Judging from the below report from Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa, what was formerly called the Catholic Church in Germany has decided to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation two years early by kicking off Reformation 2.0:
ROME, May 6, 2015 – To judge by the latest product of the German episcopal conference, the synod on the family scheduled for October 4-25 could turn out to be a wasted effort.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx (in the photo), archbishop of Munich and president of the episcopal conference, had made this clear last February 25 with a remark that made its way around the world:
“We are not a subsidiary of Rome. Every episcopal conference is responsible for pastoral care in its own cultural context, and must preach the Gospel in its own original way. We cannot wait for a synod to tell us how we must shape the pastoral care of marriage and the family.”
But now it is Germany’s episcopal conference itself that has set this same concept down in black and white, in its official response – after consulting the “people of God” – to the preparatory questionnaire sent out from Rome in view of the next session of the synod.
When it comes to the question on “how to promote the determination of pastoral guidelines on the level of particular Churches,” the German bishops in fact write:
“Referring to social and cultural differences, some of the responses favour regional agreements on pastoral guidelines at local church level. The basis could also be formed by diocesan discussion processes on the topic of marriage and the family the outcome of which would be discussed with other local churches. This would be conditional on all concerned being willing to engage in a dialogue.”
The formulation is a bit contorted, but the facts speak for themselves. In almost all the dioceses of Germany, sacramental absolution and Eucharistic communion are given to the divorced and remarried, as already made clear by a previous document from the German episcopal conference, approved on June 24, 2014 and proudly exhibited in Rome at last October’s session of the synod on the family:
This document can be read in its entirety on the website of Germany’s episcopal conference, not only in the original German but in Italian, English, French, and Spanish, proof of the intentions of this episcopate to teach a lesson to the whole world.
And the same multilingual treatment has been adopted for the responses to the presynodal questionnaire, made public in recent days:
Below is reproduced the section of the document with the responses to the most controversial points of the questionnaire: the divorced and remarried, mixed marriages, homosexuals.
Not only do the German bishops approve of giving absolution and communion to the divorced and remarried, but they also express the hope that civil second marriages be blessed in church, that Eucharistic communion also be given to non-Catholic spouses, that the goodness of homosexual relationships and same-sex unions be recognized.
They write that they do not intend in the least to bring into question the doctrine of the universal Church relative to marriage and family. But they do not explain how to reconcile this doctrine “cum Petro e sub Petro” with the pastoral practices that they have implemented in Germany.
Go here to read the rest. The Vatican has been completely silent about this Teutonic reprise of the first Reformation, probably because the powers that be at the Vatican are giving this movement a private thumbs up behind the scenes. PopeWatch believes that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church, but PopeWatch does wish that so many clerics in the Church these days were not doing their level worst to prove the Lord wrong on this score.