This is a bit of a long read but well worth the time to do so. Kaspar has a big influence on Francis’ thinking on mercy in relation to the primary issue on the upcoming synod, the divorced and remarried in relation to reception of the sacraments…..Reyanna
By Walter Kaspar, Dated September 15, 2014, posted in America Magazine on-line September 8, 2014
The precept of mercy applies not only to individual Christians but to the church as a whole. Many ask: If God is always merciful, why is the church not the same? Or, why does the church not seem to be as merciful as God? The question expresses the uneasiness of many Christians.
They are right: The church defined itself in the Second Vatican Council as a sacrament—a universal sign and instrument of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ. If the church is a sacrament of God’s love in Christ, it is also a sacrament of God’s mercy. Therefore the command for the church to be merciful is grounded in the identity of the church as the body of Christ. The church is not a kind of social or charitable agency; as the body of Christ, it is the sacrament of the continuing effective presence of Christ in the world. It is the sacrament of mercy as the “total Christ”—that is, Christ in head and members. Thus the church encounters Christ himself in its own members and in people who are in need of help. (To continue reading click here)