On his flight back to Rome from World Youth Day in Brazil (2013), Pope Francis speaking about the season of mercy and the Church as a mother dispensing mercy, praised the pastoral practice of the Orthodox Churches on marriage and divorce, the pastoral care for the divorced and remarried Orthodox faithful and the possibility of communion for the civilly remarried.
Before anyone considers this a worthy path of investigation please read the basic history behind the Orthodox approach. It reminds me of Indiana Jones looking over the edge into the tomb of the Arch of the Covenant, seeing it filled with snakes, and thinking its a good idea to get down there among them to reach his prize.
It might make sense for someone ignorant of the details of the Orthodox approach to seek it as a simple solution to a cultural issue but why the educated Pope or Cardinal Kasper would consider it appears to indicate a willingness to throw theology, history, and the spiritual truth of the Orthodox teaching to the wind just to reach a temporal solution that helps people accept the Church. We just want to be loved.
Coming from a non-denomination background, this is a clear dumbing down of Christ’s teaching to hook people…seeker friendly nonsense. Why nonsense you might ask. Because Christ’s words have life not the watered down words of people who are trying to cozy up to people who aren’t really seeking. Those seeking life will desire words of life.
Remember the Orthodox Church allows second and third marriages BUT they are not considered sacramental (only the first is because of indissolubility), the second and third are considered situations of failure, communion isn’t part of the second and third because it’s not sacramental, and a lengthy period of penance (not softened as accompaniment) is required before the second and third marriage.