Some excerpts of reaction to Cardinal Kasper’s comments about Africans.
I’m reminded of a similar scene at the once a decade Lambeth Conference when the Anglican bishops of England and USA told the African bishops bluntly that they would eventually accept homosexuality when they had grown a bit more and become more educated and sophisticated.
The African Anglican bishops were furious. One of them said, “We too have our doctorates from Oxford and Cambridge. We too have studied at Harvard and Yale. We too have written books, managed dioceses and built churches, cathedrals, schools and hospitals. You are being racist.”
The American and English bishops with their stuck up ideas were left speechless, because of course, to be intolerant and to be racist!! is the worst charge on can make against such people.
Homosexuality must be tolerated, a warm welcome must be given to persons engaged in every form of alternative family, faithful Catholics are to be scorned or sneered at–their faithfulness and self sacrifice is to be taken for granted in favor of bending over backward to welcome all the people who don’t give two hoots about whether they are welcomed or not.
In the meantime the same smooth Kasperites turn around and insult the Africans.
Enough. We’ve seen Kasper for what he truly is.
He’s an Anglican in sheep’s clothing.
Say what you like about H.E. Walter Card. Kasper, he speaks his mind. Normally this suits liberal Catholics. Today they’re wishing he had maintained a prudential silence.
In an interview with Edward Pentin of ZENIT published just as the fathers of the Carry On Synod on the Family thought things were calming down, the retired German cardinal held forth on Africans and how they don’t get it on the subject of homosexuality and really there’s no point in talking to them because they’re such bigots.
What this demonstrates is that, as I blogged on Tuesday, allowing the gay issue to loom large in the Synod was a massive blunder because it pits the developing world against the West. In liberal London, gayness means the gaudy print of Judy Garland that a priest friend of mine has on his wall. In Kampala it means anal sex. The worldwide Catholic Church has until now managed to bridge this cultural gulf by selective turning of a blind eye while emphasising the non-negotiability of its teachings on sex. Whether this is hypocrisy or pragmatism depends on your point of view.
Now he sounds like an Anglican – and not just because he thinks aloud on matters of the utmost sensitivity. One of the insoluble problems of that Anglican Communion, in which I try not to take pleasure, is that the liberals who patronisingly celebrate the ‘richness’ and ‘deep wisdom’ of African and Asian societies can’t come to terms with their anti-gay attitudes. Older liberals, especially, have to be careful not to slip back into the mindset of their youth, when Africans were by definition unenlightened. And Cardinal Kasper (b. 1933) does not ‘do’ carefulness.
Breathtaking condescension from a Western Bishop, whose German church isdwindling and headed for financial ruin, toward the African bishops whose pews and seminaries are indisputably overflowing and joyous.
In some ways, it’s like a mask coming off. Kasper is an openly progressive Catholic who holds opinions that sometimes skirt along the very thin membrane between authentic Catholic teaching and something not-quite in line. He is dependably of times and trends, and most assuredly conforms to the rules of politically correct thought and manners. Most of his admirers run along a similar vein, and yet I just watched a progressive Catholic defend Kasper, and couldn’t help but see the irony: the very people who have inculcated within society the dogma that criticism of any culture (except the Western culture-and-its-traditions) is anathema, when faced with a bit of opposition, are quick to do a complete 180 and suggest that the dissenting culture lacks sufficient enlightenment and need not be listened to, or taken seriously.
The lack of openness within the synod has been troubling. The fact that the African and Eastern churches have thus far not been included among the special rapporteurs is, to my way of thinking, rather shameful. The Eastern (and the African and Asian) churches are facing unimaginable persecution, and yet they are growing, even in the West.
The African and Asian churches are going to provide the bulk of new missionaries who will be needed to evangelize the “jungle of modern Western culture”, which has scant acquaintance with Christ Jesus. Their churches are growing; their priests are excited; why does their thinking not matter?
Moreover — and perhaps this is most important — dismissing and denigrating the African bishops, and the others, could seriously impact their effectiveness as missionaries to the West. “They needn’t be listened to, except in Africa…” I really don’t think Jesus would agree.
And how awful for one bishop to imply, as Kasper does, here, that it’s okay for the African bishops to be listened to in Africa…but not here, in Europe!