Friday, November 30, 2007

Sociologist called Marx, new Archbishop of Munich

A few days ago I put up a short extract from the Spectator that seemed to be relevant to the Westminster Succession, it said that the Pope was anxious to appoint the right man to New York, Westminster and Munich. This report from Cathcon speaks about the first of these Benedictine appointments, Reinhard Marx, the new Archbishop of Munich.

Translation of a German press report. But nothing to get concerned about! He is in fact a cigar toting conservative. I am afraid the translation is a little stilted.

Theologically conservative but open to people, as the Trier bishop Reinhard Marx is described. The 54 year old churchman has the best prospects of being the successor to Cardinal Wetter of Munich. Limburg also gets a new bishop.

For months in Bavaria and in Rome the carousel has rotated of possible successors to the Munich-Cardinal Friedrich Wetter (79).

Now it is rumoured in church circles that the Trier bishop Reinhard Marx will move to the top of the largest Bavarian diocese. An official confirmation, there has not been as yet but the appointment seems likely soon. The 54 year old Westfalian, with the baroque form has had a steep career rise: Pope John Paul II appointed the former professor of Christian social sciences 1996 to be the Bishop in Paderborn and 2001 to be the latest diocesan bishop in Trier, Germany, the oldest Episcopal seat in Germany. In Munich Marx will not only chair the Freising Bishops' Conference (the Bavarian Bishops), but also has prospects of being the successor to Cardinal Karl Lehmann at the head of the German Bishops' Conference. Before the era of Lehmann, the Cologne and Munich archbishops alternated in this role. Furthermore, the award of the Cardinal’s hat only a matter of time. The affable churchman is quick-witted, discussion friendly and has no fears over the media. He has combined administration and pastoral care in the Diocese of Trier at the same time as a divisive structural reform and has on occasion rubbed people up the wrong way. At the same time, he sees himself as a "Merrymaker in the Faith", seeking "the witness of a happy and contented priest,". Marx likes a strong cigar and sip a good wine. In the German Bishops' Conference Marx has long acted as as a social expert. With his surname many anecdotes are entwined. When the GDR still existed, so he says, "the border guards were surprised by the “Christian Democrat Marx." When the professor after the collapse of communism held seminars in East Germany on Catholic social doctrine held, he could not resist pointed remark: "For 40 years have you been waiting for Marx. Well, he came is and Catholic priest." According to media reports, the only remaining favorite in the Cardinal Wetter-succession stakes is not a nostalgic for redistribtion of the type a "Heart of Jesus Marxist". His ideas about the reform of the welfare state in the direction of greater self-responsibility and subsidiarity are more neo-sosial and conform with the key messages of the new CSU-Basic Programme. His criticism of "inflated manager salaries" has been shared by the former Bavarian Minister-President Edmund Stoiber. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether and how Marx will continue the traditionally close relationship between the Catholic Church and CSU-lead state government. Theologically, ecclesiastically, and especially liturgically Marx thinks as a conservative. "We cannot depend on opinion polls to decide on what we believe," he says. And: "He who marries the spirit of the age, is tomorrow a widower (CS Lewis original Cathcon note)" When the Saarbrück priest and theology professor Gotthold Hasenhüttl on the fringes of the First Ecumenical Church Day in 2003 in Berlin invited evangelical Christians to communion although forbidden, Marx was forced to intervene. As a responsible local bishop he suspended Hasenhüttl from his offices. The professor had to demonstratively violated the order the church. Limburg also gets a new chief shepherd. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst is to be the successor of Bishop Kamphaus.


Gillibrand said...

New improved translation to be found on Cathcon. Sadly, Bishop Marx's pre-MP comments on the Latin Mass are not encouraging.

Brendan Allen said...

Hmmm, I wonder is he any relation to Groucho, Chico and Harpo?

Or even Karl? Remember that Karl Marx was born in Trier.