Pope Francis adviser hints at rethink on contraception ban…
Cardinal Walter Kasper says it is up to parents to decide how many children to have!!
Cardinal Walter Kasper, a close influence on Pope Francis, says it is up to parents to decide how many children to have ahead of global gathering of Roman Catholic bishops to discuss the family…
A leading reformist Cardinal close to Pope Francis has hinted at the possibility of a reinterpretation of the Roman Catholic Church’s blanket ban on artificial contraception.
Cardinal Walter Kasper said it was “the responsibility of the parents” to decide how many children they should have.
He also said that so-called natural family planning, which is promoted by the Church as an alternative to contraception, also has an “artificial” element.
His comments in an interview with The Tablet, the Catholic weekly, are likely to reopen debate about one of the most contentious areas of Catholic teaching just weeks before a special global gathering of bishops in Rome to discuss the Church’s position on family matters.
Cardinal Kasper is the leading proponent of moves to relax the ban on remarried divorcees receiving Holy Communion, arguing for a greater emphasis on “mercy” for individuals without abandoning the Church’s official teaching that marriage is for life.
Pope Francis has openly praised a book the German prelate wrote on the subject and has pointedly made mercy the central theme of many of his public pronouncements in recent weeks.
Cardinal Kasper set out his ideas in a speech to fellow cardinals earlier this year widely believed to have been delivered with the blessing of Pope Francis.
But earlier this week a powerful group of conservative cardinals hit back with a book of their own, timed to coincide with the run-up to Pope’s Francis’s extraordinary synod on the family, warning against any relaxation of the Church’s traditional position.
In his Tablet interview, Cardinal Kasper restated his case for mercy on the question of divorce but also risked further angering some sections of the church by suggesting a possible rethink on the question of artificial contraception.
He said he had “no solution” to the gulf between official Church teaching on artificial contraception, set out in the 1968 papal encyclical Humanae Vitae and the practice of millions of ordinary Catholics.
The Cardinal, who is attending the special synod at the invitation of the Pope, said he hoped the issue would be discussed.
“To promote a sense that to have children is a good thing, that is the primary thing,” he said.
“Then how to do it and how not to do it, that is a secondary question.
“Of course the parents have to decide how many children are possible.
“This cannot be decided by the Church or a bishop, this is the responsibility of the parents.”
Leading exponents of natural family planning – which relies on calculating when women are fertile – will be present at the gathering.
But the Cardinal argued that natural methods also have an “artificial aspect”.