Cardinal Kasper Debates John the Baptist


John the Baptist:  For Herod himself had sent and apprehended John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias the wife of Philip his brother, because he had married her.

Cardinal Kasper:  Often pastors want to control human life. It’s clericalism.  They don’t trust people and therefore don’t respect the conscience of people.

John the Baptist:  For John said to Herod: It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’ s wife.

Cardinal Kasper:  Of course, we have to give guidelines from the Gospel and remind people of the commandments of the Lord, but then we should trust that the Holy Spirit is working in the hearts and in the conscience of our people.

 John the Baptist:  But Herod the tetrarch, when he was reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done;  he added this also above all, and shut up John in prison.

Cardinal Kasper:  Therefore divorced and remarried people should find a good priest confessor who accompanies them for some time and if this second, civil marriage, is solid then the path of new orientation can end with a confession and absolution.  Absolution means admission to Holy Communion.  

John the Baptist:  Now Herodias laid snares for him: and was desirous to put him to death, and could not. For Herod feared John, knowing him to be a just and holy man: and kept him, and when he heard him, did many things: and he heard him willingly.

Cardinal Kasper:  I think it is very crucial.  In this period the bishops will have time to speak to their people. Bishops will not be sitting in their palaces or residences, they will meet their people, listen to them and to the ‘sensus fidelium’ and then they may decide. 

John the Baptist:  And when a convenient day was come, Herod made a supper for his birthday, for the princes, and tribunes, and chief men of Galilee. And when the daughter of the same Herodias had come in, and had danced, and pleased Herod, and them that were at table with him, the king said to the damsel: Ask of me what thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he swore to her: Whatsoever thou shalt ask I will give thee, though it be the half of my kingdom. Who when she was gone out, said to her mother, What shall I ask? But she said: The head of John the Baptist. And when she was come in immediately with haste to the king, she asked, saying: I will that forthwith thou give me in a dish, the head of John the Baptist. And the king was struck sad. Yet because of his oath, and because of them that were with him at table, he would not displease her: But sending an executioner, he commanded that his head should be brought in a dish. And he beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head in a dish: and gave it to the damsel, and the damsel gave it to her mother. Which his disciples hearing came, and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

Cardinal Kasper:  Yes, it is changing the whole atmosphere, the style in the Church, and gives the image of the Church as a dialogical Church. 

Jesus sums up the debate:  He saith to them: Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.    

Cardinal Kasper insists upon the last word:  A Church which cannot discuss what is going on, or cannot speak out in an open discussion face to face, will be a sick Church.  In this context also the mass media can and should play their part.   

More to explorer


  1. There ain’t a dance out there by any girl that would make me promise half of anything let alone a kingdom.
    Herod must have been stoned and the Bible leaves us to discern it after many years. He was on his fifth goblet of Jack Daniels.
    On a more serious note, the Old Testament repeatedly promise long years of life for righteousness to old testament man as in:

    ” My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.” Proverbs 3:1-2

    They were also promised no miscarriages in the Sinai Covenant. We are not so promised but are promised a cross. John the Baptist and others under the old law were exceptions and forerunners of the new promise…the cross in matters physical. Moses had full strength of body til he was 120 years old. I doubt any Christian ever had that.

  2. ps
    Great contrapunctal contrast. John the Baptist was so non dialogic….so 29 AD….so locust and wild honey.

  3. I wonder if John the Baptist was being judgmental, the anathema of today’s culture?
    What will Cardinal Kasper say when he finds himself standing beside King Herod in the next life?

  4. +Kasper is clearly after money. I think everyone is aware of how the Church is funded in Germany and how big the Church bureaucracy is in Germany and how Germans are rapidly deserting the Church.

    +Marx and +Kasper’s scheme is to take Martin Luther’s approach. Hey, Lutherans and Catholics signed the Joint Declaration, and Lutherans remarry after divorce (this permitted by an ecclesiastical community founded by someone who invented Sola Scriptura and then ignored it when it came to divorce), so why not Catholics? +Kasper and +Marx likely remind the Vatican of how much of their funds come from Germany. So, the FFI gets slapped around, the likes of +Cupich get named to archdioceses and the Roman Pontiff badmouths free market economies – the same economies that enable Catholics of those countries to fund the Vatican (while downplaying the violence committed against Catholics by Muslims).

    Is it any wonder people leave the Church for evangelical pep rallies or for sleeping in on Sundays?

  5. I told my 18 yrs of 9th grade CCD students, “you will never be able to say that no one ever taught the truths of the faith.” 1, 2, 5,6,7,8,9 commandments taught in depth, with a fun but serious view of the why’s. Which picked up the other 3 quite well. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

  6. “bill bannon ….There ain’t a dance out there by any girl that would make me promise half of anything let alone a kingdom.”

    But, you ain’t never seen my grandma do the minuet?

  7. Is Kasper’s end-game merely divorce? I don’t think so.

    It strikes me that, if he can get the Church to declare Christ’s own words subject to interpretation, how much more so Paul’s?

    I suggest to you that the real target isn’t any particular rule but the concept of interpretation of scripture itself. He wants to say “ALL of scripture is subject to the evolution of social norms and must be interpreted in light of Man’s collective wisdom.” How else can one set aside the specific prohibitions against homosexual conduct that have been with the Church since her founding?

    No, I don’t think this is about divorce, it is about something far more important.

  8. If Herod was indeed a king, he would have the sovereignty and knowledge of himself to rule instead of cowtowing to political correctness. And as far as his wife of sorts, Herod would have saved St. John for the sake of his sovereign personhood, and not have the man murdered because Herodious did not agree with John’s opinion. Neither one of them, herod and herodius, had any sense of Justice or Sovereignty. Some king, I might add, rotted to death in his tent.

  9. Again:James 1: 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
    “to keep oneself unstained from the world” This is the crux of the environmental issues and the save the whales agenda. The only saving of creation that counts in the eyes of God are the orphans and widows. Sitting at Mass Sunday was St. James addressing Pope Francis’ visit to America, admonishing us all “to keep oneself unstained from the world” Relinquish Gaia, the whales, the fracking, the redistribution of wealth already addressed as that issue of religion and our relationship with God: “to visit the orphans and widows in their affliction.”

  10. David Spaulding,
    Precisely. Kasper wants to destroy the Faith, and he’s been pushing this stuff since the 60s, long before the Kirchensteuer was an issue. It’s comforting for many Catholics to think that this is merely about money for the German bishops, but that doesn’t explain why so many of Kasper’s allies come from countries where they have no such monetary incentives. The true explanation is more frightening: like many heretics in history, these men loath the Church and wish to see her destroyed.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: