Elsewhere: Cardinal Walter Kasper


Many in the German bishops’ conference have been strongly lobbying against unchangeable doctrine, if not formally then in practice. They have been the primary force behind the widely reported attempts to manipulate the Synod on the Family. As I noted previously, their Cardinal Walter Kasper has led the charge on a non-stop, worldwide media blitz.

Cardinal Kasper has had not only the ear of the liberal media, but also that of the Holy Father. The crux of his proposal is to admit to the Eucharist some who are objectively living in a state of mortal sin. Personally, I do not see how that would be even remotely possible. Neither do many of Kasper’s fellow Cardinals. Fortunately, there are credible reports that his support is finally waning.

Most of us know very little about Cardinal Kasper and what he believes. As a Prince of the Church, you might assume that it is in line with her teaching. It turns out, not so much. Joe Sparks writing for Catholic Household takes a close look at Cardinal Kasper’s statements and in particular his book Jesus the Christ. There, Kasper generally dismisses the transfiguration, walking on water, quieting the storm, raising the dead, the miraculous catch of fish and feeding the multitude as legends. Such a belief is squarely at odds with that which all faithful Catholics must hold.

When Walter Kasper approaches the topic of Jesus Christ, one has the impression that he finds it impossible to know exactly how many of the events related in the Gospels actually transpired. While he defends a “basic stock of historically certain miracles,” he casts considerable doubt on the historical reality of a number of Gospel accounts. In his acclaimed work Jesus the Christ, he wrote regarding some of the Gospel miracle accounts:

“A number of miracle stories turn out in the light of form criticism to be projections of the experiences of Easter back into the earthly life of Jesus, or anticipatory representations of the exalted Christ. Among these epiphany stories we should probably include the stilling of the storm, the transfiguration, Jesus” walking on the lake, the feeding of the four (or five) thousand and the miraculous draught of fishes. The clear purpose of the stories of the raising from the dead of Jairus’s daughter, the widow’s son at Naim and Lazarus is to present Jesus as Lord over life and death. It is the nature miracles which turn out to be secondary accretions to the original tradition.

The result of all this is that we must describe many of the gospel miracle stories as legendary. Legends of this sort should be examined less for their historical than for their theological content. They say something, not about individual facts of saving history, but about the single saving event which is Jesus Christ. To show that certain miracles cannot be ascribed to the earthly Jesus does not mean that they have no theological or kerygmatic significance…   The probability is that we need not take the so-called “nature miracles” as historical.” (Jesus the Christ, p. 90-91)

One could give many more examples that show a disturbing trend to spiritualize the actions of Our Lord as recounted in the Gospels. Even the Resurrection accounts of Our Lord do not emerge unscathed from Cardinal Kasper’s reductionist hermeneutic, with the story of the empty tomb receiving particular attention from Cardinal Kasper:

“[Mark 16] begins with a definite improbability. The wish to anoint a dead body, which has already been put in its shroud in the tomb, three days later, is not given any explanation, such as being a custom of the time, and is unintelligible in the climatic conditions of Palestine. The fact that the women do not realize until they are already on the way that they would need help to roll back the stone and enter the tomb betrays a degree of thoughtlessness which is not easy to explain. We must assume therefore that we are faced not with historical details but with stylistic devices intended to attract the attention and raise excitement in the minds of those listening…” (Jesus the Christ, p. 127)

There is a great deal more. Read the entire piece: The Gospel According to Cardinal Kasper: Did the Miracles and Prophesies of Jesus Really Happen?

Father Dwight Longenecker also comments on this in Does Cardinal Kasper Believe in Friendly Ghosts?


  1. Lionel Andrades says

    Hand picked Jesuits are somewhere out there writing their thesis on how elements of sacramental marriage can be recognised in civil and adulterous unions since there is salvation outside the Church


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