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Divorce, reunion with Constantinople and mercy v. rigor

Michael Sean Winters of National Catholic Reporter looks today at an interview in Commonweal (one of the two major lefty Catholic magazines - NCR is a newspaper and America is the other) with Vatican Cardinal Walter Kasper. The intervierw is embedded in MSW's article at, which would can find at

Here are my comments, which are very personal:

On the question of marriage and remarriage, as well as the question of the late term abortion of a child who will never survive, the key factor to consider is whether we believe that the sacrifice of the cross was the placation of an angry God or a vision quest for God to experience the emptiness sometimes found in the human heart. In other words, is God a nasty rigorist or does he expect us to make up our own minds on these things?

Is the thinking in the Jewish community of the Babylonian exile to be the absolute standard of morality for all time? (I think not). On the other hand, should divorce be easy - undertaken without any more cause than the divorcing party does not feel happy at the moment? (I think both my mother in law and my wife would say yes to the latter). There is an emerging culture of divorce, even in the Catholic Church. I would think that stopping it would be a good thing, but should the abandonned party and the leaving party have the same right to remarry? Is it for the priest to decide or a tribunal - or maybe should it be the party who was abandonned, cheated on, beaten, victimized by an alcoholic spouse? What about a man who does not have a job (like me)? Should we continue to impose gender roles that subjegate women and keep them out of professional work or force them to face the emotional consequences of becoming breadwinners (which many are not prepred for - even in a feminist culture)?

As for Orthodoxy and Rome reuniting, many are still under the belief that Constantinople left Rome. It is, in fact, the other way around. Like an abandonned spouse, it is Constantinople that gets to accept or not accept Rome's return. Like an abused spouse, it is Protestantism's call as to reunite with Rome.

As for pedophile priests, that is one case where ancient says of Jesus should guilde. He said that those who lead innocent children to evil should be thrown into the sea to sleep with the fishes. I tend to agree - not with murder but in finding a strict punishment that keeps them away from both Catholic kids and any kids in private life (and no, this was not about teaching false doctrine - see the comments above on whether God is a rigorist jerk). It is a problem endemic in the Church from the start. We are finally addressing it but have not gone nearly far enough. The same standard should apply as in divorce, what does the victimized party want to happen to priests and those who covered for them (within controlled options, of course - no executions permitted).

I'm sorry, but at some point the belief that God is an Ogre to be feared is a violation of the First Commandment. Even if you follow all the other rules, breaking the first in this way will still send you to Hell, at least in this life.

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