Thursday, September 28, 2017

Cardinal: no changes expected to Amoris laetitia

The chairman of the German Bishops' Conference (DBK), Cardinal Reinhard Marx, has clearly rejected demands by conservative critics for a correction of "Amoris laetitia". According to Marx, on Thursday, the Pope's letter of 2016, which deals, among other things, with the question of whether newly married divorced persons can be admitted to the communion under certain conditions, is also a word-faithful representation of what the Bishop's synod had decided with a two-thirds majority the Cardinal said at a press conference on the conclusion of the DBK autumn meeting in Fulda.

Germany- increasingly a tale of two cardinals

There could be further debate about this, and he would not mind if critical articles were published. This will not change the decision of the bishops and the Pope. "For me, the matter is clear and decided," emphasised Marx, who had himself participated in the Synod's debates and votes, and in Rome was one of the leaders supporting a "pastoral opening".

The Cardinal declared that he had not yet read the recent thrust of 62 theologians, philosophers, and Catholic priests against alleged heresies in "Amoris laetitia". In the worldwide " Correctio filialis", the critics had asked the Pope to distance themselves from heresies spread as a result of "Amoris laetitia", which had caused confusion among the faithful. In the past few days the theologian and Archbishop Bruno Forte, as well as the influential Curia cardinal Marc Ouellet, had rejected the criticism of the Pope as a factually wrong.

Young people should participate in the survey

On the next world bishop's synod on the subject of youth, which is to be held in October 2018, Cardinal Marx expressed his positive expectations. Youth is the stage of life, in which people make basic decisions about their future lives, said the Archbishop of Munich. This also applies to the development of faith.

That is why it is important that the church is concerned with the question of what young people are doing in an existential way, according to the chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference. Marx praised the preparations made so far for the Synod, which is supposed to meet under the official title "The Young People, Faith and Discernment". He called on the young people to participate in the Vatican's online survey in preparation for the Synod.
Church wants better mission

For the first time at this year's autumn meeting, the Presidents of all Bishops’ Conference committees exchanged view on the form evangelization should take in the future, Marx continued. The bishops would have to think about how the Gospel could be proclaimed in terms of face-to-face changes in the forms of communication and life. According to the Cardinal, the idea of the Papal document "Evangelii nuntiandi" of 1975 was to be continued. The letter described the break between the Gospel and modern culture as the "drama of our era."

Testimony in ecumenism

"Marx was very pleased" with the course of the year "500 years of the Reformation". The "groundwater level of friendship" between the confessions had risen sharply, said the Cardinal. Without friendship, there can be no understanding, he explained.

As to the state of theological differences between Catholics and Protestants, he noted that there were still clearly perceptible differences which, however, did not have to be church-dividing. The differences, even in the social ethics, should not be concealed or plastered over.

It was especially important for him that there was never any anti-Catholic or anti-Protestant polemic, Marx emphasized. As highlights, he described the joint reconciliation service in Hildesheim on 11 March, which also made a great impression on the churches as well as the joint-pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Marx admitted that, despite all the similarities, there were still practical tests. In the words of the Cardinal, two commissions of the conference, namely, those on questions of faith and on ecumenism, are discussing the question of a reciprocal admission to the Eucharist and the Lord's Supper. According to the Cardinal, it is easier to talk about open questions "if one can look into the eyes". The Cardinal said it was wrong to want "to look for a hair in the soup" in view of the entire development.

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