Part 1: The Pope's Difficult Visit to His HomelandPart 2: From Liberal to ConservativePart 3: 'A Poisoning of the Atmosphere Within the Church'Part 4: Rise of the Neocatechumenate MovementSo transparent is the author's loathing that practically every paragraph seems to give me hope that German Church is at last coming alive after years of decay, the era of Liberalism is over or rapidly aging.
Here is a little taster:
Liberal voices already had a rough time of it under John Paul II, but they have come under even greater pressure from Rome since his death. Mainz Cardinal Karl Lehmann was long the leader of the reformist camp in Germany. As chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, he did not shy away from conflict with Rome when it came to promoting a more modern form of Catholicism in Germany.I am sure this visit is not going to be easy, so implore Our Lady's protection for Pope Benedict.
Those days are gone. The shift in the balance of power was almost physically palpable at a joint reception of the dioceses of Limburg and Mainz in the garden of the Limburg seminary in late August. The 75-year-old Lehmann, who is perhaps the last great liberal in his church, was on crutches after knee surgery and seemed weak. He responded to a question about reforms in Germany's dioceses with a weary, resigned look. The elderly bishop misses his companions from another era, who have either retired or passed away. "The others," as Lehmann puts it, are now calling the shots in the German episcopate. No more than a third of German bishops are still clearly on his side.
A few meters away from Lehmann, a prominent representative of "the others" was busily working his way through the crowd: Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, a young, energetic bishop who is shifting the once-liberal Limburg diocese decidedly toward Benedict's traditionalist course.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
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