Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Pope Francis launches "A New Enlightenment"

Club of Rome sees Pope Francis pioneer of new thinking

"Virtue of balance"
The Club of Rome confirms that Francis plays an important role in solving humanity's problems. Instead of doctrines, the Pope had launched a "virtue of balance", according to the international group.

With the encyclopaedia "Laudato si" (2015) a "new enlightenment" had begun, which the world needs to escape elf-destruction, the new report of the international association of personalities from science, culture, economy and politics, the Club of Rome, which was presented on Monday evening in Munich.

To this extent, the Pope was a "historic landmark". The report bears the German title "Wir sind dran", one of the two main authors is Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker.

The role of the economy

Weizsäcker said in Munich that civilization was in a "deep philosophical crisis". The knowledge about the necessary changes for the preservation of the world was available, but all the therapies so far proposed by the policy made the situation worse.

The second chief author of the report, Swedish Anders Wijkman, said the role of the economy must be redefined. The question was whether the task would be to make one percent of humanity even richer, or to satisfy the needs of all human beings.

Critical confrontation with creation

"A great deal can be achieved by looking at religiously-based teachings that require care and care of our shared house," the report says in reference to "Laudato si". Critically, the authors deal with the Jewish-Christian Islamic tradition of the so-called Creation Order. The mandate to mankind to multiply itself and subdue the earth could no longer be valid for a "full world" with now 7.5 billion inhabitants.

"Instead of doctrines," the "new Enlightenment" must emphasize the "virtue of balance", wrote Weizsäcker, Wijkman and their 32 co-authors. The relationship between man and nature, public and private goods as well as short-term and long-term interests and consequences must be balanced. In the key part of the book are 18 success models for business and politics, which invite immediate action.

Private capital should flow into climate friendly companies

After the book presentation, entrepreneurs in Munich called for an "investment change". Private capital should be targeted at those companies that felt committed to the Paris Climate Treaty and the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, thus contributing to solving the real problems of the world.

Since 1968, the Club of Rome has been unifying personalities from science, culture, business and politics. His first report on the "limits of growth" in 1972 inspired the global environmental movement.


Organiser of Pro Pope Francis letter hits out at critics of the Pope

Co-initiator Zulehner for public support for the Pope

"Do not sit in the armchair"

"Pro Pope Francis". This is the name of a group in which Catholics have joined forces to publicly support Pope Francis. A co-initiator is the Viennese pastoral theologian Paul M. Zulehner, who explains this step at
In the shadow of Cardinal König You have written an open letter to Pope Francis, signed by several bishops, theologians and well-known Catholics from public life. How did this letter to Pope Francis arise?

Prof. Paul M. Zulehner (pastoral theologian from Vienna and co-founder of the initiative "Pro Pope Francis"): There was considerable criticism of the pope by the letter from cardinals to him and finally the allegation that he was moreover a heretic (Ed: deviating from official church doctrine (Cathcon: what a world in which the word heretic actually has to be explained- part of the great problem). This is theologically as well as practically unacceptable. (Cathcon: although his Protestant ecumenical partners think many Popes up until the Reformation were heretical; he won’t be raising the issue with them any time soon. Has he not read St Thomas Aquinas among many others ?) I think you have to make a counter-position visible and put the situation back into balance by showing that a very large number of faithful and committed, outstanding personalities of the church and public life really welcome and very much support this pope. Is this also indirectly a response to the writing of the so-called "Letter of the 62 "? Recently there was a letter from critics who accused the Pope of heresy.

Zulehner: We believe that the discussion with this letter can happen on a different level, in theological parlours. One can certainly discuss one or the other. But both the Viennese Cardinal Schönborn and Pope Francis, in the publication of the papal "Amoris laetitia", have said that it is practically theologically and systematically watertight and airtight, and that from a dogmatic point of view it is nothing new at all. (Cathcon: saying that it is, does not make it true. This is how Luther justified one of his erroneous translations of the Bible)

The Pope wishes that mercy, which is also identical with the righteousness of God in the Jewish Torah, is the supreme measure for the practice of the Church. (Cathcon: the salvation of souls is this measure) Then it cannot be that people can ultimately no longer participate in a hopeless situation in ecclesiastical life, because this is not God's way, so to deal with people who have been made guilty for tragic reasons and want to return to the Gospel..

It is inadmissible to say - as a Cardinal Pell once formulated in a preface to a book - that God may forgive them, but the Church cannot forgive them. This is, from a theological point of view, the self-abolition of the Church, if it does not make experienceable what God does in man. The Catholic Church has its principles. Take the example of the remarried divorced. The Pope's critics say that the doorway to interpretations is opened and the Catholic sacrament of the uniqueness of marriage is fundamentally questioned. This cannot be made so easy, say the critics.

Zulehner: This is, however, a very fundamentalist understanding of the so-called indissolubility of marriage, since the early church has in fact already said that there are certain situations where someone can leave the marriage bond. And there is above all, the is the practice of the Eastern Church since third fourth centuries, which is truly Christian and has not been accused or will be accused of heresy.

The Council of Trent has expressly expressed the opinion that the practice of Eastern Churches is not condemned. So, we can say with a clear conscience that there are apparently different forms of the original power of the gospel. The Catholic Church has now gone to the school of the Eastern Church and is learning to better understand the Gospel. (Cathcon: It would be useful here to go to the Council of Trent as a whole, and the Degree on Justification as a whole ) In the letter, you support and praise the pastoral culture of the incumbent Pope. For what pastoral culture does the Pope stand?

Zulehner: All the great secular organizational developers say that the relationship between an organization and people is determined via culture, that is, the dealings, the content, the acceptance, via what people gain from the organization. This seems at least as important to me as the structural change, for example, the centralization of the church, for the spread of Magisterium into the entire world church.

If one- formulated in a quite stricking way, at the way that accents shifts, then it goes from sin to wound, from the law to the face, from the moralization to the healing and from the ideologist to the shepherd. These are clear accents which present the past practice of the Church at the same time as not like that of Jesus.

What Francis is doing is to dig deeper and deeper into this original power of Jesus' dealings with men. Especially with those on the margins of society. This, I believe, is the jumping point.
The Pope is not superficial, but, if one reads through his texts, one realizes that it is the image of God from which he talks that you must, becoming like the father of mercy and the Lord, make this the pastoral of mercy as a church, otherwise you would betray our God. It is a public letter that you wrote to Pope Francis. Does the Pope have so many opponents that he needs this support?

Zulehner: Mario Politi (journalist and Vatican expert, editor's note) says that Francis had too little support. He does not only have too little support in the Vatican but he has too little support in the entire Church throughout the world. The Eastern European bishops are silent. The Western European bishops are also silent.

I am very curious about how we can win German bishops. We are in conversation with the Secretariat of the German Bishops' Conference. There will be a clarification on Wednesday as to whether and how German bishops can join. I would also like to win Cardinal Woelki. This is what I would like to publicly. For he is, for me, one of the admirable Cardinals who, in the footsteps of the Pope, is completely clear and unaffected. (Cathcon: ignoring here, for whatever reason, the Cardinal’s lack of commitment to ecumenism)

I think we are also doing a bit of awareness raising in the church that now you cannot sit in the armchair under this Pope, but that there is a historical moment in the Church, an open window, which is to be used world-wide.

Progressive Catholic "big-guns" attack Correctio Filialis

Conservative Catholics had criticized the Pope with a "Correction". Now, many bishops, theologians and other prominent Catholics are reacting - and defending Francis in an open letter. Even a former German Bundestag president has signed.

Francis is to be defended with a new international initiative against attacks by Catholic critics. The group "Pro-Pope Francis", in which Catholics from the church and public life are represented, addresses directly the Pope in an online-accessible letter. "With this public letter, we are expressing our gratitude for your courageous and theologically well-founded leadership", says the website "".

The "pastoral culture" of Francis stands for a manner of dealing with the people in which not the law but the compassion should have the last word, their website says. And, "They dream of a 'church as mother and shepherdess'. In addition to the initiators, the theologians Paul Zulehner (Vienna)
Here with Cardinal König

and Father Tomas Halik (Prague),

 more than 100 signatories of the open letter are currently available (as of Tuesday). These include, for example, the Austrian retired bishops Paul Iby, (Eisenstadt)

 and Helmut Krätzl (Vienna), 

the Abbot of Pannonhalma (Hungary), Asztrik Varszegi, 

the Prague auxiliary bishop Vaclav Maly 

and the former bishop of North Aliwal (South Africa). Among other things, the Berlin sociologist, Andreas Lob-Hüdepohl, the Jesuit and chief editor of the "Voices of the Times", Andreas Batlogg, 

Father Batlogg SJ (a thoroughly modern Jesuit)

as well as the former President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Thierse, 

A modern Socialist, Wolfgang Thierse

have signed up from Germany. In addition, there are around 1,000 "supporters" who have participated online in the campaign.

Answer to the Pope's "childish correction"
In the letter, ask the Pope not to deviate from his way, and assure him of his support. Francis has been able to reform the pastoral culture of the Catholic Church in a short time. He has taken to his heart the "wounded" peopl, but also the wounded nature. "They see the church at the edges of life as a field hospital," it says.

The background of the initiative is a "childlike censure" of conservative clerics and theologians, who demanded the pope distance himself from "heresies". The signatories take the view that Francis "directly or indirectly" encouraged heretical positions on marriage, morals, and the doctrine of the sacraments. Among them are the German writer Martin Mosebach, the former head of the Vatican bank IOR, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, the former chairman of the national research council in Italy, CNR, Roberto de Mattei, and the philosopher and priest, Antonio Livi, former dean at Lateran University , Among the signatories is Bernard Fellay, General Superior of the traditionalist Society of St Pius X.

The open letter
Highly esteemed Pope Francis!
Your Pastoral Initiatives and their theological justification are currently being strongly attacked by a group in the Church. With this public letter, we express our gratitude for their courageous and theologically well-founded leadership.

In a short time, you have succeeded in reforming the pastoral culture of the Catholic Church from its original origins. You have taken to your heart the wounded people, the wounded nature. You see the church at the edges of life, as a field hospital. Your concern is every single person loved by God. The last word in dealing with men should not be a legalistic but a mercifully interpreted law. God and His mercy characterize the pastoral culture that you wish for the Church. You dream of a "church as mother and shepherdess". We share this dream with you.

We ask you not to deviate from this path, and assure you of our full support and our constant prayer.

The signatories

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Catholic support for a Muslim holiday in Germany

After harsh criticism from the Union (the conservative side of German politics), Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière (CDU), receives support from the Catholic Church for his suggestion of a Muslim holiday in Germany: "In a multi--religious society, an Islamic holiday can be added in regions with a high proportion of religious Muslims, without the Christian tradition of our land being betrayed- this happens much more in the transformation of St. Nicholas to Santa Claus, said the President of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), Thomas Sternberg, the "Passauer Neue Presse" (Tuesdays edition).

The calendar of feasts is "neither a museum nor a mere sequence of labour-free days, but signs of the wealth of European traditions," Sternberg justified his position and demanded: "Where there is a significant proportion of Muslims, one should also take note of their festive culture." The Central Committee of the German Catholics is a union of representatives of the diocesan councils, the Catholic associations and institutions of the lay associations. In kindergartens and school, the renouncement of St. Martin, Christkindl or Cross is not the appropriate reaction, but also the "Sugar Festival" (the end of Ramadan) for the Christian or other educated children Sternberg said. Christian holidays are a public holiday "an expression of the bond between our society and the Christian tradition". However, this would be less endangered by the introduction of a Muslim holiday, but by the fact that fewer and fewer people could start out with these days. "A great concern is the ever less familiarity with the content of these festivals, whether it is Christ's Ascension or Whitsun," the ZdK President said.

New citizens and refugees could find out little about Christian festivals. "This is why it is equally important to inform the churches, educational institutions and the media about the content of the Christian festivals," said the call of the church functionary. The argument that in many Muslim countries it is impossible for Christians to exercise their religion freely, Sternberg does not allow as an objection to the introduction of Muslim holidays in Germany. "The complaint about this cannot affect the religious friendliness of our state system," he said. De Maizière had recently shown himself open at an election campaign to the introduction of Muslim holidays in certain regions of Germany. He had been sharply criticized for this from the ranks of the CDU and CSU.