And then suddenly, Cardinal Kasper opened his big yap, and far from doing anything disciplinary about it, Pope Francis called it prophetic and did nothing to discourage critics of the theology of marriage.
So it seemed.
And then a formidable backlash occurred. We went from last fall's situation when one stupid German prelate after another said stupid things about divorce and communion with only one other not-so-stupid German doing anything about it: Cardinal Müller. "How long till he is marginalized a la Cardinal Burke?" we all started to wonder.
And then cardinal after cardinal rose up to proclaim (it's not their job, BTW, it's the pope's - but somebody had to do it) the truth of marriage and that one of their brethren, Kasper, is off his nut.
In the meantime, I realized that this whole controversy was just like every other doctrinal controversy, the creation of one or two insiders - in this case Kasper, most of all, and journalists. The controversy was fabricated by journalists and we were too dumb to see it! Pope Francis alluded to the fact that this was what was going on, but we were too worried to see this, to worried to trust.
This is all but a preamble to my main point here in this post.
The ToB-ers - you know, those annoying orthodox Catholic hippies from Washington's JP II Institute and elsewhere. Those whom we love to hate and hate to love.
As a theologian and an historian of doctrine I hate them because they treat the last forty years as if it is the sum-total of the history of Catholic theology, as if JP II created in toto and ex nihilo everything important in Catholic thought re. sexuality.
But I have changed my mind: I no longer hate these hippies at all. I am enormously grateful for them. They cannot, have not, and will not be silenced in the light of recidivistic Vatican II Spirit-ism whose final death throws we are now witnessing in 2014.
The book that I am calling the most significant Catholic Book of 2014, and will give special attention to in the final issue of the Catholic Review of Books for this year, and am now assiduously reading, Remaining in the Truth of Christ (Ignatius Press, ed. Robert Dodaro), represents a tidal-wave of orthodox theological response and fidelity, specifically fidelity to the teachings of JP II, I will say.
Nothing has been lost. "I fear all Kasper has done is awaken a sleeping giant." Well, ToB was not asleep, perhaps I was simply unaware of its continuing vitality and importance to the Church. Mea culpa.