Tuesday, February 19, 2008

German Catholic bishops go to war - with each other

Cathcon comments- Behind the scenes, Lehmann obtained the least bad (in his eyes) conservative for the Archdiocese of Munich and worse still fixed the election of his own successor, the conservative's worst nightmare, Robert Zollitsch, the Archbishop of Freiburg- who now is trying to open up a debate about celibacy and supports civil partnerships.

Clearly, something terrible has gone on behind the scenes to make the conservative Bishops so very, very angry.

Cathcon sadly has no photos of Cardinal Lehmann going wild, but one taken shortly afterwards, where one


Cathcon translation of
Freiburg: Krach um Zollitsch
Freiburg: Dispute about Zollitsch

No harmony in the family of God: Four of eight Bavarian bishops on Sunday did not come to Munich for the farewell service for Cardinal Wetter. An interview from Zollitsch brings agitation.
In Munich Bishops Walter Mixa (Augsburg), Wilhelm Schraml (Passau), Friedhelm Hoffmann (Würzburg) and Gerhard Ludwig Müller (Regensburg) were missing. The last named inaugurated instead a new kindergarten, where he preached: "From the womb to old age, we are all members of the great family of God."

Beautiful, but, as in other families, there are disputes. The Süddeutsche Zeitung writes that the outgoing Chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Karl Lehmann (Cathcon- seen below shortly afterwards during the service), went wild in the sacristy and said

"This is not just a kindergarten here."

The scandal of Munich is but only a part of the family dispute.

The other revolves around an interview with the Archbishop of Freiburg, Robert Zollitsch, in Der Spiegel. Zollitsch stated that homosexuality was for him a matter of social reality and the government should make rules for homosexual partnership. He distanced himself from the statements of Mixa on family policy. Words such as "child bearing machine" did not belong to his vocabulary, and broke down any discussion about the approach.

Then it came to celibacy which Zollitsch defended. But he also said: "And, of course, the connection between the priesthood and celibacy is not theologically necessary." This is anything but new, but for Bishop Mueller this went so against the grain, that he immediately he came out against the statement. Maybe he had just waiting for the occasion. Celibacy will never be repealed. The conservative "Network of Catholic Priests" leaped yesterday to Mueller’s defence. (Cathcon- more details soon)

About the motives of the four Bavarian bishops in not being seen in Munich, Hans Joachim Maier, President of the Central Committee of German Catholics, does not want to speculate. As much he said to the Badische Zeitung yesterday: "It was bad style, which is also not appropriate for a person such as Cardinal Wetter."

It was an affront not only against Wetter, but also against the non-Bavarian newcomer, Reinhard Marx, Wetter’s successor, whom the Conservatives count as one of theirs. And for Christian Weisner, spokesman for the lay movement "We Are Church", it meant a stab at Lehmann. Lehmann in the end had a considerable influence that Marx and none of the conservative Bavarians followed Wetter- and that his own successor was Zollitsch. The ranks of the hard-liners, including the Cologne, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, were empty. Lehmann’s activities sickened them.

Zollitsch, as his press spokesman Thomas Maier said yesterday, had noted the crossfire from Regensburg, but had nothing to say. Also Zollitsch was not in Munich because he, as Maier said, had an important appointment in Freiburg arranged a long time ago. He is not of Bavarian origin and on Sunday was not yet head of the German Bishops' Conference. The press office of the Archdiocese of Munich had in good religious tradition, "the directive, not to deliver a position." So, they have encouraged speculation.

The scandal of Munich and the dispute about celibacy have nothing directly to do with each other, but only indirectly: The conservatives are unhappy with the whole direction. Zollitsch understands church and society, and he knew what he was doing. He has given a sign. Some of his statements will not have pleased the Pope, but in any case it has displeased some of his episcopal colleagues, who for their part are forming up under Müller’s flag.

Zollitsch, at the outset of his tenure as Chairman of the Bishops' Conference made it clear that he is among the moderates. The toxic reaction from Regensburg shows that the arch-conservatives have understood this and find it hard to come to terms with. The gross discourtesy of Munich suits them. The fronts are now clear, the trenches visible.

Fraternity of St Vincent Ferrer


Resident in the Priory of St. Thomas-Aquinas at Chémeré-le-Roi ,in Mayenne,France. The porterie of the convent was blessed in 1992 by Bishop Billé, then bishop of Laval, and the cloister by his successor Archbishop Maillard in 1998. They lead a religious life, culminating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and shared prayer, Gregorian chant Office , in the Dominican Rites/usage as well manual and intellectual labour. Several Fathers deepen their formation with further University degrees (theology at the UCO Angers, philosophy at the Sorbonne,Paris).

"Contemplate and communicate to others the truth contemplated"

The Brotherhood is separate and distinct from the Order of Preachers, which they have received "spiritual patrimony" in 1988.

It is in contact with the authorities of the Order to discuss the possibility one day of aggregation at the "Family Dominican"

Pope Benedict advises religious orders

Return to your roots

And tear up all those modifications to your Rule and new customaries written after the Council.

See Fractured Face of Carmel

I was once accused of being hostile to the "principles" of the French Revolution

I gladly plead guilty.

Edmund Burke on The Death of Marie-Antoinette
"It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely there never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she had just begun to move in, glittering like a morning star full of life and splendor and joy. Oh, what a revolution....Little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fall upon her, in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour and of cavaliers! I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards, to avenge even a look which threatened her with insult.
But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded...."

–Edmund Burke, October 1793

More Latin Masses everywhere- well almost everywhere!

"The Mass is the Mass, but the traditional Latin Mass seems more sacred,":

Archbishop Zollitsch meets the Pope in Rome in March

At the rate he is going, there will be quite a reception committee for him.

To be charitable to the German bishops, perhaps they just didn't know- his previous career has been polished by cautious and wise administration. The archetypal sleeper who has awoken just at the end of his career. Clearly an elderly liberal in a hurry in the highest and last post of any importance that he will occupy.

Meet the new President of the European Association of Heads of Religious Orders


Lutgardis Craeynest

For comparison, the Founders of her Order
St Johannes Bosco and St Maria Mazzarello

Archbishop Zollitsch in action


So many servers, so few vocations to the priesthood and religious life. They will all end up as spiritual companions with enlightened feelings in the Zollitsch system.

Fault lines in German Catholicism

Cathcon translation of
Katholische Reformgruppen unterstuetzen Zollitsch
Catholic reform groups support Zollitsch

The remarks of the new Chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Robert Zollitsch, on celibacy have attracted support from Catholic reform groups. Zollitsch is not alone among the 70 bishops in Germany, said the spokesman for the “Popular Church Movement” Christian Weisner to the "Stuttgarter Nachrichten." "It would be fantastic if other bishops, who thought the same way, have the courage to speak out." Zollitsch has raised this as one of the most pressing problems of the church at the beginning of his term. "Now we need the solidarity of the other bishops," Weisner said. "that speak from personal experience and from responsibility for the parishes." Priests need desperately need this , who have been in secret relationships.