Christian Order: The Kasper Apostasy…

Christian Order: The Kasper Apostasy…

With the October Synod on the Family now looming on the horizon, a recent Christian Order editorial really says it all. Be warned though, the Editor, Rod Pead, does not mince his words. This is n
ot recommended reading for the faint-hearted and certainly not for those who dabble in papolatry.  It’s lengthy but you won’t want to miss a word.  Click on “source” at the end of the extract (or on either of the images on this page) to read the entire editorial – then share your thoughts…

“The new approach that Catholic scholars are taking to Jesus and the scriptures … reflects the presuppositions and procedures [of] Catholic scholars like … Walter Kasper…. Many of the conclusions of [this] ‘liberal consensus’ conflict sharply with traditional Catholic doctrine. … [Its] major achievement … seems to be bringing the church to what can be called the end of Catholicism…. [The point] is not to salvage Catholicism or Christianity but to let go of them… to help people leave the church with a good conscience. “

 – Thomas Sheehan, The New York Review of Books,1984

  • [A] divine intervention in the sense of a directly visible action of God is theological nonsense. (Jesus the Christ, 1974)
  • God’s relation to Moses in the Burning Bush is not “I Am,” but “I am with you. I am for you.” (7/5/14)
  • The Church is not against birth control at all. … it’s [the couple’s] personal conscience and their personal responsibility. (5/5/14)
  • So if [the divorced-and-remarried] can receive spiritual communion, why not also sacramental Communion? (5/5/14)

Cardinal Kasper

“In the past few days I have been reading a book by… Cardinal Kasper, a clever theologian, a good theologian…
And that book did me a lot of good.”

  – Pope Francis, 17/3/13

Spanning forty years, this thread of quotations pretty much underlines and sums up the current state of play as detailed and analysed in recent editions. We could, therefore, pronounce a simple, emphatic “Oremus!” — and leave it at that.

However, Cardinal Kasper’s influential re-emergence under Francis requires elaboration. Especially when the looming Extraordinary General Cardinal Kasper Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (5-19 October) — called to discuss “pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation” — is being primed for Kasper’s hobbyhorse: Communion for the divorced-and-re-remarried.

The Modernist proposition

Last February, at the Pope’s behest, the notorious German enumerated to an Extraordinary Consistory of around 150 cardinals, his long-held proposal to sanction that sinful pastoral practice.

Typically, the undermining of the indissolubility of the marriage bond, and related Catholic dogmas pertaining to the Sacrament of Penance and the Holy Eucharist, was presented as a trifle: a “merciful” granting of hard-case “exceptions.”

Sounding more like the king of snake oil salesmen than a prince of the Church, Kasper posited no significant doctrinal change or damaging ramifications at all, selling the supposed “exclusion” of a divorced-and-remarried person from receiving Communion as an “exploitation of the person,” while suggesting an oh-so-reasonable compromise: that “the smallest sector of divorced-and-remarried Catholics who are truly interested in receiving the sacraments” might be admitted to “the sacrament of penance, and then of Communion,” if the person concerned:

  1. Repents of the failure of his marriage and
  2. Has cleared up the obligations of his first marriage, if a return to it is definitely ruled out;
  3. If he cannot abandon the commitments that he has made with his new civil marriage without committing other sins [— these, he recently explained, involve “The breakup of the second family. If there are children you cannot do it. If you’re engaged to a new partner, you’ve given your word, and so it’s not possible.”]
  4. If he tries nevertheless to live his second marriage as well as he can, in faith, and educating his children in the faith;
  5. If he desires the sacraments as the source of strength in his situation.

For the diabolically-disoriented Cardinal, in other words, marriage is doctrinally indissoluble but can be dissolved pastorally. The same sulphurous approach he has adopted to ecumenism and religious liberty with the blessing of his favourite pastoral Council, which, he says, “opened the doors without violating the compulsory dogmatic tradition.”

The papal patronage

Once again the open dialogue the Holy Father likes to tout was nowhere in evidence. Instead, to underscore his own stance, not even a token orthodox speaker was chosen to counter Kasper’s two-hour marathon. According to German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, after the address “strong objections” were posed by numerous cardinals, effectively pricking this trial balloon sent up by our über-collegial pontiff to test the collegial temper. Undeterred, Francis then praised Kasper effusively, opening the second day of the consistory (21 February) with this spurious thumbs up:

Yesterday, before going to sleep, … I re-read Cardinal Kasper’s study, and I would like to thank him, because I found in it a profound theology and the serene thought of a theologian. I also found what St. Ignatius told us about, the sensus Ecclesiae, the love of our Mother the Church…. This is called doing theology on one’s knees.

On the contrary, Holy Father, this is to confuse doing theology on one’s knees before God with doing apostasy kneeling before the world! Meanwhile, on the pope’s behalf, the dean of the assembled cardinals, ex-Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, was stressing consistory confidentiality and swearing all to secrecy … with the exception of one Walter Kasper. While his brethren duly kept their counsel, Kasper immediately announced publication of his address in Germany and Italy. He was also granted final right of reply to his opponents in the consistory.

The Catholic response

Providentially, the editor of Il Foglio, the Milan-based neo-conservative daily, upset the liberal apple cart. On 1 March he published the speech worldwide, together with an objective critique by historian Roberto de Mattei. Citing the Church Fathers, de Mattei shredded Kasper’s specious appeal to early Church practice to justify his perverse cause.

Since his thinly-disguised Modernist assault on the Faith cannot withstand Catholic critique, Kasper exploded, venting his spleen on Vatican radio, then sounding off in the Pope’s L’Osservatore Romano, all of which leant further authority to his position. But at least de Mattei’s clear analysis was now available to shed comforting light on the modus operandi of the Kasper-led revolution, which he summarised as follows:

The doctrine does not change; the only novelty concerns pastoral practice. The slogan, which has been repeated for a year now, reassures on the one hand those conservatives who gauge everything in terms of doctrinal declarations, and on the other hand it encourages the progressives who attach little importance to doctrine and entrust everything to the primacy of practice.

By paying lip service to orthodoxy (right belief) and positing sinful practice as orthopraxis (right action), Kasper seeks to disguise his profound incoherence and hyprocrisy. Shortly after the election of his papal patron, for instance, he wrote in L’Osservatore Romano (12/4/13) that the Church “needs to defend the faith against pluralism and postmodern relativism, as well as the fundamentalist tendencies that run from reason.” Yet what could be more irrational than his undoing two thousand years of Sacramental Theology of Matrimony and Penance in order to accommodate the relativistic/pluralistic postmodern world he supposedly deplores; to construct a slippery slope to ever more concubinage, Eucharistic sacrilege, and sola scriptura protestantisation?  Source

Comments (39)

  • Athanasius

    What Cardinal Kasper and so many other false disciples of Our Lord are doing today in effect is turning Christianity on its head to make God in man’s image. The result of this apostasy is now everywhere evident as the Church’s hierarchy – once unanimously zealous and uncompromising in the defence of virtue – is now increasingly fracturing as growing numbers depart from the truth under weak and negligent Pontifical leadership to make the case for vice. The trend is to establish a Christianity without Christ, heaven without the Cross, the passions ungoverned by His Passion. Talk about delusion!

    September 6, 2014 at 3:58 pm
    • Josephine


      Your post is chilling indeed but very true. How on earth did we get to this?

      September 8, 2014 at 8:52 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    I think it is very obvious from that article that Pope Francis definitely is an “outright Modernist” as Bishop Fellay said he was. To think he liked Cardinal Kasper’s book and thinks of him as a clever theologian. It beggars belief.

    The cardinal talks about certain remarried and divorced getting Communion if there are no obligations from the previous marriage but tell that to my friend whose husband left her (with a toddler to care for) for another woman, and now has four children with her. My friend is a practising Catholic. How is she supposed to feel if she and her daughter are discounted as no longer being an “obligation”. If priests start to allow these people to receive Holy Communion, an awful lot of us are going to have our faith tested to breaking point.

    That was a great article, BTW, very well said.

    September 6, 2014 at 6:33 pm
    • Josephine

      Margaret Mary,

      I, too, have a friend who was abandoned by her good for nothing husband and left with three children to raise. She has also stayed true to her vows but if she were to see him receive Communion, that would shock her to the limit.

      If priests start doing this, giving Communion to the divorced and remarried or men cohabiting after abandoning their families, I would hope all who were aware of the circumstances would get up and walk out of that church. I know I would.

      September 8, 2014 at 8:54 pm
  • Nicky

    That is a brilliant expose of Cardinal Kasper’s lip-service to the indissolubility of marriage. Well said Christian Order.

    I think this sums up the reality: “his thinly-disguised Modernist assault on the Faith cannot withstand Catholic critique”

    That’s it in a nutshell. Cardinal Kasper will do his utmost to change what happens at Communion around the world, but if priests have anything like a Catholic conscience, they will say “enough is enough”.

    September 6, 2014 at 7:11 pm
  • editor

    I agree with all comments to date, except we should definitely NOT allow the outcome, whatever it is, to test our faith to “breaking point”. This Synod may well be, in effect, a “sheep and goats” moment; we’ll soon know who’s who and what’s what, so to speak, but we must hold firm to our unchanging and unchangeable Catholic Faith. Which doesn’t alter the fact that Cardinal Kasper really does take the biscuit. With a Diet Coke…

    Speaking of which (Diet Coke!) I’m about to set off for my weekend round of the pubs and clubs

    So, I’ll catch up with this rivetting discussion tomorrow – slow down, folks. I’m struggling to keep up 😀

    September 6, 2014 at 10:58 pm
    • RbM

      Bishop’s bold statement halts ‘blasphemous’ rosary for gay ‘marriage’ inside cathedral.

      Please take note of the fact this Bishop MUST make an appeal to the Holy Bible to justify refusing to allow sodomites and their sympathizers into his Cathedral.

      Why is this? Because Holy Matrimony is outside the scope of his authority, that’s why. And he knows it. The Church can only be a witness to the Sacrament of Marriage. This is unique in the Sacramental life of the Church and Her members.

      This is an important distinction to make here. The Scripture alone upholds the indissolubility of the Marriage Bond; if the Scripture cannot be used in defense of Creation, than it cannot be used in defense of Marriage either. Jesus meant what He said, and said what He meant.

      The Marriage Bond is indissoluble. This is not just an ideal to be lived up to. It is a fact of nature just as sure as the 6 days of Creation are.

      Divorce and remarriage is adultery. Read it and weep…

      Christ was conceived under the most unusual of circumstances to the modern reader. Peculiar to Jewish custom was the betrothal period of engagement. No other culture practiced it in this way because it developed as a direct result of Abraham’s God and His influence in his future generations. We can see it clearly, contained in the account of Genesis if looked for carefully. We see evidence of it throughout Old Testament Scripture – The Betrothal.

      The betrothal period of engagement is interwoven into the tapestry of the creation account as an expression of the Divine Nature. And we see it manifested through the marriage of Saint Mary and Joseph, King of a new Kingdom on earth….

      The important thing to understand here is that God is a God of the Supernatural. The family is the Domestic Church. This authority comes from God alone without any Priest or Pope.

      Saint Paul hearkens back to the Genesis account of Creation to describe the relationship between Christ and His Church. For “this cause” he says. What cause? For the establishment of the Sacrament of Marriage, for without it there is no Catholic Religion!

      If Matthew 19:6-9 and Mark 10:6-9 are trustworthy and demonstrate a fact of nature, then so does the Genesis account of Creation found in Genesis Chapters One through Three.

      If praying for same-sex marriage in the Cathedral is blasphemous and people who do it will not be allowed in the Temple of God’s Cathedral… ~ Bishop Thomas Paprocki

      Then what makes you think that evolution isn’t just as blasphemous and that “heliocentrists” should be allowed in the Temple of God’s Creation…?

      GENESIS 3:15 is often referred to as “THE PROTOEVANGELIUM OR “FIRST GOSPEL”

      I am convinced that Genesis 2:24 is a foreshadowing of the marriage between Saint Mary and Her Joseph, just as sure as Genesis 3:15 is where we see Christ and His Mary.

      For more of this, please see

      Point is – The Scripture is trustworthy and must be relied upon by the Church to establish what is Truth in Holy Matrimony…

      God Created the world and He did it in Six days. Furthermore, Eve was created from the rib of Adam. These are both facts of nature. The Six days of Creation include the Marriage of Adam and Eve. You cannot hold to the one and reject the other without tearing asunder the tapestry of the Creation account itself.

      To reject a supernatural Six Day Creation is to reject the Indissolubility and Sacramental Nature of Marriage. Christ Himself hearkened back to the Creation account of His Father contained in the book of Genesis to establish and raise Marriage to the level of a Sacrament. He certainly intended the Sacramental One-Flesh Nature of the Marriage Bond to be a Fact of Nature; and to attempt to tear it away from within the Creation account in which it is found, is to deform the beautiful tapestry of Creation of Marriage that we see revealed in the Genesis Creation account. Pull this one thread and it all begins to unravel…

      I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
      marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.


      September 7, 2014 at 12:16 am
  • RbM


    I will prove, using logic and reason that the Matthew exception commonly used to justify divorce and remarriage in cases of moral uncleanness is no exception at all because it leads to an absurdum.

    The premise of the argument, that I will disprove in this lecture, maintains that the clause “except it be for fornication”, that is found in the Gospel of Matthew, is correctly interpreted to mean that the innocent spouse in a marriage has the scriptural right to divorce the offending spouse and marry another, if the offending spouse is guilty of some sexual misconduct. This sexual misconduct is referred to as adultery, is seen as ‘grounds’ for divorce in this school of Christianity, and allows the innocent party to marry someone else.

    First of all, we need to understand that no unstated assumptions may be used in a proof; therefore, I will state the assumptions that I am making, as well as define my terms.

    I am assuming that the reader has some idea of the various classes of truths. In particular,
    I am referring to truths that need no proof and truths that need proof. I stated at the beginning of my lecture that I would prove, using logic and reason, that the Matthew exception, which is commonly used to justify divorce and remarriage in cases of moral uncleanness, is no exception at all because it leads to an absurdum. I intend to prove this to the reader as a truth. This is a truth that needs proof. But before I do this, I must remind the reader of some self-evident truths of reason that need no proof, as well as bring to your attention some basic rules of reasoning that every rational being has. In particular, the self-evident truths of reason that I am speaking of are those, which all sane men must affirm to be truth when they are presented to the mind and understood. The mathematical axioms and principles of science belong to this class of truths. And I would like to take advantage of some of the principles of informal logic commonly used in mathematics to help illustrate my point and ultimately prove my point; namely, contra-positive logic and negation. After these self-evident truths of reason are understood, they can then be used to prove a truth, which needs proof. And this is exactly what I intend to do with this lecture. I will begin by discussing theorems and proofs, and then define some terms.

    A THEOREM is a conditional statement of the form:

    If (hypothesis), than (conclusion).

    The hypothesis implies the conclusion in this statement. We can denote the hypothesis by H, the conclusion by C, and ‘implies’ by the symbol à. We can now represent our statement thus:

    H -> C


    If H is the statement, (I will read this lecture). And C is the statement, (I will understand what it says). Than H -> C means:

    IF I will read this lecture, THAN I will understand what it says.

    A PROOF can be defined as a series of statements, each of which are justified, which leads to the desired conclusion.


    If S is any statement, then the negation of S is denoted by ~S.
    If S is the statement, “Johnny is a sinner”. Then ~S is the statement, “Johnny is a saint”.

    Applying the logic of negation to our example H -> C; the statement
    ~(H -> C) means the same as H & ~C, or H and the negation of C.

    If (H -> C) is the statement:
    (If I will read this lecture than I will understand what it says),

    Then ~(H -> C) would mean,
    (I will read this lecture and I will not understand what it says).


    Contra-positive logic dictates that my statement H -> C has the logical equivalent
    ~C -> ~H, and that they are logically equivalent to each other. This can be stated thus:

    (H -> C) (~C -> ~H)

    Applying contra-positive logic to our example would result in the following two statements being equivalent to each other:

    (If I will read the lecture than I will understand what it says) (If I do not understand what it says than I have not read the lecture).


    An absurdum is a statement that is a contradiction. It is a conjunction of a statement S with the negation of S, and can be denoted thus:

    (S & ~S).

    If S is the statement, (Johnny is a sinner). Than ~S would be the statement, (Johnny is a saint).

    An absurdum would be (Johnny is a sinner and Johnny is a saint).

    I will now begin by focusing on the words of Jesus Christ found in the Gospel of Matthew.

    MATTHEW 19:9

    “And I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery,”

    This is the verse most often appealed to by those seeking to justify divorce and remarriage. The popular interpretation of this verse permits the innocent party in a marriage to divorce their spouse if they are guilty of adultery, and then allows the innocent party to marry another. Applying this interpretation, we could paraphrase the verse thus:

    And I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife, (if it is not for fornication that he puts her away), and marries another, commits adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

    For example, Joseph marries Mary. Mary has sexual relations with another man. Joseph finds out about it and divorces Mary. Joseph then marries Barbie. According to this school of thought, Joseph and Barbie are justified in God’s sight, and their marriage is Holy. Mary then marries Barabbas. Not so good for Mary and Barabbas. They are in adultery. If I understand them correctly, this is what is believed by the proponents of this doctrine.

    What I would like to do now is examine the words of Christ found in Matthew 5:32.

    MATTHEW 5:32

    “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”

    Here again we find Jesus discussing the issue of marriage and divorce. However, if we apply the exception clause the same way we did in Matthew 19:9 we encounter insurmountable difficulties. As a matter of fact, I contend that if we interpret this scripture the way the proponents of the Matthew exception for remarriage theology would have us, it results in an absurdum.

    This is the main focus of this lecture, to expose this so-called Matthew exception for remarriage as no exception at all, by showing that this interpretation of scripture leads to an absurdum, and therefore cannot be the correct interpretation at all; furthermore, if it does not hold true in Matthew 5:32, than it does not hold true in Matthew 19:9 either. Let us now apply this interpretation of scripture to Matthew 5:32 and paraphrase it thus:

    But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, (unless it is for fornication that he puts her away), causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

    Let’s look closely at this situation and see if this is in fact what Jesus was saying:

    What we have here is an, IF (this) THEN (that) statement, which is qualified by a negated prepositional phrase, or an ‘unless’ statement. If a man divorces his wife, he causes her to commit adultery, unless something else happens first, namely her fornication, which negates the original statement.

    For example: Applying contra-positive logic and negation to our scenario:

    Joseph marries Mary. Joseph divorces Mary. Mary marries Barabbas. Mary and Barabbas are in adultery.

    Joseph marries Mary. Mary commits ‘fornication’. Joseph finds out about it and divorces Mary. Mary marries Barabbas. Mary and Barabbas ARE NOT in adultery.

    Does something seem wrong with this scenario to you? I hope so. It’s absurd! But this is exactly what we must believe Jesus is teaching if we accept the Matthew exception for remarriage theology.

    Once again, if we apply the Matthew exception for remarriage theology to Matthew 5:32 we get the two following possible scenarios:



    According to the Matthew exception for remarriage theology, if Joseph and Mary are joined in Holy Matrimony, and then Mary commits ‘fornication’ after they are married and is then divorced by Joseph, she does not commit adultery when she marries another man! However, if she is divorced as an innocent spouse, and marries another man, she is in adultery. This represents God as rewarding the guilty. One would have to abandon all reason in order to believe this. All of scripture represents God as opposing sin. This theory represents God as rewarding sin.
    (God opposes sin & God rewards sin). This is an absurdum.

    In order to maintain any consistency between the divorce sayings of Matthew 19:9 and 5:32, the prepositional phrase that appears in both of these verses is either an ‘unless’ statement that qualifies both verses as IF (this) THAN (that) statements, or it is not a prepositional phrase at all and must be interpreted in some other way. If Matthew 19:9 is in fact an IF (this) THAN (that) statement, and the fornication clause is a negated prepositional phrase that qualifies when a man is entitled to divorce and remarry, then the fornication clause in Matthew 5:32 should be interpreted in the same way. We have seen, however, that to interpret Matthew 5:32 in this way is manifestly absurd.

    The only way for the advocates of the Matthew exception for remarriage theology to alleviate this difficultly is to insist that although Matthew 19:9 is an IF (this) THAN (that) statement, which is qualified by the fornication clause acting as a prepositional phrase, Matthew 5:32 is not. They insist that Matthew 5:32 doesn’t say anything directly about the guilt or innocence of the woman in question, but only addresses the conditions under which the husband would be guilty of causing his wife to commit adultery. The woman in question is guilty either way. However, what our ‘matthew exceptionaries’ would have us believe next cannot bear the weight of their argument. Not only is the man not guilty of causing his wife’s subsequent marriage to be adulterous by divorcing her, because she is already guilty of commiting the sin against himself while they were still married; but they also insist that in the case of the wife who commits adultery, the husband is then free to marry another because the wife’s fornication breaks the marriage bond between them. But if this is true, then why is his wife’s subsequent marriage adulterous??

    Ladies and gentlemen, the only way her subsequent marriage could be adultery, is if her first vow was still in effect. This means her husband is still be married to her. Now, he goes off and contracts another marriage, with God’s blessing? He’s married to two women at the same time! This represents God as advocating bigamy. Once again we have an absurdum.


    If adultery is defined as extra-marital sexual activity, and fornication as it is used in Matthew 5:32 is defined as sexual activity within the marriage bond; then we are left with having to interpret the verse as allowing a man to divorce his wife if she is guilty of sexual misconduct within the marriage bond, but not allowing him to contract another marriage, as well as forbidding the marriage of a divorced woman.

    Any other interpretation leads to an absurd statement. It either represents God as rewarding the guilty, or it represents Him as advocating bigamy.

    I have now proven, using logic and reason, that the Matthew exception commonly used to justify divorce and remarriage in cases of moral uncleanness is no exception at all, because it leads to an absurdum.


    Consider with me the possibility that the answer to the question for which we are seeking cannot be found in the verses in question, for they do not address the situation we have been considering, but something altogether different.

    When Matthew 5:32 is put in its proper relation to surrounding scripture, we begin to get a clear picture of what Jesus Christ was teaching. Christ begins His reference to sexual sin in His Sermon on The Mount at verse 27, and continues on through verse 32.

    MATTHEW 5:27 – 32

    27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

    28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath commited adultery with her already in his heart.

    29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

    30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

    31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

    32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

    In these verses we have Christ’s reference to sexual sin in His Sermon on The Mount. He begins in verse 27 by referring to the seventh commandment. He then goes on to insist that a man is guilty of violating the spirit of the seventh commandment if he just looks at a woman to lust after her. He then calls for a higher standard of righteousness.

    We then see Christ addressing the Mosaic divorce precept. Now let us consider verse 32. Christ represents, once again, a situation in which a man is guilty of violating the seventh commandment; it is when he divorces his wife, or marries a woman that has been divorced. Christ indicts the man with causing his wife to commit adultery when she takes her bill of divorcement and goes and contracts another marriage. He is seen as putting the whole onus on the man for forcing her into a marriage that she would almost of necessity have had to contract in her present situation. Christ is attacking the bill of divorcement itself. In effect, He is saying that it is an adulterous thing to do. Now, the fornication clause contained in this verse is an exception for when divorce is not adulterous, and nothing more.

    So here we see Christ teaching something that violates the seventh commandment that his listening audience would have never even considered; lust, unwarranted divorce and marrying a divorced woman.

    Now someone will then ask why divorce is wrong if it is not always adulterous.

    For the answer, we must look to Matthew chapter 19.

    MATTHEW 19: 3-9

    3 The Pharisees also came unto Him, tempting Him, and saying unto Him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

    4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

    5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave mother and father, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

    6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.

    7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

    8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

    9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

    In these verses the Pharisees are seen tempting Jesus by asking Him if divorce is lawful. The principle point in discussion here is about divorce, and if Christ would permit it, nothing more.
    Christ responds by declaring the marriage bond to be indissoluble. The Pharisees then appeal to Moses’ divorce precept in an attempt to justify divorce. Jesus then rebuffs their appeal to the law as little more than a concession for their hardheartedness.

    So now we clearly see that divorce is wrong because Jesus said divorce was wrong. And He makes reference to His Father’s original intention in Genesis chapter 2 as the reason why – The two become one flesh and are no more twain.

    And then in verse 9 we see Christ saying:

    9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

    Here Matthew’s author represents Christ as restating what He had said in chapter 5:32 – that
    unwarranted divorce, as well as marrying a divorced woman, is an adulterous thing to do. He then adds to this scope in Mathew 19:9, to include the man who marries another to be an adulterer as well.

    Let us pull these Matthew scriptures side by side for a moment:

    MATTHEW 5:32 & MATTHEW 19:9

    32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

    9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

    It is a common literary technique of Matthew to mention a topic twice. This is can be seen throughout his Gospel with other topics as well. The divorce pericopae fits this pattern. I think it is important to recognize that Matthew anticipated his latter material in the present passage of 5:32. He seems to intend that the reader understand 19:9 in light of 5:32, as a continuation of his thoughts.

    In Matthew 5:32 Christ is seen as indicting a man with causing his wife’s adultery after an unwarranted divorce.

    In Matthew 19:9 Christ is seen as indicting the man himself with adultery after the unwarranted divorce of his wife.

    If a man is guilty of causing his wife to commit adultery, than he is just as guilty of her sin as if he were to do it himself. This is perfectly legitimate grammatically to interpret verse 19:9 in this way with the exception phrase located where it is in the sentence. The exception applies only to the first conditional phrase, ‘put away his wife’, as it does in 5:32, and not to the second conditional phrase, ‘shall marry another’. The exception clause does not have a verb, so the one in the first conditional phrase just preceding it supplies the verb.

    This would be interpreted as – Whosoever shall put away his wife, if it is not for fornication that he puts her away, commits adultery. This is consistent with Christ’s words in 5:32, where he is seen as condemning unwarranted divorce as adulterous.

    The second conditional phrase, as well as the first, is governed by the word whosoever.

    This would be interpreted as – Whosoever shall marry another commiteth adultery. This would represent Christ as forbidding polygamy, and it the only interpretation of these verses that I am aware of that does so. A man is guilty of adultery if he marries another, whether he divorces his wife first or not.

    The exception clause does not apply to the second conditional phrase, ‘shall marry another’. If it did it would have come after both conditional phrases.

    The second part of verse, 19 (b), represents Christ as forbidding the marriage of a divorced woman, just as he did in Matthew 5:32 (b).

    And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife and shall marry another, except it be for fornication, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

    Unfortunately, for our Mathew “exceptionaries”, the verse does not appear this way in the text…

    If it did, they would win their argument, hands down.

    But it does not. One can only wonder why.

    If it was the intent of the author to do so, why didn’t he place the exception clause in the only place in the sentence where it would have to be interpreted in the way the advocates for remarriage would impose upon us?? But he chooses not to. Why? Because the clause does not apply to both conditional phrases. That’s why.


    Now, let me just summarize this part of the lecture by saying that for the advocates of the Matthew exception for remarriage theology to insist that Christ was forbidding ‘divorce and remarriage’ in His interaction with the Pharisees in Matthew 19:9, is to represent Him as denying them something that they would not have even understood. This is a concept that would have been foreign to the Jewish man. He would have never conceived of having to divorce his wife so that he could then ‘remarry’ someone else. Why would he? A Jewish man could have as many wives as he could afford. The subject of ‘divorce and remarriage’ as we understand it today, was not even in the scope of the conversation. The whole passage is in response to a question concerning divorce, and when ’it’ is wrong. And the exception is only concerning when divorce is not adulterous, just as it was in Matthew 5:32, nothing more.

    With a proper understanding of the divorce sayings, Christ is seen as condemning unwarranted divorce, polygamy, and marriage after divorce, all in one fell swoop.

    Now, the application of the fornication clause is seen to make exception for when divorce is not adulterous. This we have clearly proven. The only thing that yet remains is to interpret the clause itself. And upon careful study, we realize that Christ’s exception for when divorce is not adulterous is when a betrothed wife is divorced for the cause of fornication.

    Interpreting the clause in this way eliminates the absurdum that results when Matthew 5:32 is viewed as an IF (this) THAN (that) statement.

    When Matthew 19:9 is interpreted as an IF (this) THAN (that) statement, and the fornication clause as a negated prepositional phrase that qualifies when divorce is not adulterous, then the fornication clause in Matthew 5:32 can be interpreted in the same way as well.

    Matthew 5:32 can then be revealed as the IF (this) THAN (that) statement that it truly is:

    Whosoever divorces his wife causes her to commit adultery, unless it is his betrothed wife, than he does not cause her to commit adultery because she does not commit the sin. There is no one-flesh bond to violate between her and her betrothed husband. If she were to marry someone else in the future, provided she could find an understanding husband, the man who divorced her would not be guilty of causing her to commit adultery. This is all Christ was saying, and all else is a bugbear.

    Furthermore, all of the confusion concerning the second part of these verses is eliminated as well. The prepositional phrase qualifies both Matthew 5:32 (b) and 19:9 (b) also.


    What I would like to do now is consider the betrothal period of engagement within Jewish culture and its application to the interpretation of the fornication clause contained in the Gospel of Matthew.

    In order to get a clear picture of what Matthew’s author is representing Jesus as having said in His divorce sayings, one need only refer to Matthew 1: 18-20.

    MATTHEW 1: 18-20

    18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

    19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publik example, was minded to put her away privily.

    20 But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

    Notice the angel of the Lord referred to Joseph and Mary as husband and wife, even they were only espoused, or ‘engaged’. This is something that was peculiar to Jewish culture. And it is peculiar to Matthew’s Gospel as well, which gives us a clue as to how the fornication clause should be interpreted. The Jewish couple was betrothed to each other, after which they would then be considered husband and wife, with the marriage ceremony and consummation of the vow to take place some time latter, usually after a year. For a man to relieve himself of his betrothal commitment would require a legal divorce in Jewish culture. During this time if it were discovered that the damsel of Israel was not a virgin, she would be stoned to death at the door of her father’s house. Joseph and Mary faced this very dilemma. Joseph, however, was referred to as a ‘just’ man for deciding to put Mary away privately for the cause of fornication.

    The exception that Christ made for divorce was for the situation of His parents.

    The cause of fornication was something that was clearly established in the law. And any discussion concerning the divorce of a husband and wife would most assuredly include the betrothed husband and wife. This is what we see in Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, when he references Moses’ divorce legislation, and then makes an exception for when divorce would not be adulterous.

    And when the Pharisees are seen coming to tempt Christ in Matthew 19, once again the fornication clause is included. If it were not, then the Pharisees could have accused Christ of swindling the family of the young Jewish man out of their dowry monies, by requiring the man to marry the damsel of Israel who had misrepresented herself during the betrothal period, but was a fornicator instead.

    The Pharisees were constantly looking for occasion to discredit Jesus. They even went so far as to accuse Him of being a bastard, in a backhanded kind of way, when they insisted that they were not born on fornication (but He of course was). They had been familiar with Mary’s situation, and certainly weren’t convinced of His virgin birth. They would go on to say that His father must have been a devil possessed Samaritan, and that so was He. And not being able to receive His Divinity, they would eventually try to stone Him. But Jesus hid Himself, in their very midst, and so passed by.


    Recognizing the Jewishness of Matthew’s Gospel is key to understanding the divorce sayings.
    It provides an adequate explanation of not only the fornication clause itself, but also the absence of the clause in the divorce sayings of the other Gospels. The Gospels of Mark and Luke record the divorce sayings of Christ as well; however, the fornication clause is curiously omitted from both of these Gospels. Now whether Matthew added it for clarity to his listening audience, or Mark and Luke omitted it, the result is the same. Mark and Luke were written to the Romans and the Greeks respectively, and it was not necessary to include the exception because it didn’t apply in their culture. Matthew was written for a Jewish audience, this is why the fornication clause is mentioned there.

    Divorce and remarriage is adultery.

    If you have remarried and you have a living spouse, you’re in adultery and you need to repent.
    Confess your adulterous marriage as sinful and forsake it.


    September 6, 2014 at 11:34 pm
    • editor


      I’ve had to be away from my computer a lot this past week or so, which is why, I’m afraid, I’ve still not managed to properly read your two lengthy comments, so apologies for not being able to reply in any detail. I see that Athanasius has given them the thumbs up, so I am sure our bloggers will draw benefit from them.

      Thank you for taking the trouble to comment at length on this important topic – much appreciated.

      September 8, 2014 at 10:43 pm
  • Athanasius


    It’s a bit of a heavy subject and maybe just a tad on the long side, but well worth reading at the end of the day. Well put!

    September 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm
  • Graeme Taylor

    German prelates arrogance is frightening, but as there are those in the Vatican frightened to be exposed by those allegedly blackmailing them. The German prelates trumph card is all the lolly at their disposal – therefore the Vatican will lose the cash too.
    These prelates are not men of faith at all.
    Almighty God protect Your Church. Amen.

    September 7, 2014 at 2:45 pm
    • Michaela

      Graeme Taylor,

      The Church in Germany is in schism in all but name. They broke with Rome a long time ago.

      September 8, 2014 at 10:52 am
      • editor

        Michaela & Graeme,

        Exactly right – the German Church is in schism. No question about it. They’ve been getting away with ecclesiastical and theological “murder” for ages now. The sooner they make their break formal, the better.

        September 8, 2014 at 10:45 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    Rod Pead has given an excellent editorial, true “he does not mince his words”. But one thing I notice about him – he does not acknowledge the SSPX.

    September 7, 2014 at 4:06 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      Theresa Rose,

      I think CO did speak well of Bishop Fellay in a recent edition and I don’t think they are anti-SSPX. I sincerely hope not. That would be a disappointment, because there’s just no other group standing up for the traditional Catholic faith in its entirety.

      September 7, 2014 at 6:04 pm
      • editor

        Margaret Mary,

        You are right in that CO did make a positive reference to Bishop Fellay in a recent edition (and I’m sure that’s true of more than one issue of CO). What I think Theresa Rose means, and I’ve heard others say the same thing, is that the time has now come for everyone who is involved in the battle for the traditional Catholic Faith to come out full square in support of the SSPX.

        Rod’s editorials are superb and were he to call his readership to full blown support of Catholic Tradition by abandoning diocesan parishes and attending Society chapels, there would be no publication on earth, including ours, second to Christian Order. That really is the missing link. Personally, I think Rod will reach that stage sooner rather than later.

        And before anyone comes on to point out the existence of the other traditional Orders (FSSP etc.) allow me to point out that these are tolerated within the diocesan structure, precisely because they do not preach against the crisis in the Church. Only in Society chapels will we hear (as we heard this morning in Glasgow) a priest speaking about the crisis in the Church in the context of the Gospel of the day. Deo Gratias.

        September 7, 2014 at 8:59 pm
    • Josephine

      Theresa Rose,

      Some people take a bit longer to really “get it” about the SSPX. The propaganda machine was so good at painting them as schismatics that it is taking a long time to get people to see the truth. Anyone who could write a fantastic editorial like The Kasper Apostasy will come to see the necessity of what Archbishop Lefebvre did, I am certain of it.

      September 8, 2014 at 8:57 pm
      • editor


        Well said. Ten, in fact, out of ten! Or, put another way… very VERY well said! 😀

        September 8, 2014 at 10:47 pm
  • Benedict Carter

    Does Canon Law allow a Cardinal to be punched in the face?

    September 7, 2014 at 8:34 pm
    • editor

      Benedict Carter,

      I doubt it. Hope not.

      If we are to gain any spiritual benefit from this crisis (and that has to be a priority for each one of us) then we need to start thinking like God, thinking with the saints.

      I know you are not (really!) being serious but (just in case 😯 ) it is perhaps worth pausing for Editor’s Thought for the Day…

      In the life St Therese of Lisieux, Carmelite nun, strictly enclosed, we read that she had prayed for the conversion of the notorious and unrepentant killer Henri Pranzini in 1887. He had persistently refused all offers to get a priest before his death. Still, Therese prayed for him and was thrilled later when she learned that, at the last-minute, he had grabbed a crucifix as he approached the scaffold. He kissed the wounds of Jesus three times before being guillotined.

      I’m sure a lot of folk wanted to punch him in the face. He was a scurrilous character by all accounts. But, Benedict, even if every one of his enemies had succeeded in achieving their aim of re-organising his face, it would have served no meaningful purpose – might have only made him look more like me 😀 Praying and making sacrifices (as Therese did, always – in Carmel it’s prayer and action all day long) very likely saved his soul.

      We need to redouble our efforts to pray for Cardinal Kasper and his ilk – not least Pope Francis. So leave the hard man tactics to the hard men while the rest of us concentrate on becoming more spiritual men (and wimmin of course!)

      Right now, who do we pray to for Cardinal Kasper? Oh, I know…

      St Jude, pray for him!

      September 7, 2014 at 8:52 pm
      • Benedict Carter

        Thanks Editor for your patient reply! You cheered me up. I have been ‘down’ recently, it’s true. Yes, we must pray for Francis, for Kasper and … there are so many of them.

        September 8, 2014 at 2:12 am
      • editor

        Pleasure, Benedict. It concerned me a little when you said you were already embittered. That has to go. No good can come of being bitter, least of all to yourself. It is the work of the Devil to make us depressed and bitter. Keep one step ahead of him and his diabolical plan to obtain your soul. You know it makes sense 😀

        September 8, 2014 at 9:03 am
    • Frankier


      No, I don`t think so. You`d even fall foul of Sod`s and Murphy`s laws.

      I think Sharia Law would be your only hope.

      September 8, 2014 at 2:06 pm
      • Benedict Carter

        Frankier – LOL!

        You see, we all help each other limp along the narrow way here.

        September 8, 2014 at 7:01 pm
    • Al Velazquez

      Free will!!

      September 21, 2014 at 7:52 am
      • Athanasius

        Al Velaazquez

        Does “Will” have a surname? I sure hope they let him free. Joking, of course!

        September 21, 2014 at 7:23 pm
  • Michaela

    The CO editorial on Cardinal Kasper is great, it really demolishes the liberal position.

    This article at The Remnant is also very good showing that Cardinal Kasper is breaking completely with Tradition by his ideas on the pastoral care of the divorced and remarried.

    September 8, 2014 at 10:51 am
  • Theresa Rose


    I agree with you about the Remnant newspaper article, to think that Cardinal Kaspar has been rebuked by previous Popes and priests. But, will Pope Francis rebuke him for his break with Tradition on the pastoral care of the diviorced and remarried? I reckon that the Pope will agree with him.

    September 8, 2014 at 5:37 pm
    • Josephine

      Theresa Rose,

      The Pope does already agree with Kasper. I think that’s obvious from the editorial at the top of this page. He described Kasper as a great theologian and if he wasn’t sympathetic to his views about the divorced and remarried he wouldn’t be allowing it to be discussed at the synod IMHO.

      September 8, 2014 at 8:59 pm
    • editor

      Theresa Rose/Josephine,

      The Pope is definitely a Kasper sympathiser, and is giving him free rein at the moment. We have to pray hard that he sees sense – Catholic sense – at the Synod and prevents The Kasper Apostasy from being institutionalised in the name of “pastoral care” – a kind of pseudonym for situation ethics.

      September 8, 2014 at 10:55 pm
  • Michaela

    There’s a shocking article at Chiesa on this topic. This is an extract and the link to the website

    “…there are are increasingly numerous testimonies on how Bergoglio, as an archbishop, encouraged his priests to give communion to the cohabiting and remarried. He himself, as pope, spoke by telephone last April with a civilly divorced and remarried woman of Buenos Aires and advised her to “go receive communion in another parish if her pastor did not give it to her.” This according to the woman’s account, which has not been refuted.

    In any case, there is evidence for the idea that Pope Francis leans more to the side of the innovators in the appreciation that he has repeatedly expressed for Cardinal Walter Kasper, foremost among supporters of the change, whom he charged with introducing the discussion on the theme of the family at the consistory of cardinals last February.

    The charge given to Kasper was itself enough to mark a turning point. In the early 1990’s the German cardinal, who at the time was the bishop of Rottenberg, together with bishop of Mainz Karl Lehmann and of Freiburg Oskar Saier was the protagonist of a memorable clash with the then-prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, Joseph Ratzinger, precisely on the question of communion for the divorced and remarried. The clash ended with a victory for Ratzinger, who had the full support of John Paul II. And for a couple of decades Kasper didn’t say any more on the topic. But since Bergoglio has been pope, the 81-year-old cardinal has gone back to the front lines to present his ideas, this time with the manifest support of the successor of Peter.”

    This is utterly horrendous – I wasn’t looking forward to the October Synod but I’m now dreading it.

    How long O Lord?

    September 8, 2014 at 11:43 pm
  • Michaela

    This is a shocking piece of news. Cardinal Danneels has been appointed to the Synod on the Family. As the article points out, he is an enemy of the family. Pope Francis favours some very unsavoury members of the hierarchy.

    September 12, 2014 at 1:31 am
  • sarto2010

    I, too, am dumbfounded at the appointment of the horrific Godfried Danneels to the Synod.
    For the love of God … whatever next? I agree with Michaela that Mr Danneels is the epitome of all that is wrong with the Church.

    September 12, 2014 at 10:43 am
    • editor


      In all seriousness, who did you expect to be appointed to help Cardinal Kasper – Bishop Fellay?

      It’s the way I tell ’em…

      September 13, 2014 at 10:38 pm
      • Pat Langan

        In connection with Cardinal Kasper and the German church in general I came across this statement in Rorate Caelli by Archbishop Stephan Oster of Passau which was penned in response the Archbishop Bonny of Antwerp. In a sea of gloom particularly with the forthcoming synod looming I thought this was a ray of light. Is their a glimmer of hope still out there??¿

        It does no good to keep on collecting all and only those verses of the Gospel that might help a Church suffering from a loss of faith to bend and twist her Lord Jesus until he is so nice that he doesn’t threaten those situations that the Scriptures continue to call sin. Yes, of course Jesus loves sinners, but He and His Father hate sin! And it does no good to eliminate or ignore those passages in which Jesus challenges us to assent to Him decisively, or those in which He appears as our Judge. Yes, Jesus loves us the way we are […], but He does not want us to remain the way we are. […] We too often forget that the revelation of the merciful Jesus did not simply abolish the law, but rather revealed that the giver of the law loves us with a love as deep as the abyss. And it is because He loves us that He challenges us with the at times rigorous demands of the law, so that we can learn to answer His love; just as a good father, precisely because he loves his children, sometimes has to be strict with them. […] God wants to save us, all of us! But salvation is not automatic, and the constant witness of scripture is that we cannot be saved without conversion. As far as I can see, Bishop Bonny doesn’t even mention conversion anymore.

        September 19, 2014 at 6:06 pm
      • editor

        Well said Archbishop Stephan Oster!

        Thank you, Pat, for posting that “says it all” quote. It was difficult to isolate one part of it to highlight but I chose the following, because it really is something the modernists have missed big time, yet is so elementary, you wonder what they have between their ears:

        “Yes, of course Jesus loves sinners, but He and His Father hate sin!”

        Let’s hear it again for Archbishop Oster!

        September 19, 2014 at 9:37 pm
  • John Madison

    And who made him a cardinal? And the beat goes on…

    September 21, 2014 at 1:41 am
    • editor

      John Madison,

      Quite. Pope John Paul II elevated the decidedly non-elevatable Walter Kasper and made him an Eminence. Well, he’s turned out to be eminent, all right, for all the wrong reasons.

      September 21, 2014 at 8:13 pm
  • editor

    Here’s the SSPX take on Cardinal Kasper’s “moral ecumenism” – click here to reach the Dici report and more here

    September 26, 2014 at 10:38 pm

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