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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kasper's UK comments

I've been thinking about the pope's trip to the UK, about Cardinal Kasper's remarks and the pope's remarks. Today I'll post about Kasper, tomorrow the pope. Here's a link to the BBC story on what he said, and I've quoted him, with my own comments on each of his statements .....

What Cardinal Walter Kasper said about the UK ...

When asked why so many Britons had expressed resentment towards Pope Benedict, the cardinal replied: "England is today a secularised [literal translation], pluralistic country. "When you land at Heathrow Airport, you sometimes think you might have landed in a Third World country," Cardinal Kasper told Focus.

Read Catherine Pepinster's piece in the Guardian, Cardinal Kasper take note: the Catholic church in Britain is full of immigrants, which says in part ...

"But what is truly baffling about Kasper's comments about the third world in Britain, the idea that this country is full of people who are not from Christian Europe, is that these are the people who are bolstering Britain's religious communities. If there is one church in Britain whose congregations are a melting pot, it is the Roman Catholic church. Once dominated by Irish migrants, Catholic churches now have rainbow congregations – Poles, Ukrainians, Romanians, Spanish, Italians, Brazilians, Costa Ricans, Ghanains, Nigerians, and people from many Middle Eastern countries, including Iraqis and Palestinian Christians who have fled the troubles in their homelands. Plenty of them arrived recently and are the kind of people who keep London going through their employment as cleaners, taxi drivers, catering staff and shop assistants. In fact, they're just the kind of people who work at Heathrow. Cardinal Kasper, take note."

The reporter asked Cardinal Kasper why the Pope was opposed to the planned equality of treatment of homosexuals in Britain. "The question is whether we can accept partnerships of same-sex [couples], and regarding this issue, the Church has for centuries defended the understanding of marriage and family which equates to the order of God," he replied.

About the remark on equality in the UK for gays and lesbians (the Equality Bill), I have some past posts about this ... B16 and the Equality Bill and Something of a rant.

So what is the Pope setting out to achieve in the UK? "He wants to work on the difficult dialogue with the Anglican community. He will discuss possible fields of co-operation," said the cardinal. And when asked, will women priests ever be ordained in the Catholic Church? Cardinal Kasper's response was blunt: "The decision of John Paul II was so clear-cut that I don't expect that." And not even in 100 or 200 years? "I am not a prophet. But I don't think so," said Cardinal Kasper. He added: "Have a look at the Protestant churches: they don't have celibacy and they have women priests. But are they doing better? The Anglican Church has also taken on formidable problems with these new developments. I wouldn't wish those problems on my church."

And to think this guy was in charge of ecumenism for my church - yikes! I still remember him pushing the Church of England not to ordain women bishops in 2006. NT Wright shut him down. Here's a quote from Andrew Brown's piece in the Guardian, Cardinal Kasper reveals the Vatican's true beliefs ...

"This is not only stupefyingly tactless, and wrong (the Church of England has 600 priests in training, half of them women; the Roman Catholic church here has 39), it is also bizarre, in view of the pope's initiative last year to welcome married Anglican clergy, if they are opposed to women priests."

On the issue of the sex abuse scandals, Cardinal Kasper admits that the sex abuse scandal has severely "wounded" the Catholic Church but he claims that it is "unfair" that Pope Benedict has been the target of criticism in his native Germany.

I'm still thinking about the thirteen people who committed suicide in Belgium because of sex abuse by Catholic clergy, clergy who will not ever be held accountable, and who won't even apologize because they'd rather cover their assets. I'm truly disgusted at the assertion that the pope has been treated unfairly on the sunject of clergy sex abuse.

Speaking of apologies, I read that Kasper won't apologize for his UK remarks. I guess the arrogant assumption of your own untouchability means never having to say you're sorry.


8 Comments:

Anonymous Henry said...

Crystal,

For someone who values “personal experience” over catechetics and theology, you seem to spend a lot of time focusing on the ways the Church should be remade in the image and likeness you have in your mind. Perhaps that’s a “way” that helps you but I can’t imagine that all that acrimony toward the Church that Christ founded and sustains brings you much peace.

Anyway, let me share two of my favorite Koans with you.

1. “The light illuminates in accordance
with causes and circumstances, time and season.
In its fineness, it enters the spaceless,
in its boundlessness, it reaches everywhere.


2. When views and comparisons are at last set aside,
the forest of patterns is no longer hidden
and the myriad forms are clearly evident.

Pax,

Henry

9:44 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Henry,

Thanks for the koans :)

I don't want to remake the church over in my image. I want to remake it over in the gospel image, in the image I see represnted by Jesus - the image of honesty, humility, inclusion. I think Jesus would be pretty disappointed in the church as it is today.

I do feel angry, but when people are committing suicide thanks to the actions of some of our clergy, I think that's something worth getting angry over.

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Henry said...

Crystal,

How do YOU know the gospels are reliable? How do YOU know that YOUR interpretation of them is true? If I was interested in having a debate with you I’d start with those two questions but that’s not what I am concerned about. I am concerned about something else; I am concerned about a picture I see coming into focus the more I read your posts and comments.

Now, since I see the same things you see, I have no doubt that you have good reasons for your anger, just as I do for mine. However, I have the impression that you unbalance yourself by continually focusing on things that foster and feed it. Perhaps your experience is different than mine, but my experience is that anger eventually consumes YOU because it acts like a slow, almost imperceptible, persistent, acid on the heart.

In the end, however, that's really none of my business is it Crystal? And so, I regret that I replied to your post and I regret that I am replying to your comment now because, quite frankly, I see the fact that I did, and am doing so, as evidence of my own stupidity. So, please do me a favor and delete this comment and my previous one.

May the Lord give you His peace Crystal.

Henry

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Henry said...

Crystal,

How do YOU know the gospels are reliable? How do YOU know that YOUR interpretation of them is true? If I was interested in having a debate with you I’d start with those two questions but that’s not what I am concerned about. I am concerned about something else; I am concerned about a picture I see coming into focus the more I read your posts and comments.

Now, since I see the same things you see, I have no doubt that you have good reasons for your anger, just as I do for mine. However, I have the impression that you unbalance yourself by continually focusing on things that foster and feed it. Perhaps your experience is different than mine, but my experience is that anger eventually consumes YOU because it acts like a slow, almost imperceptible, persistent, acid on the heart.

In the end, however, that's really none of my business is it Crystal? And so, I regret that I replied to your post and I regret that I am replying to your comment now because, quite frankly, I see the fact that I did, and am doing so, as evidence of my own stupidity. So, please do me a favor and delete this comment and my previous one.

May the Lord give you His peace Crystal.

Henry

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Victor said...

For what it's worth crystal, my oldest sister agrees with you and after a polite discusion, she let's me win until next time cause she loves me so much I guess.

We all get a little hot under the collar on occasions but no matter how many people commit suicide, "IT" won't cause Jesus to change His Ways cause He's the same now as He was, will always be and He loves woman so He put them in charge of His future Children.

I hear ya! A woman's place is in the home, right Victor?

Are you kidding? sinner vic allowing woman to stay at home while he's working?

I guess we'll just have to wait until Jesus comes back 100% in His flesh for the third time to ask Him where He went wrong!

Until then crystal, we Christians will need to continue to agree to disagree on certain issues.

I hear ya! Please ask sinner vic to put that spiritual gas can away until then Victor? :)

3:06 PM  
Blogger Mike L said...

I wonder if Cardinal Kasper's comments don't really reflect the outlook of Rome on England.

Henry, I don't know if the Church needs to be remade, but I do wonder where the Church's leadership failed. They blame different movements within cultures, secularism, relativism, etc., but I look at the worship of money within the Church, the love of power and authority and its exercise, the different treatment of priests and bishops and laymen, and wonder if they were not the ones the lead these movements they now condemn.

How did the Church leadership, those claiming the authority, show by example how these movements were wrong? I suspect that rather than showing us the way to Christ they took the much easier road of making the Church into a set of ethical rules, some of which have become so far fetched that the Church, ie the Mystical Body of Christ, no longer accept them. I think the Church itself is spiritual, I think our leadership, at least that part that we hear of, is not.

Until we start to see spirituality in the priest, the bishops, the cardinals, and Rome, we will continue to hear loud outcries about how we, the people are not acting like they should.

Hugs,

Mike L

4:08 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Victor,

Yes, we can continue to agree to disagree :)

7:52 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Mike,

I read somewhere a post be a CofE bishop who knows Kasper saying that this opinion of his about the UK isn'y new but that perhaps now that he's retired, he feels less worried about making his feelings known publically. I wouldn't be sirprised if that was the general Vatican feeling about the UK.

7:56 PM  

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