Pope Francis in May 2022.

In an interview published earlier this month, Pope Francis reiterated that he told the leader of Germany’s Catholic bishops that the country already had “a very good Evangelical Church” and “we don’t need two.”

“The problem arises when the synodal way comes from the intellectual, theological elites, and is much influenced by external pressures,” the pope said.

Bätzing, who serves as president of the Synodal Way, is also a signatory to the “Frankfurt Declaration”. This petition demands German bishops should declare their commitment to implementing resolutions passed by the process, CNA Deutsch reported.

On Sunday, Kasper decried this push for “commitment”, saying it was “a trick and, moreover, a lazy trick.”

“Just imagine a civil servant who allows himself to be appointed, then renounces the exercise of his legal obligations,” the cardinal said. “He would be sure to face proceedings under civil service law. Ultimately, such a self-commitment would be tantamount to a collective resignation of the bishops. Constitutionally, the whole thing could only be called a coup, i.e., an attempted coup d’état.”

The Church can never be governed synodally, Kasper stressed: “Synods cannot be made institutionally permanent.” Instead, he said, a synod constituted “an extraordinary interruption” to ordinary proceedings.

The Synodal Way, also referred to as Synodal Path, describes itself as a process bringing together Germany’s bishops and selected laypeople to debate and pass resolutions about the way power is exercised in the Church, sexual morality, the priesthood, and the role of women.

Participants have voted in favor of draft documents calling for the priestly ordination of women, same-sex blessings, and changes to Church teaching on homosexual acts.

Cardinal Kasper has repeatedly expressed concern about the process.

On Sunday, Kasper used the close-sounding German words Neuerung (“renewal”) and Erneuerung (“innovation”) to say one could “not reinvent the Church,” but rather one should contribute to renewing it in the Holy Spirit: “renewal is not innovation. It does not mean just trying something new and inventing a new Church.”

Instead, Kasper continued, true reform was about “letting the Spirit of God make us new and give us a new heart.”

Analogously, he said, the term “reform” applies to bringing the church back “into shape,” “namely, into the shape that Jesus Christ wanted and that he gave to the Church. Jesus Christ is the foundation, no one can lay another (1 Cor 3:10 f); he is at the same time the capstone that holds everything together (Eph 2:20). He is the standard, the Alpha and Omega of every renewal.”


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7 Comments

  1. Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.

    Matthew 22:37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

    1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

    Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

    John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

    Mark 7:20-23 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

    The Lord gives us wise counsel and rebukes designed to save our souls. Praise be to God.

  2. Words are cheap. In the possibly “rigid” (and less scandalizing) Church prior to the hijacking of the Second Vatican Council, Cardinal Kasper might be instructed to reflect a touch more on his own role in the recent events that he now counsels…

    His introductory two-hour theological/moral fluidity at the front end of the Synod on the Family (2014-2015). And then the open-ended themes and nuggets retained into Amoris Laetitia (Ch. 8 and fn. 351)—rather than discarded, or at least better conformed to the deposit of faith?

    Should Kasper (also said to be the brain within the St. Gallen Mafia) publicly retract his enabling verbiage of seven years ago? Would a lay penitent be required to make this more corrective restitution? Or, are Kasper’s words today—yes, really back on track—probably enough? Depending on what, if anything, comes next? In a carnivorous world, how to put the toothpaste back in the tube?

    Perhaps, something from the Congregation on the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), although now reduced to a dicastery? Or, an awakened about-face from Marx and Batzing themselves? Or, decisive guidance instead of probably one-sided listening at the Synod on Synodality? Or, removal of a red hat, or two? Or, behind the scenes, the maturity of serious fraternal collegiality, and later, a global conclave not interested in sucking up to the Western heresies?

    How to retrack mercy together with truth, and never without it?

  3. Kasper denies the Resurrection. He denies the Real Presence. He rejects Church teaching against artificial contraception and Female Priests. He is also a racist who dislikes African Catholics, as Edward Pentin revealed during the so called Synod of the Family. He has done incalculable damage to the Church, including partial responsibility (with other German Bishops) for the collapse of Catholicism in Germany, for which he has never repented or apologized.

    In short, Batzing, Marx and all the other Synodal Schismatics owe their success to Kasper and the foundation of heterodoxy he built, and taking that particular train to it’s logical destination-Schism. If and when they end up leaving the Catholic Church (either voluntarily or otherwise) then they should do the Church a favor and take Kasper with them.

  4. Suddenly, breathtakingly the remaining denizen of the original planners of Church deconstruction, the fabled Saint Gallen Group headed by impresario for radical Church deformation Cardinal Mario Maria Martini SJ, the originator of an open ended synodal Church – a champion of orthodoxy. O brother Walter Kasper where art thou in spirit and in truth? Are we to be convinced of sudden conversion? What great miracle is this?
    Can it be one of the many canards so typical of this pontificate? The convincing attestation to orthodoxy while in marvelous simultaneous tempo the unsettling chant of heterodoxy. How can we be convinced unless focus is similarly and simultaneously shifted from The German Way to the pontifical Synod on Synodality Way and its papal appointed advocate of the New Adult Homosexual Relations Way of relator Cardinal Hollerich? Examples are priceless, here cardinal Kasper responds to the 2014 consistory. After a thoroughly orthodox presentation of Christian marriage and the family he summarizes:
    “Noting the large number of persons suffering from the effects of divorce. It is not enough to consider the problem only from the point of view and from the perspective of the Church as a sacramental institution. We need a paradigm change and we must – as the good Samaritan did – consider the situation also from the perspective of those who are suffering and asking for help. The issue cannot be reduced to the question of admission to Communion, but regards to the overall pastoral interest in marriages and families. Pastors’ care and concern cannot stop after the failure of a marriage, and they must remain close to the divorced, and invite them to take part to the life of the Church” (Cardinal Kasper speech in CNA Vatican City, Mar 4, 2014).

    • CYA? One gains a possible clue about Kasper by studying the well-practiced antics of infantile—and successful—politicians in the secular world. The art of coverup and sidestepping.

      Or, we can also wax academic and consider the example of Jean Jacques Rousseau…he spawned five children, and abandoned each of them to orphanages. Likewise Cardinal Kasper?—He created the German sycophants, and now he abandons Marx, Batzing & Co.
      The refined trajectory of his St. Gallen Project has NOT been to actually overturn doctrine (as now in Germany, the call to actually overturn natural law and the Catechism), but only to legitimize a DISCONNECT between intact and reaffirmed doctrine—and pastoral practice. (The fatal step beyond individual cases with mitigating considerations, into an entirely new category of exemption to legitimize “creative” decisions—in place of moral judgments of conscience.)

      But, the adolescents in Germany have disrespected curfew! They have violated the script!
      So, cut them loose, such that infiltration of the Synod on Synodality, under relator-general Cardinal Hollerich’s signaled and Germanic agenda, can continue unquestioned and uninterrupted. From an earlier posting, this about that:

      “A separation, or even an opposition, is thus established in some cases between the teaching of the precept, which is valid and general, and the norm of the individual conscience, which would in fact make the final decision [not moral judgment] about what is good and what is evil. On this basis, an attempt is made to legitimize so-called ‘pastoral’ solutions contrary to the teaching of the Magisterium, and to justify a ‘creative’ hermeneutic according to which the moral conscience is in no way obliged, in every case, by a particular negative precept [thou shalt not]” (Veritatis Splendor, n. 56).

  5. “Eminence” Herr Kasper is an outright apostate, and has been an openly published apostate since at least 1974, with his book “Jesus the Christ,” wherein he calls the Gospel miracle accounts “mythology” (specifically listing to be dismissed, among others, the calming of the sea, the Transfiguration, the raising of the widow’s son, the daughter of Jairus, and Lazarus, and the bodily resurrection of Jesus), and disposing of these with his flippant dismissal: “We probably don’t need to believe these.”

    Herr “Eminence” Kasper is also the author of this apostasy: “The God who sits enthroned over the world and history as a changeless being is an offense to Man…. We must oppose this God….” (Kasper, God in History, I believe from the year 1968, if memory serves?).

    What an appalling farce and fraud this man is, the archetype of the ascendant Apostate-Hierarch cult, enemies of Jesus and His faithful.

    And we are expected to believe he is st odds with the German-Synod-for-Sodomy? What could he possibly disagree with his pals in the German Bishops Conference about, except perhaps that they are exceeding his prescribed apostasy speed limit?

    And our Church wants to be taken seriously as a bride of The Lord Jesus, after promoting this apostate ss s bishop snd Cardinal?

    He is as Jesus prophecied: “dead wood.”

    As Dante wrote in the Inferno, since Kasper denies the resurrection of Jesus, wouldn’t Dante if writing today write Kasper into the poem among those condemned to the Inferno, and have Kasper consigned for eternity to stand in his own grave, unable to rise to the resurrection to life, because he denied the minimum request of The Lord, to believe in The Resurrection of Jesus?

    And Kasper is a Cardinal, a Bishop, and a Priest…

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