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Chicken-Dinner Kasper

Did you see this incredible interview with German Cardinal Walter Kasper, one of the liberal leaders in the Synod? Money quotes:

It has been said that he added five special rapporteurs on Friday to help the general rapporteur, Cardinal Peter Erdo. Is that because he’s trying to push things through according to his wishes?

[Kasper:] I do not see this going on in the Pope’s head. But I think the majority of these five people are open people who want to go on with this. The problem, as well, is that there are different problems of different continents and different cultures. Africa is totally different from the West. Also Asian and Muslim countries, they’re very different, especially about gays. You can’t speak about this with Africans and people of Muslim countries. It’s not possible. It’s a taboo. For us, we say we ought not to discriminate, we don’t want to discriminate in certain respects.

But are African participants listened to in this regard?

No, the majority of them [who hold these views won’t speak about them].

They’re not listened to?

In Africa of course [their views are listened to], where it’s a taboo.

What has changed for you, regarding the methodology of this synod?

I think in the end there must be a general line in the Church, general criteria, but then the questions of Africa we cannot solve. There must be space also for the local bishops’ conferences to solve their problems but I’d say with Africa it’s impossible [for us to solve]. But they should not tell us too much what we have to do.

Wait, since when are African and Asian Catholics second-class citizens in their own Church? The arrogance of the Western liberal Kasper is unspeakable — and of a piece with the same attitudes liberals in the Episcopal Church and the Church of England have taken towards the Global South. USA Today points out that numerically speaking, Catholics in Africa are poised to overtake Catholics in Europe within a decade. The Catholic faith — Christianity in general — is utterly moribund in Europe. The churches are nearly empty. Not so in Africa. In Cardinal Kasper’s own country, only 13 percent of Catholics show up for mass on Sunday (Pew says that number is lower). What kind of special arrogance does it take to say that the Africans and the Asians do not deserve to be listened to because their views do not accord with what liberal Europeans who speak for a dwindling number of Catholics believe? Truth is not decided by numbers, surely, but Kasper represents a church that is dying not from martyrdom, but from boredom. He ought to be a lot more humble.

Remember the controversy at the 1998 Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Communion, in which angry liberals were said to have complained that the African Anglicans’ loyalty to the conservative line on homosexuality was “bought by chicken dinners”? Well, how do you say “bought by chicken dinners” in German?

I think Cardinal Kasper’s remarks deserve wide dissemination.

Amazing what’s going on in Rome. Just amazing. With implications for the entire Christian world. Damian Thompson has more. Here’s Matthew Schmitz’s take on the Kasper interview. Excerpt:

One can reject utterly proposals like Uganda’s law on homosexuality—as I do—without dismissing the opinions of an entire continent as the product of mere taboo. Indeed, as Elizabeth Palchik Allen has argued in Foreign Policy, Uganda’s law was prompted in no small part by the same sort of imperious condescension exhibited by Kasper. When it comes to matters that matter, the past is a foreign country, as is Africa, and Kasper has no intention of listening to either.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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