Germany: On the Brink of Schism – The Catholic Thing

Germany: On the Brink of SchismMichele Malia McAloonThursday, May 6, 2021The universal Church is about to witness, in the homeland of Martin Luther, some (but not all) German bishops taking a dangerous path toward open schism with the pope. In outright rebellion to the text by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on March 15, 2021, which denied that the Church has the authority to bless “same-sex unions,” various German bishops plan to do just that on May 10.Their website “Love wins, blessing service for lovers” calls for participants to upload their pictures to express agreement with a short statement, which begins, “We do not refuse a blessing ceremony. We do this in our responsibility as pastors” and ends, “We do not accept that an exclusive and outdated sexual morality is carried out on the backs of people and undermines our work in pastoral care.”The chairman of the German bishop conference, Bishop Georg Batzing, has condemned this “call” and labeled it “not suitable as an instrument for church political manifestations or protest actions.” He believes sexual morality must be discussed in the context of the Synodal Way, a process the German Catholic Church launched in December 2019, in response to the sexual abuse crisis.Four topics are currently being examined: power and Separations of Powers in the Church; sexuality and partnership; the priesthood; and women in ministries and offices in the Church. Unfortunately, many of the documents thus far produced have not strengthened the evangelical and apostolic mission of the Church, but rather merely reflect the message of a divided (and divisive), confused, and secular society.The genesis of this problem may very well be monetary. Church taxes – paid voluntarily, and collected from Catholic parishioners’ total income tax, 8-9 percent depending on the region of Germany – amounted to almost $7 billion in 2020. The salaries for bishops and priests, upwards of 180,000 euros (more than $215,000 dollars) a year for a bishop, and 96,000 euros (around $115,000) for a priest, are paid from the Church tax.In the past year, however, it’s estimated that 300,000 Catholics left the Church in Germany. Keeping the flock from leaving is not only an evangelical mission but a financial necessity.Many faithful Catholics in Germany believe this accommodation to secular demands is a ploy to attract more parishioners. Michael Hesemann, a German Catholic and author of the recently published Jesus of Nazareth: Archaeologists Retracing the Footsteps of Christ believes those who actually attend Mass do not agree with the Synodal way or the schismatic threats.Like American Catholics, most German Catholics attend weekly and daily Mass out of genuine belief in the salvific message of Jesus Christ. People freely choose Roman Catholicism specifically for a disciplined liturgical structure and the clear succinct teachings of the Magisterium. As George Weigel has said, “Catholic lite equals Catholic zero.”

Source: Germany: On the Brink of Schism – The Catholic Thing

Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s