Reaction from the Neo-Catholics was fierce. There was heated rejection of the substance of the claim and even ire at Cardinal Kasper, but strangely (or perhaps not so strangely) there was little criticism of Pope Francis. Some even questioned whether Cardinal Kasper could be believed. Now, however, Pope Francis has proven Kasper wrong. For not only does Francis believe 50% of Catholic marriages are invalid, the Pope himself just said that “the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null.” As Catholic News Agency reported just yesterday,
Now that we see Cardinal Kasper was not lying about the pope’s belief back in 2014 and, in fact, the pope himself has gone even further than Kasper said he did, let’s take a walk down memory lane and remember what some of our favorite Neo-Catholics told us about this proposition.
On May 8, 2014, Canon Lawyer Ed Peters’ penned an article titled, “Even if the pope said it, it was reckless to repeat it.” I wonder what Mr. Peter’s thinks now that Pope Francis himself has increased the number from 50% to “a great majority” and announced it to the world. For in his article, Peters stated:
Over at Catholic Culture, Phil Lawler excused the pope, but excoriated Kasper for the statement. In light of yesterday’s news, Lawler’s admonition “don’t blame the pope” now seems comical. Will Lawler now amend his statement and allow us to blame him? In a May 7, 2014 article, Lawler stated:
Over at the National Catholic Register, writer E. Christian Brugger discounted Kasper’s attribution of the 50% belief to Francis, acted as if the assertion was only Kasper’s, and then, apparently feeling that he had sufficiently distanced the quote from Francis, proceeded to criticize it. Will Brugger now apologize to Kasper and criticize Francis? On December 10, 2015, Brugger wrote:
The amount of Neo-Catholic denial so far as to the real source of the “50%” belief has been impressive, but leave it to our friends at Church Militant to have taken the cake. After the story first broke, Church Militant, brave investigative journalists that they are, simply ignored it. But then, over a year later, not only did Church Militant question whether Francis really said 50% of marriages are invalid, they actually reported that Francis himself clarified and contradicted this statement! In a delusional January 22, 2016 piece, Christine Niles reported:
As we now know, just yesterday, Pope Francis himself stated, “the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null.” In light of this, readers of these Neo-Catholic publications must now ask themselves if the Neo-Catholic media can really be trusted to give a clear and honest reporting and analysis when it comes to statements of Pope Francis. Will these same Neo-Catholics who passionately criticized the idea that half of Catholic marriages are invalid, now use that same level of passion to criticize Francis himself upping the ante from 50% to “the great majority?” If they are intellectually honest, necessity requires it. If they refuse, it sends a clear message to their readers that these publications have an agenda of covering for this pope and do not respect their readers enough to be honest with them.