Recent discussion about the plight of those Catholics who have been civilly divorced and entered into a second marriage has centred on the notion of God's mercy. The argument is simple. If we are merciful as God is merciful, we will allow such persons to receive Holy Communion. >The problem with this simple argument is that it is too simple. A larger context needs to be considered.
Read the rest of entry »
The Church's pastoral practices have always been rooted in mercy and compassion. The manner in which these are expressed varies. However, the essence of every Church doctrine remains intact. Cardinal Walter Kasper challenges the interconnectedness between doctrine and pastoral practice. In his haste to honour Kasper with the Mustard Seed Award ("Kasper honoured by WCR as Church 'mustard seed'," Dec. 29), Glen Argan overlooks legitimate concerns about Kasper's proposal that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can receive Communion without annulment.
Re: "Kasper honoured by WCR as Church 'mustard seed', WCR, Dec 29." Cardinal Walter Kasper's theology has caused severe response, and justifiably so, because it challenges the fundamental essence of Christianity staunchly defended by the saints and doctors of the Church, by Paul, Augustine, Aquinas all the way to John Paul II.
I am not a theologian, but a person doesn't have to have a degree to recognize muddled thinking. Really, what kind of double-speak is it to say we should "tolerate what is impossible to accept"? Am I a fundamentalist because I believe the Catholic Church teaches that a marriage has to be declared null before a person enters into a second (but hopefully this time by the grace of God), true marriage?
In October, five cardinals published a book, Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church, that is diametrically opposed to the views of WCR's 2014 Mustard Seed Award winner, Cardinal Walter Kasper. The first part of the book is dedicated to the biblical texts pertaining to divorce and remarriage, and the second part examines the teaching and practice of the early Church.
Responding to "Petition opposes modern agriculture" (WCR, Dec. 15). I am a farmer interested in learning more about the Development and Peace petition for saving seed. After Mass, I studied the petition and signed it without hesitation.
Re: "N.B. gov't plans to loosen abortion restrictions" (WCR, Dec. 15). The new Liberal government is proposing easier access and possible government funding for women seeking abortions.
This is in response to "Petition opposes modern agriculture" (WCR letters, Dec 15) and in defence of CCODP. The current issue of Turning Point (Fall 2014, page 8), the publication of Physicians for Global Survival, raises some pertinent questions concerning genetically-modified foods. Although the aim of GM food is to provide enough food to feed the world's ever increasing population and to improve the quality of our food, has the safety of this food in humans been thoroughly researched? Why have many countries in the world banned GM foods? If it is so safe, why in North America is it allowed in our food chain without labeling so that consumers cannot identify genetically modified products?
Does the media hype overstate the propensity of Pope Francis to revisit some formerly rigid positions? Some of the suggested cage-rattlings are obviously sensationalist. But his refreshing overtures towards the Orthodox Church are most encouraging, as is his decision to allow Eastern Catholic churches to ordain married men. Perhaps he may also have a more welcoming attitude than some high-ranking officials have had to former Catholics returning home, after having spent much of their lives believing they were good Catholic priests under an Anglican jurisdiction that professed the Catholic faith and lovingly celebrated a traditional Catholic liturgy.
One reason I write to the WCR is because it is one of the few papers in this country which still publishes pro-life letters. There is more freedom of speech and assembly in other countries, like Russia (letters to newspapers) and the United States (that is, bubble zones around Canadian abortion mills). I could write to The Edmonton Journal or Edmonton Sun, but my pro-life letter would likely go unpublished.