Cardinal Kasper says Africa shouldn’t instruct on gay issues

German Cardinal Walter Kasper has said that African prelates should not tell the rest of the Church what to do about homosexual people.

In an interview with Zenit on October 15, after the evening working groups’ discussions at the synod on the family, Cardinal Kasper said homosexuality is a taboo subject in Africa.

“Africa is totally different from the West. Also Asian and Muslim countries, they’re very different, especially about gays,” he said.

“You can’t speak about this with Africans and people of Muslim countries. It’s not possible. It’s a taboo.

“For us, we say we ought not to discriminate, we don’t want to discriminate in certain respects.”

“I think in the end there must be a general line in the Church, general criteria, but then the questions of Africa, we cannot solve,” Cardinal Kasper added.

“There must be space also for the local bishops’ conferences to solve their problems, but I’d say with Africa it’s impossible [for us to solve].

“But they should not tell us too much what we have to do.”

Cardinal Kasper also said the great majority of people in Germany, Great Britain and most other places want an “opening” from the Church on the issue of divorce and remarriage.

The cardinal has proposed that some divorced and civilly remarried Catholics be able to receive Communion after a period of penitence.

“The Pope also told me that [such problems exist] also in his family, and he has looked at the laity and seen the great majority are for a reasonable, responsible opening,” Cardinal Kasper said to Zenit.

The cardinal said his impression was that “a growing majority” of synod members wanted such an “opening”, but there had been no vote on it.

Before the synod, other senior cardinals criticised Cardinal Kasper’s proposal.


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