Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Will Francis have the courage to stop German aggression?

Will Pope Francis stop the German tanks?
According to Reuters the German bishops intend to introduce plans to admit divorced and 'remarried' Catholics to Holy Communion, this is the first serious crisis in the Franciscan Papacy. The German bishop have spent the last 60 years bullying the Church. They introduced Communion in the hand they introduced female altar servers, they have continually turned a blind eye to dissenting theologians, recently they voted to allow the morning after pill to be dispensed in hospitals under their control.

They are powerful in Church terms because of their great wealth through Church Tax, which is also their weakness, because it means they are always beholden to the State, and to those who pay the tax and have little or no faith. It is the German church that has spawned such dissident groups as call for female ordination, priests living in concubinage, far from being healthy the German Church is a source of disease and corruption. The Rhine has been flowing into the Tiber for too long, it must stop.

Unlike Communion in the hand or female servers the admission of those in second marriages seems to be a direct attack on the clear teaching of the Gospels,
Matthew 19:3-9 — The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ ? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for  [porneia] sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
Adultery along with post baptismal murder and apostasy was  always regarded as one of the sins that separated someone Christ.

This is truly a sad move, and many might suggest it has been encouraged by the Pope's own talk on 'liberalisation' earlier in his Papacy, though of course through Abp Mueller there has been a great deal of back peddling.
From the time of Bismark, well before the Vatican Council, the German bishops have shown contempt and arrogance towards Communion with the rest of the Church, will Francis have the courage to stop German aggression?


Martina Katholik said...

From an American C8-Cardinal of Irish descent:

"(...) The second point is to do with the issue of remarried divorcees.
The Holy Father “wants us to find ways to help people in second marriages to return to the sacraments and be reconciled, and to see if the annulment process can be more user-friendly.”

Konstantin said...

I'm afraid Father, but you are being unjust to the good German bishops of the 19th and 20th century, some of whom were imprisioned during the Kulturkampf, others risked their lives by going up against the Nazis (google Blessed Clemens August Cardinal von Galen). In both cases, they could just have opted for a state church, but they didn't.

I would like to ask you to read the article on the Kulturkampf in the Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08703b.htm) and to retract your general attack against the German episcopacy since the 19th century.

For the record, communion in the hand started in the Netherlands.

Anil Wang said...

I strongly suspect that the reason for this defiance is that like many in the CoE, they have lost the faith. Germans are rightfully proud of their contributions to theology, but like all things outside the 3 theological virtues, it can be taken too far into purely head manipulations of pet theories.

The Eastern Doctor of the Church, Ephraim the Syrian, once defined theology thusly: a theologian is one who prays, one who prays is a theologian. St Thomas Aquinas definitely agreed with this.

This simple definition prevents one from falling into two errors: (1) treating God as an object, not a subject; (2) forgetting that poor uneducated grandmother that practically lives in the parish praying for her family is likely a better theologian than many acclaimed elite theologians.

Lynda said...

Cardinal O'Malley seems to be suggesting that if one has divorced one's spouse, the Church ought to declare the marriage annulled, so that one's second "marriage" can be solemnised by the Church. Marriage cannot be dissolved. In some very few cases, the criteria necessary for marriage to have been entered into won't have been fulfilled meaning there is no marriage.

rocinante said...

"The Second Vatican Council stated that, like the ancient patriarchal Churches, episcopal conferences are in a position 'to contribute in many and fruitful ways to the concrete realization of the collegial spirit'. Yet this desire has not been fully realized, since a juridical status of episcopal conferences which would see them as subjects of specific attributions, including genuine doctrinal authority, has not yet been sufficiently elaborated."


Sixupman said...

For a good many years it has appeared to me, that post-Vatican II and the ascendency of Bishops' Conferences, the natural progression has been to 'national [Catholic] Churches' with only nominal obeisance to Rome and the Supreme Pontiff. I suspect there did exist undercurrents of such earlier, but talk of "devolution downwards" has brought about a crystallisation of the position.

epsilon said...

If bishops everywhere cared to check they would probably find many divorced and remarrieds taking Holy Communion on a regular basis with no complaints from anyone! For goodness sake how many priests are prepared to remind people at Mass that they must be baptised Catholics and in a state of grace before receiving, ie having confessed and been absolved of all mortal sins.

How many priests remind people that the use of artificial contraception (to prevent conception as opposed to for medical purposes) etc etc is a mortal sin?

The German bishops are only saying they're going to allow what all other bishops / priests in places like the UK are already DOING without saying anything!
Which is worse??

Ma Tucker said...

Reuters is a somewhat rotten reporter on Church matters. The German Bishops have no authority to reject the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Sadie Vacantist said...

Epsilon is correct of course. Pastorally, the only answer is to stop frequent communion for all Catholics so everyone can attend Mass without feeling '2nd class'. It's the greed of the remnant which is preventing a creative approach.

Jacobi said...

Well the crunch had to come sooner or later.

Pope Francis must now decide, and this will determine his place in history.

A sacramental marriage is indissoluble. Divorced and re-married from such marriages commit adultery, a Mortal Sin, and if they receive Holy Communion, that is a further Mortal Sin and could be Sacrilegious (Real).

Pope Francis will either compromise, concede, and conciliate , in which case the Church will slide into even deeper confusion and dissent , or he will stand firm on Catholic teaching, in which case we will probably have a large part of the Church in Germany, and other countries, splitting into heretical schism, just as at the Protestant Reformation. Either way we will be faced with a smaller Church, as Pope Benedict predicted.

I thought your analogy of the German tanks (Tiger I ?) a bit harsh at first, but on reflection it is quite apposite, the tanks in question being Kung, Rahner, and Schillebeeckx and so on. They and their like have been on the move since before Vat II.

It is interesting, is it not, that the last Reformation was started by Germans?

Mark said...

Aren't Divorced & Annulled Catholics allowed to receive Communion?

JARay said...

If this claim is true then there is a clear need for excommunication to be used and also made public.

Unknown said...

Schillebeeckx was either Dutch or Belgian, not German.

Ginge White said...

Everyone else seems to have missed
Rocinante final answer to the question you put, Father? He said...
"The Second Vatican Council stated that, like the ancient patriarchal Churches, episcopal conferences are in a position 'to contribute in many and fruitful ways to the concrete realization of the collegial spirit'. Yet this desire has not been fully realized, since a juridical status of episcopal conferences which would see them as subjects of specific attributions, including genuine doctrinal authority, has not yet been sufficiently elaborated."

He will not only not stop them, he wants them to make those decisions based on their legitimate authority as stipulated by Vat II. And remember, he's the POPE. The way he understands Vat II and the way he implements this understanding can not be challenged.

He is going to disband the Church - period

viterbo said...

Although these quotes are from the fishwrap's take on Evangelii Gaudium:

“He calls for a "conversion of the papacy," saying he wants to promote ‘a sound decentralization’ and candidly admitting that in recent years ‘we have made little progress’ on that front.

• “He suggests that bishops' conferences ought to be given ‘a juridical status ... including genuine doctrinal authority.’ In effect, that would amount to a reversal of a 1998 Vatican ruling under John Paul II that only individual bishops in concert with the pope, and not episcopal conferences, have such authority.

• “Francis says the Eucharist ‘is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak,’ insisting that ‘the doors of the sacraments’ must not ‘be closed for simply any reason." His language could have implications not only for divorced and remarried Catholics, but also calls for refusing the Eucharist to politicians or others who do not uphold church teaching on some matters.

If Evangelii Gaudium is anywhere close to this it seems as if nothing is sacred - nothing rock solid. All is mutable - the stuff not of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Can we hope these quotes are way off?

Scurlocke Netterville said...

GIving more power to episcopal conferences would be suicidal. The example of Ireland should suffice. It was the bishops' approach to the abuse crisis coupled to their lack of catechesis over the course of three decades that destroyed the Church in Ireland and produced a legion of ignorant atheists.

More Collegiality would not have helped.

Rebecca Duncan said...

Remarried Catholics already take communion. No one ever refuses them and no one ever teaches them about these matters. I would bet that the vast majority of remarried Catholics take communion. In my parish every person there goes up for communion every single time and there are no lines for confession. Still, it is another matter to officially endorse these things.

Nicolas Bellord said...

According to Gitta Sereny, Adolf Hitler before starting his euthanasia programme against the mentally handicapped (which was the start of the holocaust) got an opinion from some "Catholic" academic that okayed it. Hitler sent it to the Catholic hierarchy for their comments but never got a reply. If that is true then the record is not great and Cardinal von Galen was the exception.

Jacobi said...


Schillebeeckx was actually Flemish, as is obvious from the spelling!

Independent said...

A glance at Gunter Lewy, "The Caholic Church and the Third Reich" will disabuse anyone of the notion of the German Church being vigorously anti-Nazi. Look at his footnotes and extensive quotations from Diocesan publications. Von Galen supported the German war effort to the end and although opposed to the killing of the sick said nothing about the killing of the Jews. The renowned author of "The Spirit of Catholicism", a theologian of international repute, Karl Adam, was an early admirer of the Fuhrer and talked of the importance of "blood and race" in an article which failed to appear in his collected works published years later.

Honourable priests such as the Provost of Berlin who opposed the persecution got no support from the episcopate and ended up on a transport to Auschwitz.

However all this is no excuse for refighting the last war now, with pictures of tanks intended to evoke ani-German emotion. German bashing seems to be still a popular cause.

John Kearney said...

It was during Hitler`s Germany that Catholic and Protestants were thrown into each others arms and when the war was over they began the ecumenical movement. Since the Protestant Faith was more basic any movement had to come from the Catholics and the German Bishops, wrapped up in human thinking have rationalised the Catholic Faith almost out of existence. Divorce and Remarriage is not an attack only on the Church it is an attack on Christ Himself since his teaching is clear in the Gospels. So do they want a modern Church without Christ, or a Church faithful to Christ. "If you love me keep my commandments" So does christ matter at all.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I am German bashing but...!
But this is a battle that the German bishops have embarked upon, what is at stake is fidelity to Jesus' clear teaching on the indissolubly of marriage.
This is can certainly be seen as a 'German thing' if one sees Germany as the home of those theologians from Luther, through Schweitzer, Barth to Rhanner and Kung, and hundreds of others, who stressed an individualist personalistic approach to theology, for the last half millennium German theologians have promoted a very particular kind of liberalism and mitigation which in the 20th century seems to have brought together Protestants and Catholics.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Ginge White: First of all the word "collegial" means acting together not individually i.e. the Pope and the Bishops together.

Bishops Conferences get only a very passing mention in Lumen Gentium at the end of para 23 so perhaps there is some need for further juridical definition (I could suggest a simple one liner!). Now individual Bishops are dealt with in subsequent paragraphs of Lumen Gentium. Their teaching authority is described in para 25 and clearly it is the authority to teach the faith as received by the whole church from Christ - not something they can make up as individuals. It is "in communion with the Roman Pontiff".

Now elaboration of the juridical role of Bishops' Conferences could go either way to restrict or to enlarge their powers. But bear in mind Pope Francis's next sentence:

Excessive centralization, rather than proving helpful, complicates the Church’s life and her missionary outreach.

This suggests to me that he is not suggesting that Bishops' conferences would occupy and have the same role as individual Bishops. To do so could make individual Bishops redundant.

I think there is a problem in talking about "doctrinal authority" when what is meant is "teaching authority".

Further the Spanish text reads " incluyendo también alguna auténtica autoridad doctrinal" which translates as SOME authentic doctrinal authority. The word SOME seems to have been left out of the English translation!

Lepanto said...

A good Catholic friend told me with some surprise and indignation that a local priest had reminded 'lapsed Catholics' at a recent funeral that they should not receive Communion. Apparently some lapsed Catholics were upset. I was delighted that at least one local priest is reminding people about Church teaching as it applies to Communion. I would have been tempted to applaud if I had been there. Notably his is the only Church where you have to queue for confession.

Lynda said...

Bishops' conferences ought not to have any juridical role in the Church.

Supertradmum said...

This is serious and I think, will start a domino effect in other European countries. Liberal bishops have been consecrated by years and we are seeing the result of modernist seminary training beginning a long time ago. May SS. Cyril and Methodius, and St. Benedict protect Europe.

What a slap in the face for all of us good, orthodox Catholics who try and live according to God's laws regarding marriage.

There is so much confusion regarding the sacrament of marriage and this rebellion only adds to the confusion

Independent said...

I seem to recollect that the last Pope, the excellent Benedict, was a GERMAN. His works draw heavily on German scholarship.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Yes, he was. Many Germans might suggest he was a 'Bavarian', hence their lukewarm attitude to him.

He himself spent his life fighting against the 'liberalism' of his countrymen, hence the gulf between him and Kung and to a lesser extent Kaspar.

Martina Katholik said...

Church officials in Germany defended plans by the country's bishops' conference to allow some divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion, insisting they have the pope's endorsement.

"We already have our own guidelines, and the pope has now clearly signaled that certain things can be decided locally," said Robert Eberle, spokesman for the archdiocese of Freiburg.

"We're not the only archdiocese seeking helpful solutions to this problem, and we've had positive reactions from other dioceses in Germany and abroad, assuring us they already practice what's written in our guidelines," he said.

Eberle's comments followed the disclosure by Bishop Gebhard Furst of Rottenburg-Stuttgart Nov. 23 that the bishops' would adopt proposals on reinstating divorced and remarried parishioners as full members of the church during their March plenary.

In an interview Wednesday with Catholic News Service, Eberle said "many points" in the pope's apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, ("The Joy of the Gospel") suggested the German church was "moving in the right way" in its attitude toward remarried Catholics.


Jeremiah Methuselah said...

Where is the argument ? Let’s just stop this nonsense right now Papa Bergoglio, no matter what so many ex-Catholic German prelates claim.

“What God hath put together, let no man put asunder”. These words are not the official Roman Catholic Church position, they are the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Take Him on at your peril.

When you marry, you make holy promises. These promises are to be kept, for ever, until death etc etc. Who is incapable of understanding this ? If you break those promises, you sin, seriously and jeopardise your eternal soul. There can be no discussion on this.

If there are children from the marriage, the situation becomes even more serious.

Should you then go and “marry” another man or woman, you put yourself outside the Catholic Church. Who can possibly have a problem in understanding this situation ?

Independent said...

Hans Kung was born in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Joe Potillor said...

God save us from these Bishops' getting even more power. It'd be one thing if the Bishops' did their jobs right...but as we've seen, not so much.

Lynda said...

These bishops draw down God's wrath upon themselves. They, all at once, encourage people to commit sacrilege (over and over) by receiving Our Lord in a state of mortal sin, encourage people to enter into a state of on-going mortal sin by denying that adultery is a mortal sin or a sin at all, and further, encourage people to disrespect, nay, deny, the natural and sacramental institution of marriage by denying its permanence and exclusivity, which are integral to marriage.

Albert said...


Yes Germany is a hotspot for thinkers of the individualistic type, with the exception of Bavaria where the schools were very strongly influenced by the benedictine ethos up to this day. Yet give me a mass in Germany any day compared to one in Ireland. The simplicity and clarity in Germany I really miss whereas Ireland is suffering from that messiness which you deplore in pope Francis