Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Strange words from Cardinal Kasper

More and more Anglicans and Episcopalians are joining the Catholic Church due to their churches' increasingly liberal doctrine. While several American Episcopal bishops have become Catholic recently, and an entire diocese left the Episcopal Church to join a more conservative Anglican body, perhaps nothing tops the Traditional Anglican Communion, whose representatives -- possibly representing up to 400,000 Anglicans -- recently submitted papers to Rome, asking for "full, corporate sacramental union."

Certainly such a request is cause for rejoicing. Never since the original split have so many Anglicans sought to return to the Church. According to a Catholic Online article, the pope is considering their request and brought the matter before the consistory of cardinals for discussion a few weeks ago. According to this article, the discussion was led by German Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Now Cardinal Kasper's recent interview with the British Catholic Herald has thrown ice on the matter. The first paragraph of the article reads:
One of the Vatican's most senior cardinals has dismissed the idea that a breakaway group of Anglicans might be received into the Catholic Church en masse - despite Benedict XVI's personal support for such a move. Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, told The Catholic Herald: "It's not our policy to bring that many Anglicans to Rome."

The article continues:
The cardinal said on Monday: "We are on good terms with the Archbishop of Canterbury and as much as we can we are helping him to keep the Anglican community together.
"When asked whether he felt encouraged by the TAC's request, the cardinal replied: "It's not our policy to bring that many Anglicans to Rome and I am not sure there are so many as you are speaking about.
"He added: "Of course, as a Catholic I am happy if one person joins our Catholic Church but I doubt such a big group is coming - I think there are still many questions to solve first."

Exactly where did this ice water come from??? Exactly how many Anglicans would Cardinal Kasper allow to become Catholic??? Why is the cardinal against Anglicans becoming Catholic???

I understand that it's not so simple as saying Cardinal Kasper doesn't want Anglicans to become Catholic. I think he and other professional ecumenists would like an entire denomination to grow towards a stronger sense of self-identity, and gradually to come closer to recognizing the Catholic Church as its spiritual home. But I can't see how a professional ecumenist like Cardinal Kasper can fail to recognize that the Anglican Communion isn't held together as a "church" like the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. Communion under Canterbury lacks essential elements of apostolic succession and valid sacraments, and Anglicanisms sharp drift into modernism is a sure reflection of this fact.

To prevent an en masse conversion is to fail to throw a life preserver to faithful who are drowning spiritually. Giving these Anglicans the cold shoulder in a very real sense constitutes dereliction of duty. The Catholic Herald article indicates that the CDF, not Cardinal Kasper's Council, is working with these Anglicans -- something I am grateful for. But I am left with a bad feeling by the fact Cardinal Kasper addressed the Consistory regarding this matter.

No comments: