Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa gives us the latest news in regard to the growing opposition to Cardinal Kasper’s proposal to allow Catholics in adulterous marriages to receive communion:
First Five, Now Seventeen Anti-Kasper Cardinals
And they are speaking out together in two books that are about to be released ahead of the synod. With Robert Sarah and the Africans in the lea
by Sandro Magister
ROME, August 31, 2015 – Guinean cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the congregation for divine worship, is in Regensburg these days to present the German edition of his book “God or Nothing,” published in France last February and about to be released in nine other languages all over the world, given the enormous interest it has raised on account of what is written in it and who wrote it, as www.chiesa has already shown:
> A Pope from Black AfricaThe book will be introduced in Regensburg by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, while the preface to the German edition was written by Archbishop Georg Gänswein, prefect of the pontifical household and personal secretary to Benedict XVI.But the pope emeritus himself has not failed to express his appreciation to Cardinal Sarah, writing among other things:“I have read God or Nothing with great spiritual profit, joy, and gratitude. Its courageous answers to the problems of gender theory clear up in a nebulous world a fundamental anthropological question.”
Of the almost four hundred pages in the book, only a few deal with the synod on the family. But they have made an impression through the clearness and lucidity with which they oppose the proponents of change in marriage doctrine and pastoral care who have their most prominent representative in Cardinal Walter Kasper.
Sarah was not one of the five cardinals – the first of them being Müller – who on the eve of last October’s session of the synod formed a coalition against the innovators with a collaborative book that made a huge splash.
But now that the second and last session of the synod is approaching, taking the field again in defense of the traditional doctrine and pastoral care of marriage are not five but eleven cardinals, this time as well with a collaborative book. And Sarah is among them.
The other ten are, in alphabetical order:
– Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna, Italy;
– Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, major archbishop of Triuvandrum of the Syro-Malankara Church, India;
– Josef Cordes, president emeritus of the pontifical council Cor Unum, Germany;
– Dominik Duka, archbishop of Prague, Czech Republic;
– Jacobus Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht, Holland;
– Joachim Meisner, archbishop emeritus of Cologne, Germany;
– John Onaiyekan, archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria;
– Antonio María Rouco Varela, archbishop emeritus of Madrid, Spain;
– Camillo Ruini, vicar emeritus of the pope for the diocese of Rome, Italy;
– Jorge Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela.
The book is entitled:
It will be published in September in five languages: English (Ignatius Press), Italian (Cantagalli), French (Artège), German (Herder), Spanish (Ediciones Cristiandad).
And this is not a work of compilation. The essays there are seeing the light for the first time, with the sole exception of the one by Cardinal Ruini, already published one year ago on www.chiesa:
For more details and previews of the contents of this book:
But that’s not all. Because the release of another book is also imminent, this one too aimed at the synod and written exclusively by Africans. For now it is being published only in English: in the United States by Ignatius Press and in Kenya by the Paulines.
This is the title:
Here as well there are eleven authors, all bishops and archbishops, seven of them cardinals. And Sarah is among them again with the first of the essays, a selection from which is reproduced further below on this page.
The index of the book, introduced with a preface by Nigerian cardinal Francis Arinze, Sarah’s predecessor at the head of the congregation for divine worship, is the following:
THE SYNOD ON THE FAMILY. FROM ONE ASSEMBLY TO ANOTHER
Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments:
“What Sort of Pastoral Mercy in Response to the New Challenges to the Family? A Reading of the Lineamenta”
Bishop Barthélemy Adoukonou, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture:
“Start from Living Faith: An African Take on the Instrumentum laboris”
THE GOSPEL OF THE FAMILY
Archbishop Denis Amuzu-Dzakpah of Lomé:
“The Importance of Recent Magisterial Teaching on Marriage and the Family”
Philippe Cardinal Ouedraogo, Metropolitan Archbishop of Ouagadougou:
“The Indissolubility of Marriage: The Foundation of the Human Family”
Berhaneyesus D. Cardinal Souraphiel, Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Abeba:
“Promoting a True Understanding of Marriage and the Accompaniment of Married Couples”
PASTORAL CARE OF FAMILIES THAT ARE HURTING
Christian Cardinal Tumi, Archbishop Emeritus of Douala, Cameroon:
“Marriage in Situations of Dysfunction or Weakness: Separation, Divorce, Remarriage”
Archbishop Antoine Ganye of Cotonou:
“Monogamy and Polygamy: Challenge and Concern for the Truth of Love in African Cultures”
Théodore Adrien Cardinal Sarr, Archbishop Emeritus of Dakar:
“The Challenge of Mixed and Interfaith Marriages”
Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Douala:
“Pastoral Care to Wounded Families”
AN APPEAL FROM THE CHURCH IN AFRICA TO THE STATE
Jean-Pierre Cardinal Kutwa, Archbishop of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire:
“Why Should the State Support the Family?”
It is clear from this book that the coalition of African bishops will be a big player at the synod and will act as a sturdy fence against the proposals for change in matters of divorce and homosexual unions. As was already evident from the symposium in Accra last June among the presidents of the continent’s episcopal conferences:
> Synod. Africa’s Hour
In the selection from Sarah in the preview below there are brief but very critical references to the language and contents of the “Lineamenta,” the official document produced by the first session of the synod as the basis for further discussion.
But those who read the full essay in the book will see that this is not just a matter of allusive references. Because immediately before the selection presented here Cardinal Sarah dedicates several pages to a point-by-point criticism of the “Lineamenta,” with subtitles and introductions like these:
– “A PERPLEXING POINT”
“In paragraph 14, the document seems to insinuate that insisting on the indissolubility of marriage would be synonymous with subjugating persons, and it gives the impression that it takes the mosaic model for granted, since, it says, Jesus himself refers to it. Are we supposed to return, then, to the era of ‘hardness of heart’ in the pre-Gospel period?…”.
– “UNACCETTABLE, SCANDALOUS POINTS”
“From the perplexing, we move on to the unacceptable. Could it be that the document, in paragraph 27, is advocating trial marriage as a path to be followed? […] In many regions of Africa where customs prescribe an ‘indissoluble traditional marriage’ – one that is therefore more stable than civil marriage – the local Church is not even authorized to use such language. If she did, not only would she ruin her pastoral ministry to families, but she would also be in contradiction with the Gospel and would scandalize the pagans…”.
– “THE RESULTS OF CONFUSION: SET GOD AND DOCTRINE ASIDE, AND YOU CREATE MAJOR PASTORAL CONFUSION”
“It is astonishing that the same document that clearly notes in paragraph 5 that there is a ‘crisis of faith, witnessed among a great many Catholics, which oftentimes underlies the crisis in marriage and the family’ draws no conclusions from that fact. Why does it not say that the first challenge to address is the crisis of faith? Why does it seek, in paragraph 33, in one particularly disconcerting perspective, to proceed to renew the Church’s way of speaking about situations that are objectively contrary to the Gospel as though it were merely a matter of ‘words’ or ‘language’?…”.
So here is the passage of the essay by Cardinal Sarah.
“Parresìa,” the frankness so much invoked by Pope Francis for the synodal discussion, certainly has a first-rank champion in him.
Go here to read the article by Cardinal Sarah. The battle lines are being drawn. Pope Francis will need to be very careful or he might be remembered as the pope who called the Synod which launched the Great Schism of the Twenty-First Century.