VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis’ document on the family reflects an “organic development” of church teaching and doctrine, said Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, theologian and participant in both synods that dealt with the topic.
“There are true innovations, but no break” in tradition, the cardinal told reporters during a news conference at the Vatican April 8 presenting the apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” (“The Joy of Love”).
The document emphasizes the need for greater reflection and discernment by pastors and Catholic couples in so-called “irregular” situations as they look for ways they can participate more deeply in church life, he said.
Proper discernment is nothing new, the cardinal told another reporter. It has always been the serious duty of the lay faithful and their pastors or confessors. Everyone is responsible, he said, because “you cannot play with the sacraments, you cannot play with the conscience.”
But you can make it quick-and-easy to get annulments, you can give winks and nods to German bishops, enabling them to "seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs", without the "need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium.
See what was predicted in March 2014 when all of this came up:
Kasper’s proposed solution is, “change anything we want and call it development”. We can effect ‘further developments’ ourselves because we are the Magisterium”. You can read the larger selection here.
This was the nature of the proposal that Kasper put forward in the “Gang of Eight” cardinals meeting last week. It seems now as if the proposal on the table will have the opportunity to put Kasper’s “solution” to a vote among the full “Synod of Bishops on the Family” to be held later this year – this will have the full backing of this new pope behind it. How can it fail?