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October 10, 2014

Mammon trumps mercy

If you want to understand why some German bishops tend to favour admitting unrepentant ongoing adulterers to Holy Communion, this letter in the Catholic Herald print edition may  enlighten you.


It is well known that Cardinal Walter Kasper has campaigned for many years to try to persuade the Catholic Church to admit divorced and remarried Catholics to Holy Communion.

He and some other German bishops   regard this as  a desirable change and as an act of mercy and tolerance.

But it is rather less well known that the mercy and tolerance of Cardinal Kasper does not extend to those German Catholics who have committed the far more serious sin (in his eyes) of refusing to pay Church tax.

The German bishops have been denying Holy Communion and Christian burial (yes–even Christian burial) to Catholics who have opted out of paying Church tax.

Apparently about 70 per cent of Church revenues in Germany come from Church tax.

As it appears that Cardinal Kasper considers that paying Church tax is more important than following the teaching of the gospels on divorce and remarriage, the words of Jesus seem rather apt: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money (Matthew 6: 24.)

Yours faithfully

Fr Francis Coveney

St Anne Line

London E 18



Test for Clever but Shoddy Dodges

And here’s a very helpful comment from one of my heroes, Fr John Hunwicke of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

One gathers … as we grandly say in England … that brilliant ways are being mooted in Synodo for squaring the circle: formally maintaining Catholic sexual morality while letting people off the hook of having to try, with the help of grace, to adhere to it. (There was a time when English Protestants claimed that “Subtle Jesuits” could “prove that Black was White”.) One of these Brilliant Ways is Graduality or Gradualism.

Another is the old Liberal Protestant trick of talking about morality as an ideal rather than as a casuistic.

Another, that we must be more polite about people in certain situations and not call them Hurtful Names.

The Hunwicke test for diagnosing clever but shoddy dodges is threefold:
(1) Can you square it with the Sermon on the Mount and the ethical teaching of S Paul?
(2) Can you square it with the Lord’s parables and teaching about “we do not know the Day or the Hour”?
(3) Does it apply to murderers and pedophiles?

One comment

  1. It is very sad at what is happening in Rome at the moment. I heard that in Africa Catholics will be enticed away to Protestantism or even Islam if Rome continues its assault on traditional Christian marriage. It’s all very sad. Lets hope they pull back and come down finally on the side of orthodoxy and tradition.

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