In a preparatory document for the upcoming Bishops’ Synod on the Amazon, entitled: “The power to sanctify: the ministers of indigenous communities and the right to access to the Eucharist,” Cardinal Walter Kasper lays the foundations for the abandonment of ecclesiastical celibacy, at least in the Amazon.
In the first three chapters, he first deals with the Sunday Eucharist and its importance, then with the Eucharist in the economy of salvation, and finally with the “right” to the Eucharist. This allows him to present three concrete conclusions.
Regarding the Right to the Eucharist
By the Eucharist, one must hear the Mass, according to the vocabulary of the moderns. Kasper says there is a right to access to the Mass for all the faithful. An individual right, but also a community right. “If, in normal circumstances, communities are so remote that it only allows for access to the Eucharist once or twice a year, they lack something essential to the Church. These communities have the right to ask the bishop to do everything in his power to change this situation.”
What Cardinal Kasper proposes for the Amazon applies eminently to other regions of the globe. Starting with Europe, in which, the cardinal cannot ignore, there exists the state of priestly desertification. Does he know how many parishes are without a pastor today, despite parish mergers? Or how many churches only see a priest every two, three, or six months? Perfectly aware of this state of affairs, Cardinal Kasper focuses on the Amazon only in view of transposing the solutions he advocates elsewhere.
On the other hand, if the Eucharist means the true sacrifice of the Mass, we can only thank Cardinal Kasper for defending the right to the traditional Mass for all the faithful of tradition, and his way of exhorting the bishops to do everything in their power to provide it! Meanwhile, their ill-will is a perfectly sufficient justification for the ministry exercised by traditional priests...
The Priest Shortage
The cardinal gives a second conclusion: the main reason for the lack of Masses “is the shortage of priests and candidates for the priesthood in the Amazon.” And to clarify: “the reasons for this shortage are multiple. But the greatest for indigenous peoples... is life in celibacy.” What to do then? Should not we instead promote celibacy, raise the spiritual level of these communities, or use other means missionaries have utilized for centuries?
No, no. Cardinal Kasper’s proposal is to relativize priestly celibacy: “celibacy is undoubtedly a value and a treasure of the Church that must be defended and promoted, but there is a hierarchy of values. Celibacy is not the supreme value, which has priority over all divine values by law, such as the sacramental structure of the Church. Celibacy is a charism, a free gift from God, which should to be welcomed and lived in complete freedom.” In other words, the sacraments have superiority over the free gifts (charisms) of God. Which is true, but nevertheless the intent here is to mix up everything.
Celibacy is first of all an ecclesiastical law, a discipline of the Church, which the ancient Roman Fathers and popes have always related back to the apostles, although it has been lived in various ways before being fixed in the present law. This law is very precious in the eyes of the Church, and that is the reason for which she has consistently refused to abolish or mitigate it, even in very difficult situations, such as during the Protestant crisis.
They always put forward the Eastern practice. Married clergy in the Eastern Church is not primitive, since it dates from the Council in Trullo (691). To justify this change of a law that was considered by all as apostolic, the Eastern bishops took the canons of an old African council, and knowingly modified them to reflect the sense of their novelty. This falsification has finally been admitted even by the Easterners, who sought to justify it by claiming that the Fathers of the Council had this power...
The cardinal continues: “It is therefore necessary to listen to what the Spirit suggests to the churches, to reflect and conscientiously meditate on the question of knowing if, in this situation, it is desirable, with the consent of the pope, to ordain to the priesthood men of faith who are married and have a family (called viri probati).”
It is not a question of knowing what the Spirit suggests to the churches: for that, one would have to reflect and meditate conscientiously on the immemorial tradition of the Church. Because the latter can no longer be deceived, as nicely said the Commonitorium of St. Vincent de Lérins. But for the modernists, it is a question of advancing ever further in the disintegration of the work of Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost over the centuries. The spirit that blows on this reflection is not of God, but the work of a malignant spirit...
After a verse on inculturation, the cardinal focuses on the ministries to be entrusted to women, “whose promotion today is one of the most urgent issues.” But he sees an obstacle: focusing on a priestly ministry (feminine) “to me seems counterproductive and blocks the steps that are immediately possible.” Because “today and as long as I can humanly foresee, a priestly and episcopal consensus in the universal Church on the ordination of women seems to me unrealistic and, in fact, it would lead us to a schism”; moreover “it would be the end of the fruitful dialogue with all the Eastern Orthodox Churches.”
This confession is terrifying. For it does mean that, for Cardinal Kasper, faith is nothing more than a consensus, and not a supernatural virtue given by God in order to believe in the revelation of Jesus Christ. Revelation which is immutable and which is fixed since the death of the last apostle. The consensus to change comes, and the faith will change with its purpose. Divine realities are therefore subject to the human will. It is nothing more than a purely modernist faith that draws the divine from the consciousness of man.
The cardinal concludes by proposing stages for an evolution towards this female priesthood: “Perhaps the diaconate” would be a first step, he suggests. “But the most important would be: 1. Synodal structures at all levels of the Church that guarantee co-responsibility and the right of consultation, but also the decision of the people of God.” Read: the introduction of democracy at all levels of the Church.
“2. There are many high-level positions in the Church (even in the Roman Curia), which may be filled by people who have not received priestly ordination.” So, feminize the Curia. When comes the demand for parity?
The merit that can be applied to Cardinal Kasper is that he says things clearly and does not hesitate to go to the bottom of his reasoning. That said, the fact remains that he is a despiser of the tradition of the Church and an objective destroyer of exegesis, theology, and ecclesiastical discipline. He has once again proved it by preparing for war against ecclesiastical celibacy.