German Catholics call for reform, many leaving

German Catholics call for reform, many leaving” – AP story on Yahoo News.

17 comments

    1. Right, now we may see Catholics in the archdiocese of Liverpool and elsewhere in the UK cashing in their chips too.

  1. Even in sleepy Catholic South Africa, some clergy and laity have recently started a local “We Are Church” movement, which is calling for dialogue with bishops about reform.

    Even if I don’t agree with all their aims, I find this development very healthy because it means that Catholics are thinking cricially about their faith and the way it is expressed in and by the institutional Church.

    1. Yes indeed. It is also refreshing to see these Catholics aren’t just the usual “NCR”and “America” crowd, as Fr. Z and his following would have us believe.

      Instead of the odor of Satan, I smell revolt in the air . The
      demand for reform is growing rapidly.

    2. but these people have had such poor teaching that their confusion over the reasons for Church teachings is understandable.
      ——————————————–
      So, how would a smaller, but more “orthodox”Church go about countering that “confusion”? It takes a leap of faith to see how Benedict XVI, hardly the magnetic personality and dynamic leader of a John Paul or John XXIII, to be the pontiff capable of spearheading a reform movement leading to the re-Christianization of Europe?

  2. I commented on another thread that news of the genuine problems and stresses of the local churches will be kept away from the Pope at all costs. This story reinforces that impression.

    These papal visits are feel-good opportunities, stage-managed to tell the pope what he wants to hear and to present the hosts in the best possible light (according to what they think the pope thinks is the best light). John Paul II created the model, with big rallies and events, and unfortunately Pope Benedict is trying to fill the same shoes.

    1. The classic recent example in England was the Pope, on the last day of his visit to the UK, telling the assembled bishops (in a prepared statement) what a wonderful exercise in collegiality and consultation their involvement in the translation of the Missal had been.

      And the bishops (having found out over the preceeding few weeks that the translation the Pope was referring to had been trumped by officials of Vox Clara making in the order of 10,000 changes to what they, the bishops, had submitted to Rome – therefore knowing what the Pope was saying was far from true) sat there in silence, and dutifully applauded at the end.

    2. Rita’s point reminds me of the business doctrine that, in large corporations, the job of executives is to keep bad news from reaching those above them. We certainly see that in the church.

  3. Europe needs missionaries more than the 3rd World. The ethos of conforming religion to secular mores is well entrenched in too many places. One’s first reaction might be “don’t let the door hit you on the way out” but these people have had such poor teaching that their confusion over the reasons for Church teachings is understandable.

    1. Is the phrase “secular mores” code for disagreement with hierarchal teachings regarding marriage and sexuality? One of my daughters is gay. She is also living a life of voluntary poverty, working to improve living conditions for others. Is it conforming to secular mores when I question the statement that she is inherently disordered?
      What about the teachings regarding artificial contraception? The evidence is very strong that the current teachings have more to do with reinforcing the power of the hierarchy than with the morality of the issue. Is is conforming to secular mores to question rank hypocrisy?
      I submit that the reason people are leaving is that they understand all too well the reasons for some Church teachings!

    2. I feel like I understand very well the reasons for Church teachings, and that is exactly why I am staying where I am. If there was something I couldn’t get past, I would leave the Church. But, even if I have interior questions about some of the teachings, I accept them, since it’s what is asked of me as a member of the Church.

      I don’t know how you can say the teachings on artificial contraception has more to do with reinforcing power of the hierarchy than with the morality of the issue. I’ve researched this a ton, since I once disagreed with the teaching. But, after studying it in-depth, I can only conclude that is has everything to do with moral responsibility. What is your basis for this claim?

      Michael is right. There is a loud call for the Church to conform to secular mores. The Church should stand as truth against secular society. It should be a refuge and not an extention of the degredation we see all too often in daily life.

      1. “I would leave the Church”. If all followed that logic the Church’s membership would be halved overnight. You want a Church with no place for freedom of conscience.

      2. If there was something I couldn’t get past, I would leave the Church.

        What if we took the current divisions to their limit? Imagine a situation in which the Pope and 50 members of the curia gave us a teaching, and 1.1 billion Catholics could not get past it. Should the 1.1 billion “leave the Church”? What would that mean? Would it be a schism where 1.1 billion are in error and the remaining 51 have the truth?

    3. “One’s first reaction…” Sorry, but that is not a Catholic reaction. That is the mentality of a sect. The married couples who use contraceptives have made a decision that even Paul VI respected: To ascribe their adult choice to poor education bespeaks a great complacency. Same-sex couples who have built a life together deserve similar respect. They probably know the moral score better than you do.

  4. “The evidence is very strong that the current teachings have more to do with reinforcing the power of the hierarchy than with the morality of the issue.”

    If the hierarchy really wanted to merely reinforce their power, don’t you think
    that the logical step would be for them to approve of contraception and gay relationships? Preaching unpopular truths is not exactly a way to gain power.

  5. We humans have mixed motives most of the time – I’m sure I do, even or especially when I’m not aware of it. In the exercise of the teaching office by humans, I’m sure many motives are at work – along with the Holy Spirit, somehow, despite the various errors and mistakes in the history of magisterial statements.

    Paul VI clearly was plagued by the idea that respect for the magisterium would plunge if the teaching on contraception changed. He agonized, and he waited so many years to make a decision, precisely because of this. If he were sure of the traditional teaching, he would have decided right away. But he didn’t. He waited and waited, precisely because he was worried about the magisterium’s standing. He felt the magisterium would maintain its authority by not changing.

    awr

  6. Moreover Paul VI kept trying to save his teaching by stressing the rights of subjective conscience, that using contraceptives was not a reason for not taking communion, that the teaching was not infallible etc. He did believe he was right and reaffirmed this at the end of his life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *