Sudden impact

We previously suggested that Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s blog post might well prove to be significant. Cardinal Dolan’s argument—that Catholics trying to live chaste, faithful lives are a minority deserving the Church’s attention, too—stands the Kasperite proposal on its head. Cardinal Dolan’s argument is so powerful because it uses the Kasperites’ language, but as a reason to reaffirm doctrine and practice. In essence, Cardinal Dolan’s argument gives moderates a position to argue from in favor of current doctrine and practice, without running the risk of being lumped in with, say, Robert Cardinal Sarah or George Cardinal Pell (or even the cardinal who has cast a long, long shadow over the Synod despite not being invited). We’re not being rigid or inflexible: we’re just giving some love to the faithful minority in the Church.

John Allen at Crux has a long report, which sets out the lines shaping up:

As the synod rolls into its second week, yet another way of understanding the fundamental divide is coming into focus: The gap between those who believe the demands of classic Catholic teaching on sex, marriage, and the family may be unrealistic or inappropriate for some share of the contemporary population, and those convinced that it’s widely attainable in the here-and-now.


Many in this camp suspect that advocates of a more “pastoral” approach on matters such as homosexuality and divorce have quietly thrown in the towel on the idea that it’s reasonable to expect lifelong faithful marriage to be the norm, or that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics shouldn’t be sexually intimate, and so on.

The “Yes We Can!” faction wouldn’t deny that many people don’t actually live those teachings, but they insist that it can be done, and fear that by not encouraging people to do so, the Church clearly risks selling them short.

(Emphasis supplied and text omitted.) Read the whole thing at Crux.