Saturday, February 24, 2007
The reconciliation of the SSPX may be important but it is not the only issue at stake.
Here are a selection (which change from time to time) podcasted by ZDF, the German equivalent of the BBC.
The notable exception to this was the broadcast from Maria Plain, which saw an eastward facing Mass of sorts and magnificent singing. Sadly, we can only see the latter in the podcast.
Extending German religious programming
to a Muslim audience
ZDF is planning a “Word on Friday” in its online religious provision to benefit a Muslim audience. They are using the ARD transmission, “Word on Sunday” (a discussion programme) as a prototype and they plan to transmit it from May onwards in the German language. They will feature imans as well as German commentators, talk about the latest topics and attempt to get discussions going, according to ZDF Editorial Chief, Nikolaus Brender. It is intended to be a further tool in the examination of Islam. The protestant bishop, Wolfgang Huber and Interior Minister, Wolfgang Schauble support this initiative. If there is positive feedback, it is envisaged to extend it to television. (edited translation of press release)
This plan has now drawn some heavy criticism from the Christian Social Union, the main political party in nominally Catholic Bavaria.
Finally from ZDF
A remarkable claim that the previous Pope carried out an exorcism. Caution disturbing content showing an exorcism prefacing the interview.
"When the cat no longer can, he can still give advice." Not even the Nazis would have used such grotesque language in public to a senior cleric.
What will become of Germany?
Bishop Dr Walter Mixa of Augsburg has criticised Family Minister van der Leyen’s plans to enormously extend children’s nursery places from 250,000 to 750,000 by the year 2013. This is a translation of his press release. See the firestorm raining down on the Bishop for all sides of politics. In the meantime, his Catholic colleagues and ecumenical friends attack him.
He called them “harmful for children and families and one sided” concentrating an active increase in working mothers with small children. The Bishop said that it was “a socio-political scandal” to cut other family allowances in order to finance new crèche facilities. “Frau van der Leyen’s family policy does not serve in the first instance the welfare of the child or the strengthening of the family but is solely concerned to recruit young women as workforce reserves for industry”. Mixa said this in the course of an audience with the Chairman of the Catholic Family League of his Diocese. The thought pattern of the Family Minister recalls in a worrying way the ideology of state-run nurseries of the former East Germany where children were looked after not by their parents but by strangers. East Germany had the highest number of state-run nurseries and at the same time the lowest birthrate in Europe.
The Bishop energetically attacked “the repeated attempts by the Family Minister to discredit the quality of parental upbringing and to support a ‘a professional pre-school education of small children’. This means that women who bring up children on their own are given a bad conscience because the child can develop less at home than by so called professionals. The Bishop reiterated, “the real professionals for the upbringing of a child are its parents, especially its mother”. The efforts by the state for a modern family policy should therefore be aimed at the situation where more mothers could be won over to spend the first three years with the child at home to benefit its upbringing. This should be financially supported by the state. In addition, Bishop Mixa supports in this context, the demands of the Catholic Family League for the parents to receive a childcare allowance, so that parents have a choice either of spending some of it on some care outside the family or to compensate parents if they bring up their own children. The Bishop also supports an extended recognition of the period spent bringing up one’s own children reflected in pension rights as well as the state’s improved financial support of single and socially dependent mothers who are forced for economic to go to work, even in the first year of their child’s life.
“Young mothers in a prosperous society are forced to give their children to a state-run childcare systems where the care is undertaken outside the family in order to economically survive. This is contrary to a modern and humane family policy” Mixa said.
Children need for a balanced and healthy, physical and mental development, a continuous dialogue with the mother but no qualified third-party care. The aim of modern concepts in family policy should therefore “ be to guarantee the convergence of children’s upbringing and professional activity external to the family, not simultaneously but successively”.
Frau van der Leyen however clings to the already old-fashioned ideological model of a working mother in the earliest years of a child’s development and she cannot be distinguished from the erroneous family policy of the previous Socialist/ Green coalition government.
Bishop Mixa also criticised in this context that when the head of the Family Ministry changed, there were hardly any personnel changes in terms of advisors and consultants.
“There are still the old socialist ideas prevalent and the new Family Minister simply puts the label “Christian Democrat” on the same policies”.
Two income families have been elevated to an ideological fetish by the Christian Democratic Union Minister van der Leyen. Those who seduce mothers to leave their children shortly after birth to place them in state-run nurseries and support this with state subsidy, they degrade the women to become a “baby making machine” and disregard all scientific understanding of the child/ mother relationship in the child’s first year, reiterated Mixa
The Bishop of the second largest Diocese in Bavaria called the Catholic voters to use the democratic opportunities as a strong and creative minority and asked them to be vigilant about the family policy which is coming off the rails and to engage in a socio-political debate.
END OF DIOCESAN PRESS RELEASE
According to the Bild Zeitung, Mixa has refused to apologise for his reproach.
“My criticism is against the policy which only supports that young mothers give their small children shortly after birth into state-run care instead of spending the first three years with the child”, was the reply of the Catholic Bishop.
Those who don’t give a choice to mothers and nevertheless demand more births in politics degrade the mother, drastically expressed to “baby-making machines”
And I stick to that, says Mixa.
Frau van der Leyen has herself seven children. However, her position seems to have more to do with aristocratic guilt than any religious opinion (not clear which part of the religious spectrum, if any, she occupies).
She tries to "play for both teams" having set up an "Association for Upbringing" in association with both Catholics and protestants last year. With her right hand she does this, yet with her left hand!
If her ministry has been captured by the left, she may also have been stung into action by the left, which portrayed her as the Sleeping Beauty for her previous inaction.Family Policy in Deep Sleep
But more telling was the photo on the front of The Spiegel.
I am Germany.
The Crusade of Ursula van der Leyen
This is a parody of Kaiser Wilhelm II definitiom of the role for women (later taken over by the Nazis) as "Kirche, Kueche, Kinder" (church, kitchen, children.)
Combined with a parody of the later Nazi propaganda campaign "Du bist Deutschland"The slogan was also used accidentally and much to their embarassement when it was discovered by a recent German government "feel good" campaign.
What will become of Germany when it pursues such policies?