On communion for the divorced and remarried, it is already known how the pope thinks. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, he authorized the “curas villeros,” the priests sent to the peripheries, to give communion to all, although four fifths of the couples were not even married. And as pope, by telephone or letter he is not afraid of encouraging some of the faithful who have remarried to receive communion without worrying about it, right away, even without those “penitential paths under the guidance of the diocesan bishop” projected by some at the synod, and without issuing any denials when the news of his actions comes out."...What bewilders me here is the precipitous end-run being made around collegiality and subsidiarity, with scant regard for the trust of the faithful in the validity of the Church’s essential moral suasion on essential matters. ... The law of unintended consequences is inexorable."
The second was by the Very Rev. [sic.] Robert Barron, "Appraising Kasper’s Proposal via John Henry Newman" (Patheos, October 30, 2014), in which he seriously suggests taking Blessed Cardinal Newman's Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine as a template for reconsidering Cardinal Kasper's proposal for Communion for the divorced and civilly "re-married" adulterers:
Well, let’s consider the proposal made by Cardinal Walter Kasper regarding communion for the divorced and re-married. Is it an authentic development or a corruption of Catholic moral teaching and practice? Might I suggest that all of the disputants in that argument take a step back and assess the matter using Cardinal Newman’s criteria? Would Newman be opposed in principle to change in this regard? Not necessarily, for he knew that to live is to change. Would he therefore enthusiastically embrace what Cardinal Kasper has proposed? Not necessarily, for it might represent a corruption. As the conversation continues to unfold over the coming months, I think all sides would benefit from a careful reading of On the Development of Christian Doctrine.Fr. Barron is (sort of) careful not to come right out and say that Kaspar's suggestion might not be a corruption but an authentic development. But it's clearly an invitation to pause, sit down, and consider this possibility. Here, if you squint at this just right, it almost looks like it could be ... Catholic.
Related: Gloria TV report on Cardinal Marx, the German bishops, and the "principle of gradualism."
Postscript: The first commentor in the combox below gently suggests that I may be mis-reading Fr. Barron here. I heartily hope and pray that this is the case. If this is so, then I wish that he were more explicit in saying exactly what he means rather than hedging his views in repeated circumlocutions. Come to think of it, this is precisely what wearied me about the recent Synod, as well as what wearies me about the Holy Father. Fr. Blake goes so far as to say: "I must admit I still don't understand Francis. Is he the greatest thing since unsliced bread, a cunning old Jesuit, a conservative, a trad, a prophet, a fool or even the anti-Christ; a breath of fresh-air or the stench from the tomb of those rather detestable men who surrounded the Blessed Paul VI and added to his suffering?" -- certainly more than I would say, but you get the point: Does Fr. Barron really believe that hell could be empty? If he's willing to entertain that possibility, then what else might be be willing to consider? If his article here is a defence of Church teaching, I, for one, found it confusing. What we need today is clarity -- all the more because of those who do not even know what the Church actually teaches.
I groan with the weariness of all this, as I'm sure many of you do. Oremus.
Related: Fr. Richard G. Cipolla, "No, Newman cannot be used to defend Kasper" (Musings, November 2, 2014).