Buy Books and Support Cathcon

Thursday, February 26, 2015

German bishops proclaim their revolution- they are not just a subsidiary of Rome

The German Bishops Conference addressed itself to a long process of talks about marriage and family by giving plenty of room for the local church. The chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx (Munich-Freising) underlined in the context of the Family Synod in autumn the efforts of the bishops for "new approaches" and to "help ensure that doors are opened". In the universal Church, there is "a certain expectation" of Germany. He hoped that some issues would be addressed before the Synod, Marx told journalists n Hildesheim on Tuesday. 

The Archbishop of Munich and Freising assumes after the Synod that a Commission would be further concerned with the relevant issues. Theological questions about marriage and family as well as on sexual morality could not be answered in a mere three weeks. "My hope is that then this results in a further discussion." The Synod must find a text that "would lead to further progress" in the discussion and also find a common position on fundamental issues. As far as teaching is concerned, one remains in communion with the Church, in individual issues of pastoral care, "the Synod cannot prescribe in detail of what we have to do in Germany". Therefore, the bishops wanted to publish their own pastoral letter on marriage and family after the Synod. The office of the bishops is not to wait for permits. "We are not just a subsidiary of Rome. Each Episcopal Conference is responsible for the pastoral care in their culture, and has to proclaim the Gospel as their very own office. We cannot wait until a synod state something, as we have here to undertake in this place marriage and family ministry. " 

The reality of life is according to the German bishops an important factor for the teaching of the Church: "We learn indeed in the teaching of life", underlined Cardinal Marx. The Osnabrück Bishop Franz-Josef Bode described the Synod in this context as "historically important". In his view, the participants discuss not only marriage and family relations, but the possibility of a paradigm shift: 

The basic question is whether not only Scripture and Tradition are sources of theological knowledge are, "but also the reality of human being and the world". The chairman of the Pastoral Commission of the German Bishops' Conference recalled in this context the "dialogical structure" of reality, which is mentioned in the Pastoral Constitution of the Second Vatican Council, "Gaudium et Spes" and he cited the conciliar document: "There is nothing genuinely human that is not echoed in their hearts (those of the disciples- ed comment) is echoed ". Bode concluded: "Not only the Christian message must find resonance in the people, but people need to strike a chord with us." Bode said, it is important that there are intra-theological reasons that the sacrament is not only a representation of unity but also a means of unity and could contribute to healing. 

Cardinal Marx announced a paper of the bishops to the synod, which should be released in the coming weeks. On Tuesday morning, the pastors discussed in detail at the Spring General Assembly the Lineamenta for the Extraordinary Synod.

When asked whether the Episcopal Conference will also take initiatives in order to bring back to the consciousness of the faithful the sacrament of confession, Cardinal Marx answered that confession and reconciliation are "key issues". In what form the Bishops' Conference would wish to revive the practice of confession, remains open.

Pastoral practice and dogma are mutually reinforcing 

The locally elected officials who will represent the German bishops during the Family Synod in autumn were presented to journalists at midday on Tuesday afternoon: In addition to Cardinal Marx, the Chairman of the Marriage and Family Commission take Bishop Heiner Koch (Dresden-Meissen) and the chairman of the Pastoral Commission Franz-Josef Bode to part in the deliberations. As deputies, the young Bishop Karl-Heinz Wiesemann (Speyer) and the deputy chairman of the Family Commission, the Auxiliary Bishop of Münster, Wilfried Theising were selected.

The Bishop responsible for family matters, Koch emphasized the need to "enter theologically into the depth" of the Sacraments. He hoped "that it is not only the issues hotly debated in Germany" but the transmission of the faith in the family or the subject of assisted suicide will come into view. Bishop Bode expressed concern that truth and life should not fall apart. Pastoral care and dogmatic truth should benefit from each other. He hoped that in view of the divorced and remarried some matters will resolved prior to the Synod. On the question of what theologians were heading in the right direction in the eyes of the bishops, Bishop Bode cited the Freiburg moral theologian, Eberhard Eberhard Schockenhoff. 

This year's Spring Plenary Assembly of the German bishops in Hildesheim had begun with a sober picture of the situation of faith in Germany. The apostolic nuncio in Berlin, Archbishop Nikola Eteroviæ, pointed out in his address the dramatic decline in the number of believers in East Germany. It made him concerned that in the first two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall that nowhere in the former Eastern Bloc had the number of Christians had declined so much as in the former GDR. Eteroviæ cited a study by the University of Münster, according to which the number of believers in God between 1990 and 2008 had more than halved. Meanwhile only fourteen percent of East Germans believed in God, according to Eteroviæ. In other countries of the former Eastern Bloc, however, the number of professing Christians increased in the same period or only slightly decreased. 

 Cardinal Reinhard Marx had highlighted the need for discussion about faith in his homily at the opening Mass on Monday. The Faith and the Church's life always come new to the debate and should always be re-tried, the Archbishop of Munich said and made a comparison to newborns who need to learn a new language.  Source

Post a Comment