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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Head of German Catholics considers celibacy "not necessary"

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Council may be required to change the Church's position.

The Protestant Church can be called church

Not bad going for a man only two days in office. He is making up quickly for his reputation as the cleric who has left no traces behind.

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Cathcon translation of Oberster deutscher Katholik hält Zölibat für "nicht notwendig"

For Catholics, it would be a revolution: Robert Zollitsch, the new chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, is considering an end to the celibacy. For priests to live without marrying, was "not theologically necessary," he says in SPIEGEL - and also let his understanding for the Greens and the Socialists be understood.

Hamburg – into his first few days in office - and he even dares to take on a mammoth project: the Archbishop of Freiburg and newly elected chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Robert Zollitsch said that he was against "a prohibition on thinking" about the subject of celibacy. In an interview with Spiegel, the 69-year-old said the link between the priesthood and celibacy was "not theologically necessary."

For the Catholic Church, this statement a radical departure from past practice. Zollitsch is also aware of this: A farewell to celibacy "would be a revolution, in which a part of the church would not take part," he says. A Council that would be needed, because the interior life of the entire church would be affected.

At the same time, Zollitsch advocates an opening of "his" (Cathcon-added interverted commas!) church towards new social milieus. He went on to distance himself from statements of other bishops about kindergarten care. "Terms like 'Baby Bearing Machine' or 'stove bonus ' do not belong to my vocabulary and break down any discussion about the approach. We need nurseries because many parents simply are in need." (Cathcon- Bishop Mixa will be seething tonight, I guess.)

He spoke critically about the development of the CDU(Cathcon - the Conservative Christian Democratic Party), although that party shares "many Christian values in our sense." But, then Zollitsch added, "The CDU has become closer to more neoliberal theories - and thereby there is a danger in the social market economy that social issues are not kept firmly enough in mind." The proximity between the Catholic Church and the CDU was "so diminished". Furthermore, other parties such as the Socialists and the Greens appreciated "things that are important to us, more than ever before".

The Archbishop of Freiburg also canvassed for a better relationship with the Protestant Church. The Roman statement about what to be a church means triggered resentment among the Protestants. The Protestant Church "is church. I cannot deny it. "

Archbishop signing a Charta Ecumenica in his own dioceses, which was accompanied by 50 mini-charters at parish level.


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