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BOOK: Remaining in the Truth of Christ

Remaining in the Truth of Christ:
Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church

In this volume five Cardinals of the Church, and four other scholars, respond to the call issued by Cardinal Walter Kasper for the Church to harmonize “fidelity and mercy in its pastoral practice with civilly remarried, divorced people”.


The contributors are Walter Cardinal Brandmüller; Raymond Cardinal Burke; Carlo Cardinal Caffarra; Velasio Cardinal De Paolis, C.S.; Robert Dodaro, O.S.A.; Paul Mankowski, S.J.; Gerhard Cardinal Müller; John M. Rist; and Archbishop Cyril Vasil’, S.J.

AMAZON Description:

Beginning with a concise introduction, the first part of the book is dedicated to the primary biblical texts pertaining to divorce and remarriage, and the second part is an examination of the teaching and practice prevalent in the early Church. In neither of these cases, biblical or patristic, do these scholars find support for the kind of “toleration” of civil marriages following divorce advocated by Cardinal Kasper. This book also examines the Eastern Orthodox practice of oikonomia (understood as “mercy” implying “toleration”) in cases of remarriage after divorce and in the context of the vexed question of Eucharistic communion. It traces the centuries long history of Catholic resistance to this convention, revealing serious theological and canonical difficulties inherent in past and current Orthodox Church practice.

Thus, in the second part of the book, the authors argue in favor of retaining the theological and canonical rationale for the intrinsic connection between traditional Catholic doctrine and sacramental discipline concerning marriage and communion.

The various studies in this book lead to the conclusion that the Church’s longstanding fidelity to the truth of marriage constitutes the irrevocable foundation of its merciful and loving response to the individual who is civilly divorced and remarried. The book therefore challenges the premise that traditional Catholic doctrine and contemporary pastoral practice are in contradiction.

“Because it is the task of the apostolic ministry to ensure that the Church remains in the truth of Christ and to lead her ever more deeply into that truth, pastors must promote the sense of faith in all the faithful, examine and authoritatively judge the genuineness of its expressions and educate the faithful in an ever more mature evangelical discernment.” – St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio


KARL:  Here it comes, baby! Drive through annulments with heavy discounts and S & H Green Stamps for each annulment you get!  Go Jorge! Serial monogamy and just beyond the hill comes, polygamy! Way to go Jorge!  Gotta love this Pope. He smiles and gives the thumbs up as he is destroying the basic social fabric leading, ultimately to anarchy. Only the blind or worse cannot see this coming.

FATHER JOE:  The Magisterium will side with tradition and the living Word.  This book is being published as an aid before the synod and the special commission.  There is little to no wiggle room.  Karl, you are very much mistaken.  Order the book!

3 Responses

  1. “Doctrine and pastoral practice cannot be contradictory. One cannot maintain the indissolubility of marriage by allowing the ‘remarried’ to receive Communion. The issue is seen by both friends and foes of the Catholic tradition as a symbol — a prize in the clash between what remains of Christendom in Europe and an aggressive neo-paganism. Every opponent of Christianity wants the Church to capitulate on this issue.”

    –Cardinal George Pell (Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy)

  2. In the future it will become clear just how right my conclusions are. But, Fr. Joe, neither of us will be alive to see it.

    I am already living what is coming on a larger scale. You seem to think I have made my experiences up. That would be intentional deceit. I have not done that.

    You have faith. Mine is almost non-existant, except in what I have been able to salvage. I live with what I have seen in person and have heard from those I have come to trust.

    I have no desire, whatsoever, to read the book. I try to maintain my relationships with our children and grandchildren and speak the truth about what I have seen. I am known as, too merciful, at work, which should give you a chuckle. Everyone who knows me knows I am Catholic and try to live it.

    I think your optimism is empty but it is understandable in your position. I have a precious daughter who is optimistic due to the trusting faith she has. I fear for her faith when she reaches her breaing point. For me, I reached that point long ago. I am Catholic but the institution is no longer. No one, except Jesus Himself, in person will convince me otherwise but, as I have said before, neither do I have the justification to join some other adulterous sect for “fellowship”, nor join another woman.

    I wait for the Church and my wife to come to their senses but I grow increasingly pessimistic on both fronts.

    It is, certainly, a dangerous and vulnerable existance I live but it is the only way, in my understanding, to even attempt faithful living.

    FATHER: A change in procedures may come in the near future, but immutable truths will always be what they are. The recommended book makes this clear. As for your personal experiences, I have never said you made them up, only that we have one side of the story. Catholicism always implies a communal element, a corporate faith. There is no such thing as a Catholic without the Church. We are saved by Christ, but within the mystical body of the Church. This was the argument with certain evangelicals. The unity of Christ with his Church is why the Church as an institution is necessary for salvation. Both the Church and Jesus constitute the Way. As I have said so many times before, want them or not, I am praying for you.

  3. I haven’t read the book. Having been through the annulment process, I really think that divorce should be addressed in a very personal level to help the couple stay together. Your on your own when going through that. Couples – maybe one – seeks “counseling”. Most counselors, CSW’s, psychologists … approach a couples difficulties through a secular lens.

    Even going through the divorce and approaching the Church for annulment papers, it seems that there could be some spiritual intervention for the couple in order to save the marriage. It seems that annulments are expected to go since a couple has been divorced.

    I know there are many couples living outside the Church in second/third etc… marriages, and the Church is addressing that issue. For the future, though, we need to hear some hard truths from the pulpit to counter this culture that praises the self – you deserve it; you’re worth it; it’s all about you; …. all these things that are the antithesis of Church teaching.

    FATHER JOE: I very much agree with you. Years ago I had a divorced couple come back together. They had to get civilly married again for legal reasons but they were still married in the eyes of the Church. Unfortunately, such occurrences are pretty rare. Counseling can be very frustrating, particularly when one spouse wants to do whatever needs to be done to save the marriage and the other one has already called it quits. Unless you can get them to work together, there is little the priest and Church can do. I cannot tell you how many times I have had a spouse cry before me because the husband or wife has walked away from the marriage and family. I know one wonderful lady who forgave her husband’s infidelities again and again, desperate to save her family. In the end, the rogue left her any way… and for a younger woman. It sickened me. I never forget the many lives and the stories brought before me. I try to help but feel as if I fail my people again and again. I pray for them. I have wept for them. There are few things as terrible as broken promises and betrayed intimacy.

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