PopeWatch: The Second Time as Farce

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Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa, brings us a report on the chaos in Germany:



ROME, May 29, 2015 – In perfect temporal conjunction four days ago, right when the council and general secretariat of the synod of bishops were at the Vatican with Pope Francis preparing the next session of the assembly, on the same day and not far away, at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the presidents of the episcopal conferences of Germany, France, and Switzerland and about fifty bishops, theologians, and experts from these three countries, led by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, were discussing behind closed doors how to steer through the synod their reformist ideas on the two most controversial points: divorce and homosexuality.

Germany, France, and Switzerland overlook the Rhine River. But the participants at the Gregorian know very well that the game is being played on the shores of the Tiber, in Rome. Their ambition is to be once again, as at Vatican Council II, the winning side in the renewal of the universal Church, the Rhine that with its waters invades the Tiber.

At the end of the meeting, the Germans released a statement in which they say that they “reflected in particular on sexuality as a language of love and a precious gift from God, in intense dialogue between traditional moral theology and the best contributions of contemporary anthropology and the human sciences.”

But more than the statement, what is interesting is what the participants really said among themselves, according to the authorized account in the May 26 issue of “la Repubblica,” the only Italian newspaper admitted to the meeting and on top of that the only newspaper that Pope Francis says he reads:

“A priest and professor speaks without hesitation of ‘caresses, kisses, coitus in the sense of coming together, co-ire,’ as also of ‘that which accompanies the unconscious lights and shadows of the impulses and desire.’ One of his colleagues: ‘The importance of the sexual stimulus represents the foundation for a lasting relationship.’ Freud is quoted. There are references to Fromm. ‘The lack of sexuality,’ it is added, ‘can be associated with hunger and thirst. The question that characterizes it is: Do you want to have sex? But this does not mean desiring the other, if the other does not want it. The question should be: Do you want me? This is how sexual desire for the other can be united with love.’”

The episcopate of Germany is the most advanced and combative point of this reformist front.

Its last official pronouncement – released in multiple languages in early May – was the response to the questionnaire sent out from Rome in view of the next session of the synod.

From which it can be gathered that in Germany they are already putting widely into practice that which the magisterium of the Church forbids and the synod has yet to discuss. And this means communion for the divorced and remarried, the admission of second marriages, the approval of homosexual unions:

> Synod. The German Bishops Are Putting the Cart Before the Horse

A few days later, on May 9, the Zentralkomitee der Deutschen Katholiken, the historical association of the German Catholic laity, issued an even more advanced statement, demanding liturgical blessings for second marriages between the divorced and for unions between persons of the same sex, in addition to the wholesale abandonment of Church teaching on contraception:

> Declaration of the Central Committee of the German Catholics

But take care. This does not mean that the whole German Church agrees on these positions. Anything but. Both among the bishops and among the most authoritative laymen there is no lack of opposing voices. And in recent days they have made themselves heard loud and clear.

The bishop of Passau, Stefan Oster, a Salesian appointed by Pope Francis in April 2014, has contested the statement of the Zentralkomitee der Deutschen Katholiken point by point in a biting interview on his Facebook page:

> Hier einige Gedanken…

In English:

> Rarity. A German Bishop…

And he promptly received the public endorsement of five other bishops: Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg, Konrad Zdarsa of Augsburg, Gregor M. Hanke of Eichstätt, Wolfgang Ipolt of Görlitz, Friedhelm Hofmann of Würzburg:

> Zur jüngsten Debatte…

It is interesting to note that among these five bishops is that of Würzburg, the city in which the Zentralkomitee der Deutschen Katholiken met and issued its statement with the silence/absence of the committee’s spiritual guide, Bishop Gebhard Fürst of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, the diocese that in the 1990’s had Walter Kasper as its titular.

And it is even more interesting to highlight that the bishops cited, with the exception of that of Görlitz, all belong to the ecclesiastical region of Bavaria, with the result of putting Cardinal Marx, archbishop of Munich, in the minority in his own region and on the very questions on which he has most exerted himself.

But there is more. Among the laity of Germany also there are powerful figures who are speaking outside the party line.

There was a stir in early May over the severity with with Robert Spaemann, considered one of the greatest living Catholic philosophers, a longtime friend of Joseph Ratzinger, criticized not only the German episcopate but nothing less than the governance of Pope Francis, as “autocratic” and “chaotic” at the same time.

Spaemann presented his criticisms in a conversation with Hans Joas for “Herder Korrespondenz,” the magazine of the publisher of the opera omnia of Benedict XVI:

> “Das Gefühl des Chaos wird man nicht ganz los”

In recent days, moreover, a book been published simultaneously in Germany and Italy by a German jurist and magistrate that is a radical refutation, in theory and practice, of the ideas of Cardinal Kasper on communion for the divorced and remarried:

Go here to read the rest.  All of this is happening of course as we approach the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  I think this remark of Marx, Karl not the Cardinal, captures the whole spirit of what the Catholic Church in Germany is currently engaged in:

Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

More to explorer

PopeWatch: Trolling

PopeWatch suspects the Pope is just trolling us now:   Vatican City, Feb 14, 2019 / 05:41 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis


  1. Caitlyn Jenner, Vanity Fair, June 3rd, 2015

    Munich, Gemany: Cardinal Marx today announced the replacement of the Memorial of Charles Lwanga and Companions in the German Catholic Church in favor of St Mwanga. “St Mwanga, under the patriarchal, homophobic and cisgender pre-Vatican II Church, was maligned as causing the ‘martyrdom’ of Charles Lwanga.” Marx said. “According to the Spirit of the Times, we now know that St Mwanga was moving his community forward in the Spirit of Social Justice and Equality by breaking down preconceptions about sex and gender.”

    Cardinal Marx further noted that Mwanga merely was seeking to share himself with others who refused him based upon an “…oppressive and outdated sexual morality.” He further said that such attitudes must change if we are to be a “Welcoming Community.”

    The first celebration of the Solemnity of St Mwanga will take place on June 3, 2016 in the Cologne Cathedral and will be co-celebrated by still-to-be ordained priestesses of the German Church. Cardinal Marx anticipates that the Solemnity will be celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church in the near future as it follows the enlightened lead of the German Spirit.

    No comment was forthcoming from Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi.

  2. “The German bishops are putting the cart before the horse?”
    It appears to this observer that they are putting what’s left on the ground (after the horse passes) into the driver’s seat.

  3. Even Martin Luthur would be shocked at what is now happening, and yet it is his rebellion grown into full fruit – putrid, vile, disgusting and rotten.

  4. ‘ Cardinal Marx further noted that Mwanga merely was seeking to share himself with others who refused him based upon an “…oppressive and outdated sexual morality.” He further said that such attitudes must change if we are to be a “Welcoming Community.” ‘

  5. “… issued its statement with the silence/absence of the committee’s spiritual guide, Bishop Gebhard Fürst of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, the diocese that in the 1990’s had Walter Kasper as its titular.”

    Never was a diocese more aptly named.

  6. 24 Another parable he put before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants[a] of the householder came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants[b] said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”


    Matthew 13:27 Or slaves
    Matthew 13:28 Or slaves
    Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)
    The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

  7. I agree with Robert Spaemann who “criticized not only the German episcopate but nothing less than the governance of Pope Francis, as “autocratic” and “chaotic” at the same time.” The whole of Francis papacy is becoming both a tragedy and a farce at the same time. The responsible thing to do now is for the Cardinals to ask the Pope to resign now before the absurdity of it all is irredeemable.

  8. The day the catholic church allows same sex marriage is the day I leave the catholic church. Shame Shame Shame on all the Bishops and priests who go along with this sinfulness.

  9. Yes Doris I hear you. But don’t we have to think that they are the ones who have left, while we remain true to the Church ?

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