Modernism is the Church's only chance to survive

The Church must become more modern to remain socially relevant

Cologne's Cardinal Woelki advocates a traditionally-designed church. This goes down well at the Shrine of Vesperbild (Cathcon: where Woelki was applauded on the Feast of the Assumption)- but the path the Church must take is a different one.

Cardinal Woelki from Cologne and his guest appearance in Vesperbild? 

Sometimes the name Tebartz-van Elst is mentioned in this context. He was in Vesperbild in 2013. Then the accusations of wastefulness and authoritarian conduct in office accumulated, Pope Francis accepted his offer to resign. Cardinal Woelki has also offered to resign in Rome, but the Pope has not yet announced his decision. But in view of the fierce criticism in the Archdiocese of Cologne of the bishop's communication strategy, the question is whether Woelki can still hold on to office.

Hiring a communications agency whose strategy was supposed to ensure his "survival in office" in the debate on how to deal with abuse cases? This step by Woelki could mean that for him precisely this "survival" is actually no longer possible and communicable.

Woelki opposes "modernism" - but it is the Church's only chance

In Vesperbild, the Cardinal accepted the applause of the faithful with joy. But what will come? Woelki is considered one of the most massive advocates of a traditionally interpreted church against "modernism". He often engages in a real power struggle with church representatives who, for example, want to greatly expand the opportunities for women and lay people in the church and see this as a possible way out of the crisis.

However, the Church must take this path with determination if it does not want to lose its anchoring in society. This should also be an important message of the Synodal Way adopted in 2018.

Peter Bauer has been the editorial director of the Mittelschwäbische Nachrichten (local edition Krumbach) since 2000. He mainly reports on local political events, but also on topics from local history. Bauer is the author and co-author of several books on contemporary events in the District of Günzburg (most recently the complete account of the district from 2017) and the author of several cycling guides.

Born in 1964 in Krumbach, Bauer studied political science, modern and recent history and communication science at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich from 1985/90. He then trained as an editor as part of a traineeship at the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.


Despite the longing for the modern, divine realities do not change- here below an extract from the Cardinal preaching at the Shrine.

"Saved is the whole man!"

Cardinal Woelki reminds us of the last things during his sermon in Maria Vesperbild: "In the Blessed Mother we see today what God intends for each one of us. We are all destined to share in the being and form of His Son."

Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki spoke to thousands of faithful about the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, recalling the last things. "We look to Mary. Her Assumption into Heaven, that is crowning. Mary is assumed body and soul into heaven. This is the message that concerns us all. We are currently shaken by many crises, in the Church and in the world. "

According to Woelki, today reminds us that we are taken up as human beings with body and soul. The whole person is saved. "Immortal is everything that has become in our life, that grows and becomes. In the Blessed Mother we see today what God intends for each one of us. We are all destined to share in the being and form of His Son. "

"He also wants to awaken all of us. That is the goal of our life, that is the fulfilment of our life. He does not destroy us, he completes us. He does not plunge us down into the abyss of death, but he brings us up. This is about the final thing and whether we believe that God is the final goal. That is the goal of our life, participation in the life of the Triune God. In every human being God shines, in every human being we are dealing with his Son and Jesus Christ."


Surely Mr Bauer has studied enough to know the import of the word, modernism.


To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.

I . . . . firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day. And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:19), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated: Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time. Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time. Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical’ misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely. Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our creator and lord.

Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili,especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful. Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm. Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.

Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God. .