Germans in the hierarchy continue their plans to bring Reformation II to the Church. Sandro Magister gives us a case in point:
It runs to 59 dense pages, but these few lines from its paragraph 129 are enough to understand where Pope Francis wants to arrive:
“Affirming that celibacy is a gift for the Church, it is requested that, for the remoter zones of the region, the possibility be studied of the priestly ordination of mature men, preferably indigenous, respected and accepted by their communities, even though they may already have an established and stable family, for the sake of guaranteeing the sacraments that accompany and sustain the Christian life.”
The last time the pope had outlined this objective had been at the press conference on the flight back from Panama on January 27 2019, when to the question: “Will you allow married men to become priests?” he first responded by repeating with Paul VI: “I would rather lay down my life than change the law of celibacy,” but immediately afterward admitted a possibility of that kind “in remoter areas” like in the “Pacific islands” and “perhaps” in the Amazon and “in many places.” And he ended with a recommendation to read a book by Bishop Fritz Lobinger that presents among others the idea – “interesting” according to Francis – of ordaining these married men and granting them the sole “munus,” the task, of administering the sacraments, not those of teaching and governing as well, as has instead always happened in every sacred ordination.
Lobinger, 90, was bishop in Aliwal, South Africa, from 1988 to 2004. But he was born and raised in Germany, where he lives to this day. And he is not the first German bishop or theologian whom Jorge Mario Bergoglio has enlisted in recent years to increase attention and agreement for the ordination of married men, with the Amazon as the launch pad.
Before him can be cited the theologian and spiritual master Wunibald Müller, with whom Francis corresponded in 2015 on this very topic, in letters that were later made public by Müller himself.
But above all one must remember the bishop emeritus of the Brazilian prelature of Xingu, Erwin Kräutler, 80, Austrian, a member of the preparatory committee of the synod for the Amazon, who in repeated meetings with the pope has always received warm encouragement from him to fight for this result, now also as a member of the synod preparatory committee.
Not to mention Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, 85, Brazilian but from a German family, he too for years an open supporter of the ordination of married men, president of the pan-Amazonian ecclesial network that unites 25 cardinals and bishops of the countries of that area, and tapped by the pope as relator general of the synod.
All with the unfailing blessing of Bergoglio’s favorite among the German cardinals and theologians, Walter Kasper, 86, who in a recent interview with the newspaper “Frankfurter Rundschau” said that Francis expects only to put his signature to a decision of the synod in favor of the ordination of married men.
The connection between the Argentine pope and Germany is not only characteristic, however, of this synod for the Amazon. It also has a before and after.
Go here to read the rest. Ending celibacy in the Church has nothing to do with the Amazon and everything to do with the Rhine.