With #AmorisLaetitia, Pope Francis Expands Kasper’s Proposal

With #AmorisLaetitia, Pope Francis Expands Kasper’s his Proposal

With #AmorisLaetitia, Pope Francis Allows not only the Divorced + Civilly Remarried to Access the Sacraments but also all People in “Irregular” Situations

My argument is in two parts. The first will be questions to ponder upon and the second will be to show that not only was Kasper’s proposal of admitting certain divorced + civilly remarried to communion in Amoris Laetitia, the pope has gone even further and expanded this to certain people in “irregular’ situations” of which the divorced + civilly remarried are of course a subset.

I. Questions to Ponder

1) The pope does not offer us case studies or recipes. Does he have examples of such case studies or recipes?

2) If yes, why did he not offer them for clarity?

3) If no, then on what basis did the pope affirm, in a humble and simple manner, in a note that the help of the sacraments may also be given in ‘certain cases’?

4) With the lack of the required clarity, how are the priests to ensure that the confessional is not be a torture chamber but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy and the Eucharist ‘is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak?

One conclusion that one must therefore draw is that the lack of clarity and therefore the ensuing confusion is a purposeful strategy.[a]

II. Has the pope opened up access to the sacraments for people who live in ‘irregular’ situations?
First, the Kasper’s Proposal:

A divorced and remarried person:
1. If he repents of his failure in the first marriage,
2. If he has clarified the obligations of the first marriage, if it is definitively ruled out that he could turn back,
3. If he cannot abandon without further harm the responsibilities taken on with the new civil marriage,
4. If however he is doing the best he can to live out the possibilities of the second marriage on the basis of the faith and to raise his children in the faith,
5. If he has a desire for the sacraments as a source of strength in his situation, should we or can we deny him, after a period of time in a new direction, of “metanoia,” the sacrament of penance and then of communion?

This possible way would not be a general solution. It is not the wide road of the masses, but rather the narrow path of what is probably the smaller segment of the divorced and remarried, those sincerely interested in the sacraments. Should not the worst be avoided precisely here? In fact, when the children of the divorced and remarried do not see their parents approach the sacraments they too usually fail to find their way to confession and communion. Should we not take into account the fact that we will also lose the next generation and perhaps the one after it too? Our long-established practice, is it not showing itself to be counterproductive? [. . .] – Source: Kasper Changes the Paradigm, Bergoglio Applauds

Proceeding to answer:

Since the pope affirms, in a humble and simple manner [what does this even mean and what is its purpose here?], in a note[b] that the help of the sacraments may also be given to those ‘irregular’ situations in ‘certain cases’ and since divorced + civilly remarried are a subset of those in ‘irregular’ situations, then the pope affirms, in a humble and simple manner, in a note that the help of the sacraments may also be given to the divorced + civilly remarried in ‘certain cases’[c]

What might the ‘certain cases’ be?

The pope has never repudiated Kasper’s proposal and it was at his invitation that Cardinal Kasper presented this proposal [which it is now clear was his all along] at the consistory in Feb 2014, therefore the conditions for the ‘certain cases’ to be admitted to the sacraments appear to be 1. thru 5. in Kasper’s Proposal.

“We all know many priests”, he said, who admit remarried divorcees to Holy Communion “without discussing or asking, and that’s a fact.” He added that it is “difficult to handle for the bishop,” and said he was “very happy” that the Pope in the document takes up the controversial approach he has adopted in Vienna.

This involves what he called “five attentions” made to remarried divorcees: a series of five questions the priest must ask to see how merciful and correctly they have behaved before, it can be inferred, they are able to receive Holy Communion. They include how they treat the children of their first marriages, how they treated their abandoned spouse, and how they dealt with unresolved hatred.
With this approach, the sacraments “come into another light,” he said. “It’s about the way of conversion.” – Card. Schönborn | VIDEO — Schönborn: ‘Amoris Laetitia’ Needs Serious Theological Discussion, BY EDWARD PENTIN 04/12/2016 | NCR

Has the pope opened up the access to the sacraments beyond the divorced + civilly remarried?

Yes he has, because the pope affirms, in a humble and simple manner, in a note that the help of the sacraments may also be given to people who live in ‘irregular’ situations [of which the divorced + civilly remarried are a subset] in ‘certain cases’, 

As Card. Pell said after the first Synod in 2014, it was never about the divorced + civilly remarried:

Antonio Socci also reaches the same conclusion:

Naturally – in all of this – Communion to the divorced and remarried is only a pretext, it is a question that interests no-one, not even the divorced: the “revolutionaries” have simply used “irregular couples” as an impetus to demolish the foundations of two thousand years of Catholicism.
And now there is a panorama of ruins set before the eyes of priests who are still Catholic, since – like skittles toppling – after the indissolubility of marriage, everything will come toppling down: confession, the commandments, the natural law. Most of all, the constant teaching of the Church emerges destroyed. – RORATE CÆLI: Antonio Socci: There has been a coup in the Church

[Update FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2016] Whose Side Are We on? by David Carlin | The Catholic Thing

And not just sexual morality. The whole structure of Catholicism will collapse. For if Jesus, who (we should remember) was no minor authority figure in the history of the Church, was wrong about marriage, who knows how many other things he was wrong about? And if Jesus was wrong, it is likely St. Paul and other New Testament writers were wrong. And if Jesus and Paul were wrong, who can be confident in the teachings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church? One small leak in the dike.


From now on, it should be expected that not only will the divorced + civilly remarried present themselves to the priests in order to access the sacraments, but also people in ALL ‘irregular’ situations.


a. I understand those who prefer a more rigorous pastoral care which leaves no room for confusion. But I sincerely believe that Jesus wants a Church attentive to the goodness which the Holy Spirit sows in the midst of human weakness, a Mother who, while clearly expressing her objective teaching, “always does what good she can, even if in the process, her shoes get soiled by the mud of the street”. [AL, 308]

b. In certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments. Hence, “I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber, but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium [24 November 2013], 44: AAS 105 [2013], 1038). I would also point out that the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak” (ibid., 47: 1039). – Cf. Footnote 351 [paragraph 305], AMORIS LAETITIA

c. Cf. Presentation of the post-Synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia: the logic of pastoral mercy, 08.04.2016

(My emphasis)

[UPDATE Fri Feb 17, 2017]

Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio:

[T] he divorced and remarried de facto couples, those cohabitating…they’re certainly not models of unions in sync with Catholic doctrine. But the Church cannot look the other way. Therefore, the Sacraments of reconciliation and of Communion must be given, even to those so-called ‘wounded families’ and to however many, who, despite living in situations not in line with traditional matrimonial canons, express the sincere desire to approach the sacraments after an appropriate period of discernment. – ‘It gives the feeling of a schism’: EWTN panel analyzes current ‘disaster’ in the Church | LifeSiteNews

(My emphasis)