dotCommonweal looks at some Cardinal Kasper detractors. Some of their own readers take them to task for giving a platform to one of the more conservative enclaves. Indeed, my friend Crystal offers the obvious question in the commentariat:
Interesting how vowed religious have such strong opinions about a relationship they have no experience of.
Another dearth of experience is in the situation that happens more frequently than divorced spouses reconciling.
Say you have an inquirer, Mary, who is interested in the Catholic Church. As she gets involved in the parish and does the intake process, the interviewer sighs in relief to learn she has only been married once. But then it gets tangled. Her husband, a non-Catholic, has been married previously. I’ve known situations of people being evangelized who were married for years, if not decades. But the institutional focus is on a first marriage that lasted months, if not weeks. Contact is lost, and the possibility of an annulment is mostly a pipe dream. Probably crack.
You readers do know what happens if the pastor is one of those JP2/B16 straight arrows, right? The husband must get an annulment. Doesn’t matter if he’s not Catholic, or has no intention od becoming one. The whole procedure is hung up on convincing people totally outside the Church to undergo a “healing” for-pay process of which they likely have little to no understanding.
Adding an unnecessary burden?
Crystal’s point is aptly considered. I think we have far too many busybodies in the Church these days–people who offer opinions to those outside their circles. Even theologically astute folk who might find themselves out of their depth. I think care is needed in these situations. I think cross fertilization in most instances is good: lay people discerning seminarians, priests counseling engaged couples, lay associates of religious orders, women and men religious serving parishes, lay people in Roman dicasteries. But such persons are responsible for seeing the whole picture, not just offering a serum concocted in their own test tubes.