The full text of Cardinal Walter Kasper’s interview with Corriere has far more important points than only those included in second hand reports, such as at La Croix. I post below my translation of the original Italian, which may be seen in this facebook post at LGBT Chretiens.
The headline, subheading and questions and interventions in bold are those of Corriere. Paragraphs in blockquotes are the reported words of Cardinal Kasper.
“Many faithful want civil unions. It is time that the Church accept this challenge”
German theologian : our principles will not change , but we must find a new language
“A democratic state must respect will of the people, it seems clear, if the majority of the people want these civil unions it is a duty of the state to recognize these rights. But we can not forget that such legislation, while distinguishing between marriage and homosexual unions, comes to recognize in such unions more or less the same rights as in a family formed by man and woman. This has a huge impact on people’s moral conscience. It creates a certain normativity. And for the Church it becomes more difficult to explain the difference.
Cardinal Walter Kasper, the senior theologian to whom Francis entrusted the introduction to the Synod last year, and the reference point of the more reformist spirit, releases a long sigh: “It will not be easy”.
And why, Your Eminence?
You see, I think that the Irish referendum is emblematic of the situation in which we find ourselves, not only in Europe but throughout the West. Facing this reality means recognizing that the postmodern conception, for which everything is equal, is in contrast to the doctrines of the Church. We can not accept equating it with marriage. But it is a reality that many of the faithful in the Church of Ireland have voted for, and I have the impression that in other European countries the climate is similar.
And then, what will the Church do?
It has been too silent about these themes. Now is the time to discuss it.
At the October Synod?
Of course. If the next Synod of the family wants to talk about the family according to Christian understanding, it must say something, must respond to this challenge. The last time the issue was marginal but it now becomes central. I can not imagine a fundamental change in the position of the Church. It is clear in Genesis, it is clear the Gospel. But the traditional formulas with which we tried to explain this, clearly, no longer reach the minds and hearts of the people. Now this is not to set up barricades. Rather, we must find a new language to state the fundamentals of anthropology, man and woman, love … .. A language that is understandable, especially to the young.
At the last Synod on the theme of “hospitality” towards homosexuals was controversial, there was contrast between the European opening up and the more closed positions of bishoprics such as Africa …
No, it is that the European and African bishops think differently. the Church’s position is still the same. What differs is the context, it is the sensitivity of the company,which is different in Africa and Europe. And in Europe, things have changed
In what sense?
Is no longer a time when the position of the Church on these issues is more or less supported by the civil communities. In recent decades the Church has tried to say that sexuality is a good thing, we wanted to avoid the negative language that had previously prevailed. But now we must also talk about what sexuality is, of the equal dignity and of the differemce of men and women, order of creation, the conception of the human being … .. “
With regard to language, the documents of the Church on homosexuality use expressions such as “objectively disordered inclination ….”
We have to be careful not to use expressions that may sound offensive, without disguising the truth. We have to overcome the discrimination that has a long tradition in our culture. Moreover it says in the catechism that we should not discriminate. Homosessuals must be accepted, must have a place in the life of the Church, belong to the Church … .. “
And same-sex couples? Can the Church also not recognize for them the idea of “possible good” that we were talking about for divorced and remarried in new unions?
If it is a stable union, then good,elements certainly exist, we must recognize them. But we can not equate (them with marriage), not that. The family formed of man and woman and open to procreation is the fundamental cell of society, the source of life for the future. It is not an internal problem for the Church, it affects all, it should be assessed with reason and good sense of the enormous consequences for society; think of the adoptions, of the good of the children, about practices such as surrogate motherhood, women holding a baby for nine months under their heart and maybe are exploited because they are poor, for some money. We must not discriminate but not be naive.