Why does Cardinal Kasper hate illegal immigrants?
July 26, 2014 § 36 Comments
There is an important distinction between immigration law and sacramental doctrine: the former is a matter of positive law, which can be changed; while the latter is not.
The position of most of the American bishops on illegal immigration ‘works’ by distinguishing between what the positive law requires and de-facto practice. Illegal immigration may be formally against the law, but the de-facto practice of the powers that be has encouraged it. People have settled in and built their lives in the place where they were encouraged to do so by the people in charge. The proposed just solution, then is some iteration of an amnesty for those who formally broke the law, followed by a change in the law, so that they can remain in the homes they have made for themselves.
Whatever one thinks of all that, the same sort of approach will not work with admission to the Sacraments. The hierarchy has winked at divorce and annulment for long enough now that, in a kind of doctrinal parallel of illegal immigration, many Catholics “know better” than to take explicit sacramental doctrine on marriage seriously.
But unlike the case of illegal immigration, granting sacramental amnesty to heretics and adulterers – even heretics and adulterers who have settled in the home they have because of the winking and encouragement of the powers that be – literally cannot, per impossibile, be followed by a change in sacramental reality.
They may well have walked into a trap set by negligent and even wicked elites and leaders. But springing the trap on them won’t save them from the predicament.