|Rehabilitate Henry VIII?|
- Cardinal Walter Kasper spoke a few days ago at an ecumenical monastery in Bose, Italy at a Conference on justification, the Gospel of grace. Among other things, he said, "the ecumenical program should be formulated in the following terms: an evangelical Catholicism and a Catholic Protestantism." What the heck does that mean? If both faith's compromise we can reunify? Hey, you Catholics give up on the indissolubility of marriage and evil of abortion and the Protestants will give up....um....uh....er...woman clergy? Yeah...don't hold your breath.
- Kasper also said that Catholics and Protestants are part of "the one and only body of Christ, that is the Church" and ended his talk saying, "If we do not want the Churches to empty even more, we need to focus on the core." Anyone who has followed Cardinal Kasper's convoluted reasoning at the two synods on the family could easily believe he has no core on which to focus. Everything is up for grabs -- and that, essentially describes Protestantism. Empty pews are certainly preferable to empty (non-existent) theology. Kasper and other churchmen of his ilk explain why Jesus lamented, "When I return will I find any faith on the earth?" I don't think Christ will find much at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity headed by Kasper.
- As I wrote a few days ago, the Orlando diocese was hosting an ecumenical prayer service with the Lutheran Church imitating Pope Francis' historic trip to Lund to celebrate the 500th anniversary of heretic Martin Luther's rebellion. The diocesan newspaper gushed over it. Nothing was said, of course, about Luther's vicious attack on the Church and the pope whom he considered the anti-Christ. As far as I can tell there was no discussion of abortion which is (or should be) a serious stumbling block since the Lutherans consider abortion legitimate in at least some cases. You can learn more about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) here.
- Luther has been so rehabilitated by Pope Francis that his statue now resides at the Vatican. Perhaps we will see someone like Cardinal Kasper suggest his canonization to further the process of Church unity. We're being told these days that Luther didn't want to break from the Church. He wanted what I suppose we could call a "new evangelization." Luther was a real innovator. He wrote a new Bible that eliminated the Letter of James and a number of other books that interfered with his vision for a new and improved Catholic Church. If we'd only listened to him we wouldn't have needed Vatican II!
- So who's next on the list for rehabilitation? Henry VIII? We could start making plans now to celebrate the 500th anniversary in 2027 of the likely year Henry decided to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. That actually fits well with Amoris Laetitia since its 10th anniversary is 2016. Perhaps the Vatican could hold a big celebration for divorce and remarriage at St. Peters with a pontifical Mass in 2016 where "all are welcome" to receive the Body and Blood of Christ no matter their moral state. Then that could be followed by the canonization of Henry VIII in 2017. Wouldn't such a scenario appeal to the Anglicans and Episcopalians? Why should the Lutherans get all the fun?