Cardinal Kasper: Ambiguity in Council creates “huge potential for conflict”

Cardinal Walter Kasper, a high-ranking Vatican official whose work has already been praised by Pope Francis, has a memo for conservative Catholics hoping desperately that the “correct” implementation of the Second Vatican Council will solve our problems:

“In many places, [the Council Fathers] had to find compromise formulas, in which, often, the positions of the majority are located immediately next to those of the minority, designed to delimit them. Thus, the conciliar texts themselves have a huge potential for conflict, open the door to a selective reception in either direction.” (Cardinal Walter Kasper, L’Osservatore Romano, April 12, 2013)

There ya go. Straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

In other words: “Lots o’ luck ‘implementing’ this Council”.

Cardinal Kasper acknowledges, of course, that it’s normal for some turbulence to follow an ecumenical council, but for different reasons. Due to its intentional ambiguity the Second Vatican Council is “a special case”:

“For those who know the story of the twenty councils recognized as ecumenical, this [the state of confusion] will not be a surprise. The post-conciliar times were almost always turbulent. The [Second] Vatican, however, is a special case.”

My thanks to Boniface at Unam Sanctam Catholicam, whose comments on the topic are also worth reading.

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