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Friday, February 27, 2015

Cardinal blames social media for changing church doctrine

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Cardinal Marx: "Social media force us to listen to people"

The Catholic Church in Germany will be more open to social media. "The world of social media is not a threat but a challenge," said the chairman of the German Catholic Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, on Thursday in Hildesheim.

Digital media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube could help to bring people into a community. At the same time, however, the problems of data protection must remain in view.

"Social media force us to come down from the throne to listen to people and to be interactive", the Archbishop of Munich said at the end of the four-day Spring Plenary Assembly of Bishops. This could only be welcome for Christians, and therefore, the Catholic church wants to participate. "It's about telling personal stories, to take the other seriously and to share experiences with each other, rather than communicate a message only from the top down."

The "digital revolution" is irreversible, Cardinal Marx stressed: "We will not experience any return from the digital world, but an exponential growth there." The digital and the real world are no longer separate spheres, but belong together and are intertwined. What does not exist in the digital world, is practically non-existent.

The Bishops' Conference meeting in Hildesheim had dealt extensively with the topic of social media at a study day. The 66 members of the Episcopal Conference from 27 German dioceses met in Hildesheim starting on Monday. They had chosen the venue because the diocese of Hildesheim this year celebrates its 1,200th anniversary.

Source

Cathcon: the Pope is the Vicar of Christ, he has the plenitude of power in this world- power within the Church derives from him not the laity- especially not the laity in national churches who inevitably come to dominate episcopal conferences.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

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

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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

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cardinal thinks Catholics need to change the way they think about faith.

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German Catholics need "courage for new thinking". This was supported by the chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx. Faith could not be forced and bequeathed readily from generation to generation, the Cardinal of Munich said on Monday at the opening Mass of the Spring Plenary Assembly of the German bishops in Hildesheim. "We cannot just continue with what has always been. We have to start from scratch and learn anew what faith means in this day and age. "
In context of the globalization, the Archbishop of Munich sees the Christian as well equipped. With her message of God's image every man and her connection between faith and reason, the Christian faith in an increasingly diverse world can bring people together. Just as the Catholic Church as the universal Church could interconnect diversity and unity.



 Some 65 bishops from all over Germany take part at the Spring Assembly in Hildesheim until Thursday, questions about family, marriage and sexuality as well as dealing with foreigners and refugees being on the agenda.

Source

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Archbishop speaks out

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RORATE EXCLUSIVE: Open letter by Archbishop on the crisis in the Church

Full text also on their site.  (they say it can be posted or linked to , so I am given the devastating contents)


'It is difficult to believe that Pope Benedict XVI freely renounced his ministry as successor of Peter.'

'I am forced to resort to this public means of expression because I fear that any other method would be greeted by a brick wall of silence and disregard.'

'... increasingly evident that the Vatican through the Secretariat of State has taken the course of political correctness.'

Rorate Caeli has obtained an exclusive copy of the English version of a rare open letter from an Archbishop on the crisis of the Church. 
The letter, written by His Excellency Archbishop Jan Pawel Lenga, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, hopefully will serve as a much-needed wake-up call to Catholics who have buried their heads in the sand for far too long.
Let us pray more of his brother bishops will have the faith -- and the backbone -- to stand up and be heard before there's nothing left to defend. 
Reflections on some current problems of the crisis of the Catholic Church
I had the experience of living with priests who were in Stalinist prisons and camps and who nevertheless remained faithful to the Church. During the time of persecution they fulfilled with love their priestly duty in preaching Catholic doctrine thereby leading a dignified life in the imitation of Christ, their heavenly Master.
I completed my priestly studies in an underground Seminary in the Soviet Union. I was ordained a priest secretly during the night by a pious bishop who himself suffered for the sake of the faith. In the first year of my priesthood I had the experience of being expelled from Tadzhikistan by the KGB.
Subsequently, during my thirty-year stay in Kazakhstan, I served 10 years as priest, caring for faithful people in 81 localities. Then I served 20 years as bishop, initially as bishop of five states in Central Asia with a total area of around four million square kilometers.
In my ministry as a bishop I had contact with Pope Saint John Paul II, with many bishops, priests and faithful in different countries and under different circumstances. I was member of some assemblies of the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican which covered themes such as “Asia” and “The Eucharist”.
This experience as well as others give me the basis to express my opinion on the current crisis of the Catholic Church. These are my convictions and they are dictated by my love of the Church and by the desire for her authentic renewal in Christ. I am forced to resort to this public means of expression because I fear that any other method would be greeted by a brick wall of silence and disregard. 
I am aware of possible reactions to my open letter. But at the same time the voice of my conscience will not allow me to remain silent, while the work of God is being slandered. Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church and showed us in word and deed how one should fulfill the will of God. The apostles to whom He bestowed authority in the Church, fulfilled with zeal the duty entrusted to them, suffering for the sake of the truth which had to be preached, since they “obeyed God rather than men”.

Unfortunately in our days it is increasingly evident that the Vatican through the Secretariat of State has taken the course of political correctness. Some Nuncios have become propagators of liberalism and modernism. They have acquired expertise in the principle “sub secreto Pontificio”, by which one manipulates and silences the mouths of the bishops. And that what the Nuncio tells them appears as it would be almost certainly the wish of the Pope. With such methods one separates the bishops from one another to the effect that the bishops of a country can no longer speak with one voice in the spirit of Christ and His Church in defending faith and morals. This means that, in order not to fall into disfavour with the Nuncio some bishops accept their recommendations, which are sometimes based on nothing other than on their own words. Instead of zealously spreading the faith, courageously preaching the doctrine of Christ, standing firm in the defense of truth and of morals, the meetings of the Bishops’ Conferences often deal with issues which are foreign to the nature of the duties of the successors of the apostles.
One can observe at all levels of the Church an obvious decrease of the “sacrum”. The “spirit of the world” feeds the shepherds. The sinners give the Church the instructions for how she has to serve them. In their embarrassment the Pastors are silent on the current problems and abandon the sheep while they are feeding themselves. The world is tempted by the devil and opposes the doctrine of Christ. Nevertheless the Pastors are obliged to teach the whole truth about God and men “in season and out”.
However, during the reign of the last holy Popes one could observe in the Church the greatest disorder concerning the purity of the doctrine and the sacredness of the liturgy, in which Jesus Christ is not paid the visible honour which he is due. In not a few Bishop’s Conferences the best bishops are “persona non grata”. Where are apologists of our days, who would announce to men in a clear and comprehensible manner the threat of the risk of loss of faith and salvation?
In our days the voice of the majority of the bishops rather resembles the silence of the lambs in the face of furious wolves, the faithful are left like defenseless sheep. Christ was recognized by men as one who spoke and worked, as one, who had power and this power He bestowed upon His apostles. In today’s world the bishops must liberate themselves from all worldly bonds and – after they have done penance – convert to Christ so that strengthened by the Holy Spirit they may announce Christ as the one and only Saviour. Ultimately one must give account to God for all that was done and for all what wasn't done.
In my opinion the weak voice of many bishops is a consequence of the fact, that in the process of the appointment of new bishops the candidates are insufficiently examined with regard to their doubtless steadfastness and fearlessness in the defense of the faith, with regard to their fidelity to the centuries-old traditions of the Church and their personal piety. In the issue of the appointment of new bishops and even cardinals it is becoming increasingly apparent that sometimes preference is given to those who share a particular ideology or to some groupings which are alien to the Church and which have commissioned the appointment of a particular candidate. Furthermore it appears that sometimes consideration is given also to the favour of the mass media which usually makes a mockery of holy candidates painting a negative picture of them, whereas the candidates who in a lesser degree own the spirit of Christ are praised as open and modern. On the other side the candidates who excel in apostolic zeal, have courage in proclaiming the doctrine of Christ and show love for all that is holy and sacred, are deliberately eliminated.
A Nuncio once told me: “It’s a pity that the Pope [John Paul II] does not participate personally in the appointment of the bishops. The Pope tried to change something in the Roman Curia, however he has not succeeded. He becomes older and things resume their usual former course”.
At the beginning of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, I wrote a letter to him in which I begged him to appoint holy bishops. I reported to him the story of a German layman who in the face of the degradation of the Church in his country after the Second Vatican Council, remained faithful to Christ and gathered young people for adoration and prayer. This man had been close to death and when he learned about the election of the new Pope he said: “When Pope Benedict will use his pontificate solely for the purpose to appoint worthy, good and faithful bishops, he will have fulfilled his task”.
Unfortunately, it is obvious that, Pope Benedict XVI has often not succeeded in this issue. It is difficult to believe that Pope Benedict XVI freely renounced his ministry as successor of Peter. Pope Benedict XVI was the head of the Church, his entourage however has barely translated his teachings into life, bypassed them often in silence or has rather obstructed his initiatives for an authentic reform of the Church, of the liturgy, of the manner to administer Holy Communion. In view of a great secrecy in the Vatican for many bishops it was realistically impossible to help the Pope in his duty as head and governor of the whole Church.
It will not be superfluous to remind my brothers in the episcopacy of an affirmation made by an Italian masonic lodge from the year 1820: “Our work is a work of a hundred years. Let us leave the elder people and let us go to the youth. The seminarians will become priests with our liberal ideas. We shall not flatter ourselves with false hopes. We will not make the Pope a Freemason. However liberal bishops, who will work in the entourage of the Pope, will propose to him in the task of governing the Church such thoughts and ideas which are advantageous for us and the Pope will implement them into life”. This intention of the Freemasons is being implemented more and more openly, not only thanks to the declared enemies of the Church but with the connivance of false witnesses who occupy some high hierarchical office in the Church. It is not without reason that Blessed Paul VI said: “The spirit of Satan penetrated through a crack inside the Church”. I think that this crack has become in our days quite wide and the devil uses all forces in order to subvert the Church of Christ. To avoid this, it is necessary to return to the precise and clear proclamation of the Gospel on all levels of ecclesiastical ministry, for the Church possesses all power and grace which Christ gave to her: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore, and teach all nations. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and I am with you always unto the end of the world” (Mt 28, 18-20), “the truth will set you free” (John 8, 32) and “let your word be Yes, yes; No, no: for whatsoever is more than these comes of evil” (Mt 5, 37). The Church cannot adapt herself to the spirit of this world, but must transform the world to the spirit of Christ.
It is obvious that in the Vatican there is a tendency to give in more and more to the noise of the mass media. It is not infrequent that in the name of an incomprehensible quiet and calm the best sons and servants are sacrificed in order to appease the mass media. The enemies of the Church however don’t hand over their faithful servants even when their actions are evidently bad. 
When we wish to remain faithful to Christ in word and deed, He Himself will find the means to transform the hearts and souls of men and the world as well will be changed at the appropriate time.
In times of the crisis of the Church God has often used for her true renewal the sacrifices, the tears and the prayers of those children and servants of the Church who in the eyes of the world and of the ecclesiastical bureaucracy were considered insignificant or were persecuted and marginalized because of their fidelity to Christ. I believe that in our difficult time this law of Christ is being realized and that the Church will renew herself thanks to the faithful inner renewal of each of us.
January 1st  2015, Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God 
+ Jan Pawel Lenga