Thursday, October 9, 2014

Professor Stunkenhaus on the sanctity of life

Stunkenhaus: To allow communion for murderers is not to deny the sanctity of life.

The sanctity of life is “not seriously called into question” by those who believe practising serial murderers should be allowed to receive communion. Dumkopf Stunkenhaus, Professor of Moral Theology at the Sacher-Masoch University in Franfurt, is adamant about this. The German theologian underlined that too often, the concept of “natural law” was interpreted statically, reducing the “deep meaning of the sanctity of human life” to a mere fact of “being alive”. He disagrees with the term “official Church” (bishops are not “some kind of parallel society within the Church” that is detached from the people). He also stressed that although doctrine and pastoral care are two different things, they cannot contradict each other: “Failure to deal with problems that remain unresolved on a doctrinal level, will simply lead to the Church’s teaching being seen as rigid and lacking in credibility.”

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cardinal Gasper on the 5th Commandment.

“(T)he Church will not and cannot change the teachings, the doctrine, but it’s a question of the adaption of the doctrine,” he said.

Asked specifically about the Church’s teaching on the wrongness of murder, as stated in the Decalogue, Cardinal Gasper said that “we have to interpret what Moses said about killing.”

“I think what the Commandment said is true,” the cardinal said of the 5th Commandment. However, he rejected the idea that any specific application of the teaching can be deducted.

Rather, he said, “it’s an ideal and we have to tell people, but then we have also to respect the conscience of those who kill for what ever reason they feel right.”

Comparing the upcoming synod to the Second Vatican Council, he said the event will be “a listening gathering, listening to what the Spirit says to the Church.”

“We have to be realistic, we have to stick to the Gospel, to the doctrine,…but then apply it to the concrete situation of people who are on the way,” he said, also stating that “life is today lived in a very different way, it’s not just the ideal we have, but we have to take people as they are and listen to them.”