Recently we have
seen that Pope John Paul II appointed as Cardinals two German
Bishops, Walter Kasper and Karl Lehmann. On what merits?
We have illustrated them in the past, but since time has
passed, it is well to recall them in order to better understand
the gravity of these appointments vis à vis the facts.
For Walter Kasper,
the miracles narrated in the Gospels are not historical
facts related as eyewitness testimony by two Apostles, and
as testimony heard by two of the Apostles' disciples, nor
are they "segni certessimi” of Our Lord
Jesus Christ's divinity as defined by Vatican I dogma. Rather,
they are "instead, a problem which makes Jesus' activity
strange, and difficult for modern man to understand."1,2
So, in homage to "modern man," or to be precise,
to prideful man who believes only in himself, Walter Kasper
deems himself authorized to put into perspective the "undeniable
tradition which witnesses these miracles to us."3
Let us pass over
the process that Kasper employs because we've previously
and because it is just the parroted echo of the gratuitous
assertions of the worst Protestant rationalist "criticism."
Instead, let us move on to the conclusions: For Kasper,
the new purple biretta, what are Jesus' miracles?
stories," he writes, "are statements of belief
in the salvific meaning of the person and message of Jesus."5
Briefly, for Walter Kasper, Jesus never raised either Jairus'
daughter or the widow of Naim's son from the dead, nor did
He even call Lazarus from his tomb. Neither did He ever
calm tempests, nor multiply the loaves, nor walk on water,
According to Kasper,
the evangelists invented these "non-historical stories"
the way that our grandmothers made up fables at the fireside
when there was no television to corrupt children. And just
as our grandmothers' fables only sought to inculcate a "morality,"
so too the Evangelists' "fables" about Jesus'
miracles "did not intend to present Jesus as Lord over
life and death."6
In any case, for
Walter Kasper, also as to his assumption that the miracles
did occur-which, like all of the "new theologians"
he firmly doubts-Jesus could not have performed miracles
simply because he was not God. Jesus, he says, never advanced
such "claims," and at Caesarea Philippi, Peter
merely confessed, "You are the Messiah," and Jesus
also proclaimed this before the Sanhedrin.7
But when the first Christian community confessed that Jesus
is the Son of God, it did not in fact mean that Jesus really
is the Son of God, but only wished "to express the
idea that God manifests and communicates Himself in an absolute
and definite way in the story of Jesus." End of story.
In fact, the first Christian community did not intend "to
acknowledge a dignity for him that would further his claims."
Naturally, it was St. Paul's and St. John's habit to further
In our day, we are
fortunate to have the Dutch Catechism to sort out all of
this for us. Kasper partakes of its heresy, namely that
"the doctrine of Jesus' divinity and humanity constitutes
a development of the original conviction that this man is
our divine salvation."9
You have read it
correctly: salvation is "divine,” but Jesus is simply
"this man"! And this would be "the original
belief of the faith," indeed, the primitive Church's
belief and faith!
We could stop here
because we don't see how a man can still exercise his priestly
function, be made a Bishop, and today even be made a Cardinal
who, in his writings, negates fundamental Christian doctrine,
i.e., Our Lord Jesus Christ's divinity, which, rather
than heresy ought to be called apostasy.
If Jesus is not God
but was made so by his later followers, there can logically
be no resurrection. And in fact, Walter Kasper negates the
Resurrection. For him, "the empty tomb represents an
ambiguous phenomenon, open to different possibilities of
And interpretations of the Resurrection are "beliefs
and testimonies produced by people who believe," and
who, via the "new theology's"
strange logic, necessarily lie, and who also simply attest
to whatever facts that they have been lead to believe.
Undoubtedly, he continues,
a certain "grossly erroneous type of assertion that
Jesus was touched by their hands and ate at the table with
his disciples...runs the risk of justifying a too coarse
But fortunately, as to the spiritualization of this "coarse"
Paschal faith which has been the Church's faith for 2000
years, lo and behold, we have Walter Kasper to inform us
that these apparitions were nothing more than "meetings
with Christ present in the Spirit."12Clear,
So, for Walter Kasper,
Our Lord Jesus Christ was not divine, there were no miracles,
no resurrection and, therefore, no ascension.13
And in error's inexorable "logic," there was no
Immaculate Conception or divine maternity. Consequently,
Walter Kasper actually teaches the windy rehabilitation
of Nestorius. Isn't that also logical? If, for Kasper, Jesus
is not God, then Nestorius was wrongly condemned for having
denied Mary the title, "Mother of God."14Everything
squares in the new Cardinal's "logic." What a
pity that it is the logic of apostasy and of total rejection
of Revealed Truth!
Karl Lehmann is the
other new purple biretta. Lehman's "faith" is
specifically exemplified for us in the document of the 1986
Working Group on Justification, and Priestly Ministry (Fribourg
in Br.-Göttingen), which he directed along with the Protestant,
Pannenberg. On this subject, we shall also limit ourselves
to the minimum while referring the reader to a long article
published in the September 15, 1987 edition of SiSiNoNo,
titled, "Germany: A Disgusting Document of Ecumenical
Treason." Lehmann reveals himself to be this document's
true "father" or, at least, the standard bearer
of the shameful "Joint Declaration on the Doctrine
of Justification," signed two years ago by Catholics
For Lehmann, the
Council of Trent's anathemas have no value, because as he
and his "separated brethren" say, that Council
judged and condemned the "first" Luther. This,
so that the "second" Luther might be tidied up
and covered over!
Naturally, with satisfaction,
the document emphasizes that the "departure from Trent"
has been established in the Catholic Church. Obviously,
here Lehmann confuses the Catholic Church with the "new
theology," which is philo-Protestant and heretical.
For this reason, we can understand why he says, "what
is decisive in the reformers' conception of faith"
no longer constitutes "any problem for today's Catholic
According to Lehmann,
today, the Protestant theses—among which however there is
no "departure" from Luther-no longer fall under
Trent's anathemas. And, no matter that you might level them
again, given that he has denied, par excellence, any
value to that dogmatic Council.
In this same document,
Protestant heresies are blasphemously and impudently placed
on the same plane as Trent's infallible definitions, and
Protestant sects' human and heretical "traditions"
are put on the same level as the Church's Divine, Apostolic
Tradition. Therefore, it is not surprising that just as
Carlo M. Martini, S J. would like to send us to the Jews'
schools to understand Sacred Scripture,17
so Lehmann would like to send us to the Protestants' school
"in order to more profoundly understand the Church's
doctrines and their roots."
Regarding this more
profound "understanding," he presents proof composed
of really many Protestant heresies, including sola Scriptura,
which has no component of Tradition and no Magisterium,
and is abandonment to private interpretation; and dogmatic
relativism, by which a dogma can be true for Catholics and
false for Protestants and vice-versa, and so also
means that there are only diverse confessional "traditions,"
all of them respectable, despite the principle of non-contradiction.
Looking forward to
Catholics allowing themselves to be instructed by Protestants,
Lehmann rejoices that "in reality, the exegetical praxis
of both Churches have become largely similar." And
for him it is of little importance that the "Catholic"
exegetes have aligned themselves with the Protestants, and
Karl Lehmann speaks
of a plurality of "churches," but in reality he
partakes of the heresy of the "Church divided,"
which retains the unity of the Church destroyed by the schisms,
against Sacred Scripture and Tradition, which, as faithfully
transmitted by the Magisterium, teaches that the schism
did not corrode the unity of the Church, exactly as when
a dry branch that falls from a tree or is chopped off leaves
the integral unity of the tree intact. Karl Lehmann not
only unites himself to "the separated brethren"
in exalting Luther, but he also unites himself to them in
the denigration of the Catholic Church, her doctrine and
her "very often unenlightened practices"18
If, then, we consider
the document's content relative to doctrine on justification,
merit, and on the sacraments, the picture becomes even more
distressing: Or, doesn't Karl Lehmann know Catholic doctrine,
or does he want to sacrifice it to an imaginary and illusory
"consensus" at the expense of, and damage to Divine
Here is just one
example: Luther reduced the traditional seven sacraments
to two, and Lehmann concedes that the relevant condemnation
of Trent "can today only have value in a limited way."19
Let us ask: For Lehmann, are there seven or two sacraments?
Or better, does he consider the sacraments to be a human
or a divine institution? Similarly, Lehmann concedes that
the Protestant critique regarding "the Roman Mass's
canon's sacrificial thesis" is "understandable"!20
We ask: For
Lehmann, is the Mass really a sacrifice, as the Catholic
Faith defined it at Trent, or is it only a memorial, as
his "separated brethren" want to say? Another
cunning condescension: Today's Protestants' position would
no longer fall under Trent's anathema only because—playing
on words—they speak of the "real presence" in
the Eucharist. But by "real presence," they really
mean the "personal," spiritual presence and not
at all the corporeal presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ.21
Also, in Vatican
II texts, the absence of the term "transubstantiation"
was hailed as a prudent distancing,22
naturally, from Catholic doctrine. And it doesn't matter
at all that the same Pope Paul VI in Mysterium Fidei
forced himself to undo this omission of the Council.
For Lehmann, the "devotion before the Tabernacle"23
he puts it in quotation marks-and the Corpus Christi procession,
are considered "forms of still conserved medieval devotions."
And he supports the liturgical reform's operative reductions,
thus confirming that Protestantization of the liturgy denounced
by Cardinals Ottaviani and Baci to Pope Paul VI in their
Breve esame critico. He also slips toward Protestant
theology on Purgatory, which doesn't exist for Protestants;
on Communion, which for Protestants is a means of remission
of mortal sins; on Confirmation, Extreme Unction, Marriage,
and on Ordination. He equivocates on the word, "Sacrament,"
which Protestants will adopt, but who mean by it something
totally different from the Catholic faith's meaning. All
of this is either serious or a betrayal, and both of these
possibilities are unforgivable in a minister of God, a priest,
who ought never to have become a Bishop, and instead, is
now even a Cardinal.
If such is Rasper's
and Lehmann's faith, it is not difficult to intuit what
has become of morality in their hands: abortion, divorce,
contraception, abolition of priestly celibacy, etc. Regarding
the "remarried divorced," we have stressed here
that Cardinals Kasper and Lehmann want to allow them to
receive Communion, even if culpable and impenitent, "after
an examination of conscience" and "a meeting with
a prudent priest-expert." This statement provoked the
intervention of the Congregation for the Faith.24
It is superfluous
to say that Cardinals Kasper and Lehmann are enemies of
the Roman Primate.25
Is it possible that
Pope John Paul II is ignorant of much of what we have reviewed
here about Kasper and Lehmann? Unfortunately, this is not
so. In fact, in Kasper's case, he has treated one of his
books that has circulated undisturbed for years in Italy.
And in Lehmann's case, he has been treated in an official
document on "ecumenical dialogue" in Germany.
In any case, to prove that Pope John Paul II was well enough
informed, his letter, a monitum that was sent to
the German Cardinals at the time of the last consistory,
The first report
on the letter was published on March 12, 2001 by the German
daily, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. It reported
that in the February 22nd letter, the Pope spoke of "confusion
and abuse" and of "the decline in human and Christian
values in Germany." He deplored an upsurge in liturgy,
preaching, catechesis, in management of the community that
does not correspond to disciplinary directives and Church
teachings; and then, as to ecumenism, the German Bishops
are called to guidelines recently presented in Dominus
Jesus. Also while praising the German Church's "solid
organizational structure," John Paul II warned of the
risk of "gutting the Church from within by means that
seem strong from the outside, but internally always [cause
the Church] to lose ever more strength and credibility.
On May 16, Vatican
Radio confirmed the same letter's content, as had been widely
purveyed by the German mass media, and carefully repeated
by Ansa. Vatican Radio added that the Pope had referred
the new German Cardinals to the teaching of Humanae Vitaeand
to the Congregation for the Faith's letter on the exclusion
of the remarried divorced from Holy Communion; it otherwise
noted that "confusion and abuses" were lamented,
"particularly in the area of intercommunion with Protestants."
Therefore, John Paul
II knew and disapproved many things. What sense then is
there in making the two Cardinals, warning them within the
same act of creating them as such? In his speech, the Pope
told the new Cardinals: "Isn't the red of the vestments
you wear the burning fire of love for the Church, which
ought to nourish in you readiness, if necessary, for the
supreme witness to life?" But how can one love the
faith and love it " usque ad effusionem sanguinem”
if one doesn't have the faith? And can the Cardinal's
purple biretta perform the miracle of transforming "Bishops
into Cardinals burning with faith unto martyrdom? Won't
appointing them Cardinals have the singularly terrible effect
of placing them in a position to do major damage to the
Church, and no longer only in Germany?
for Angelus Press by Suzanne Rini from the Italian edition
of SiSiNoNo, No.10, May 31, 2001.)
W. Kasper, Gesù
Cristo, Queriniana, 6th edition, p. 115.
[Italian Edition], April 30, 1989, p.4ff.
[Italian Edition], op. cit.
cit. p. 118.
[Italian Edition], January 15, 2000, p. 1ff.
Group on Justification and Priestly Ministry, Fribourg in
Br.-Gottingen, 1986, p.57.
[Italian Edition], August 1985, p.2.
op. cit., p.64.
[Italian Edition], December 15, 1994, p.8.
[Italian Edition], July, 1986, "The Future of the
Church in Germany."
[Italian Edition], March 15, 1993, p.5.
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Kansas City, MO 64109
translated from the Italian
Fr. Du Chalard
Via Madonna degli Angeli, 14
Italia 00049 Velletri (Roma)