Friday, October 09, 2009

Ecumenical movement crashes and burns in Germany

Worst case scenario for ecumenism
Catholics criticise church document

The Catholic Bishops' Conference described the internal German Protestant Church (EKD) paper with the criticism of Archbishop Zollitsch as containing "harsh sentences". The EKD is called upon to clarify the matter.

The paper on the situation of the Catholic Church published by the Internal information service of the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) has kicked up a powerful dust storm. The publication was like a "total meltdown," it was said in circles that are close to the ecumenical movement, but who however want to remain anonymous. The letter which judges the Catholic Church in an arrogant and derogatory manner, is dangerous to the "ecumenical climate", especially in view of the approaching Ecumenical Church Council in spring 2010 in Munich. The Catholic German Bishops' Conference called on the EKD to clarify the matter.

Upper Consistory Member Thies Gundlach, one of the key leaders in the EKD-management team of the religious affairs office analysed in a six-page internal memorandum in June, the situation of the Catholic Church. In it he wrote, among other things, about the chairman of the Bishops' Conference, the Archbishop of Freiburg Robert Zollitsch, "A guiding and formative power does not emanate from him." or: "Like a punch-drunk fighter, the Catholic Church fluctuates between open gestures and unclear demarcations between ecumenical openings and self-profiling demarcation."

The spokesman for the bishops' conference, Matthias Kopp, commented on only two sentences in the EKD paper, - and they are about church relations and the sensitive field of ecumenism so clearly to demonstrate the anger of Catholics about the letter: "These are harsh sentences "Kopp said "We believe that the Protestant side should clarify this matter as soon as possible and seek to talk."

Protestant ecumenical circles that want to remain anonymous commented with horror on the "explosive power" of Gundlach's letter: "This is not just any paper." Gundlach who is reputed to have ambitions to be a bishop in the EKD counts as one of the chief thinkers of the EKD, as the third most powerful person in the central body of the church and possible successor to Hermann Barth, who heads the office until next year.

The EKD paper raises a shadow over the Second Ecumenical Church Assembly in May 2010,. The organisers had hoped that the confusion which came over the ecumenical movement, especially after the publication of the controversial Pope's letter "Dominus Jesus" in 2000 would be then forgotten. Now, however, that the Protestant side has caused raised eyebrows this will not be easy.

In another part of the document, it says that the only time Archbishop Zollitsch spoke clearly was about the SSPX!!!