Pope Francis and Civil Unions: The Complete Text

As I thought, the post at Catholic News Service was not an English translation of the full text, but a synopsis of the key points. On civil unions though, it does include pretty well all that matters. What is left out is mostly the soft, personal interest stuff – his feelings about leaving Argentina and the like.

One important point though that I’ve not seen in any of the English language reports, deals with Cardinal Kasper’s address to the consistory, last month. The interviewer asked Pope Francis why it should be that this speech should have been so “controversial” among the cardinals. That’s a good question – before this story about the pope’s interview broke, I’d been struggling through Kasper’s interview myself, along with a critical response published alongside it. I’ve not yet understood the text in full, let alone digested it – but it’s clear that it’s a most important contribution to discussions of marriage and family, so Francis response reply to the question is significant.

Here’s the question and answer in the original Italian, followed by a reliable English translation, slightly adapted from Zenit:

Perché la relazione del cardinale Walter Kasper all’ultimo Concistoro (un abisso tra dottrina sul matrimonio e la famiglia e la vita reale di molti cristiani) ha così diviso i porporati? Come pensa che la Chiesa possa percorrere questi due anni di faticoso cammino arrivando a un largo e sereno consenso? Se la dottrina è salda, perché è necessario il dibattito?

«Il cardinale Kasper ha fatto una bellissima e profonda presentazione, che sarà presto pubblicata in tedesco, e ha affrontato cinque punti, il quinto era quello dei secondi matrimoni. Mi sarei preoccupato se nel Concistoro non vi fosse stata una discussione intensa, non sarebbe servito a nulla. I cardinali sapevano che potevano dire quello che volevano, e hanno presentato molti punti di vista distinti, che arricchiscono. I confronti fraterni e aperti fanno crescere il pensiero teologico e pastorale. Di questo non ho timore, anzi lo cerco».

and the English translation:

Why did Cardinal Walter Kasper’s report in the last Consistory (an abyss between the doctrine on marriage and the family and the real life of many Christians) generate so much division among the Cardinals? Do you think that the Church will be able to go through these two years of toilsome journey to come to a broad and serene consensus?

Cardinal Kasper made a beautiful and profound presentation, which will soon be published in German, in which he addresses five points, the fifth of which is that of second marriages. I would have been more worried if there hadn’t been an intense discussion in the Consistory, because it would have been useless. The Cardinals knew that they could say what they wanted, and they presented different points of view, which are always enriching. Open and fraternal debate makes theological and pastoral thought grow. That doesn’t frighten me. What’s more, I look for it.

Google translate is obviously not entirely satisfactory, but I find it’s a useful first step. I’m certain that a good quality, complete English text will soon be available, but meanwhile I’ve prepared for my own use, a text set up in two columns, with the Italian and Google English side by side. 

(Update: There is now a complete English translation at Zenit. For my own use, I continue to use a parallel text, comparing the Italian and English side by side – but have now replaced the poor Google version with the Zenit translation).

Readers who would like to see this, and download my parallel text, can do so by following this link  Pope Francis, interview with Corriere.

(I was already preparing something similar for Cardinal Kasper’s address, which Pope Francis speaks so highly of. When completed, I’ll post a link to that, too, in the same two column, parallel text)..




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3 comments for “Pope Francis and Civil Unions: The Complete Text

  1. Robert
    March 6, 2014 at 1:13 am

    ”un largo e sereno consenso” means ”a wide and clear or serene consensus”. If the doctrine is steadfast, because you need the debate? should rather be ”If the teaching is solid, why is a debate needed?”
    Enfin, ”I ‘d be worried if the Consistory there had been an intensive discussion , would not have helped anything.” should be ”I would have been worried if there had not been an intense discussion; it owuld have been useless [otherwise]”.

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