Cardinal Newman

Cardinal Newman

My latest article for National Catholic Register comments on Cardinal Kasper’s recent speech in which he says the upcoming synod will be a battle.

The German cardinal continues to propose a “pastoral approach” to the thorny issue of communion for divorced and remarried Catholics.

While any pastor knows that this problem is difficult to resolve, an increasing number also realize that any pastoral solution which contradicts church teaching simply won’t work.

Cardinal Kasper is calling for an approach that recognizes that doctrine develops.

This is a typical ploy of progressives who wish to change church discipline or doctrine.

I observe,

It is surprising that a cardinal of the Catholic Church understands so little about the principles of the development of doctrine. These guidelines were laid out by Cardinal John Henry Newman in his historic essay on the topic in 1878. Put very simply, authentic development of doctrine must not only be in continuity with the past, but there must also be a natural growth which is consistent with the past and not contradictory. What seems to be an innovation must be a logical outgrowth of the original kernel of truth. Furthermore, the “new” truth must be seen to be already existent in seed form in the primitive teaching and the “new” truth must be a consolidation not a destruction of the “old” truth. Finally, Newman says there must be “chronic vigor” in the developing doctrine — in other words it presents itself as a vibrant and dynamic outgrowth of the old truth — not a lessening or diminution of that truth. 

Cardinal Kasper’s proposed reforms do not come up to any of the criteria that Newman sets out for authentic development. The proposals contradict the clear teaching of the Lord and the tradition of the church down the ages.

Go here to read the whole article.

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