The president of the German Bishops’ Conference has declared that, in his view, Catholic clergymen can conduct blessing ceremonies for gay .
Cardinal Reinhard Marx informed the Bavarian State Broadcasting’s radio service that “there can be no rules” about this query. Rather, the choice of whether or not a gay union ought to obtain the Church’s blessing must be as much as “a priest or pastoral worker” and made in every particular person case, the German prelate acknowledged.
Speaking on Feb. three, on the event of his 10th anniversary as Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Cardinal Marx was requested why “the Church does not always move forward when it comes to demands from some Catholics about, for instance, the ordination of female deacons, the blessing of homosexual couples, or the abolition of compulsory [priestly] celibacy.”
Marx stated that, for him, the essential query to be requested regards how “the Church can meet the challenges posed by the new circumstances of life today – but also by new insights, of course,” notably regarding pastoral care.
Now, we have to be cautious. A German reader says that the Cardinal’s precise wording is extra ambiguous than the information report signifies. (Listen to the radio interview in German right here.) The reader says that Father Dwight Longenecker is right in his evaluation: that it’s attainable that the cardinal’s phrases had been distorted by the media, however that is the cardinal’s fault for avoiding readability. Confusion is the outcome right here — and I doubt that’s unintended.
One has to think about Cardinal Marx’s phrases in gentle of his previous statements on gay relations (together with right here and right here.) In the primary, the cardinal requires a reshaping of the Catholic Church’s views on marriage and household, together with gay coupling, however stops wanting endorsing homosexual . In the second, the cardinal says that marriage have to be seen as between one man and one lady, however that he can see no cause why the Church ought to oppose the State granting marriage rights to identical-intercourse . My level is, Marx has marched proper as much as the road previously, however has not crossed it.
Has he crossed it with this new interview? Vatican Radio, reporting on the identical interview, characterizes Cdl Marx’s phrases as saying “no” to a basic change of Church coverage, however “yes” to the chance that a person priest specifically conditions may select to bless homosexual unions. If official Vatican Radio believes the Cardinal has authorized of the potential of blessing identical-intercourse unions in Germany, that’s pretty definitive. If Cardinal Marx doesn’t imagine this, then he should make clear as quickly as attainable.
Not that final month, the vice chairman of the German bishops’ convention reportedly did go additional:
Bishop Bode asks, with regards to gay , “how do we do justice to them?” and provides: “how do we accompany them pastorally and liturgically?” Moreover, the German prelate – who had been one of many representatives of the German bishops on the Synod of Bishops on marriage and the household – proposes to rethink the Church’s stance on lively gay relationships that are thought to be gravely sinful. “We have to reflect upon the question as to how to assess in a differentiated manner a relationship between two homosexual persons,” he says. “Is there not so much positive and good and right so that we have to be more just?”
… Bishop Bode had raised such a dialogue already earlier, in 2015, when he proposed “private blessings” for gay , and claimed that “remarried” divorcees “perhaps corresponds in a better way than the first [relationship] to the Covenant of God with men.” Bode then questioned whether or not such new relationships “always have to have as a consequence the exclusion from [the Sacraments of] Confession and Communion.”
What will Pope Francis’s response be? Cardinal Marx and the German bishops have been his sturdy allies in making an attempt to liberalize the Catholic Church’s views of marriage and divorce. Are they now going to push for de facto acceptance of gay partnerships? If so, how can the Catholic Church declare one thing to be a mortal sin that it additionally sanctifies by blessing? It is unnecessary.
If so, and if the pope approves of this transfer by Cardinal Marx, I don’t see how the Catholics keep away from schism. If the pope avoids taking a stand … properly, how can he? Whether or not Cardinal Marx has been misinterpreted right here, it appears clear to me that Francis can’t keep away from clarifying this subject. Well, on second thought, sure, he can; he has completed so with the dubia.
Replying to Bishop Bode’s remarks, the conservative Catholic German blogger Mathias von Gersdorff wrote (Google’s translation):
Catholics must be ready for just a few issues: The German Progressive doesn’t need right here and there a few modifications, however to utterly crush Catholic doctrine and mainly fabricate a brand new faith. Bishop Bode’s newest feedback may usher in a brand new section of destruction. The “normal” Catholic stays perplexed and wonders: How far can the Catholic Church in Germany advance this path of destruction and nonetheless be referred to as “Catholic”? When does the denial of church tax even grow to be an ethical responsibility?
German Catholics should pay a “church tax” that’s cycled by the state equipment and funds the actions of the Catholic Church in Germany. Von Gersdorff raises the query of whether or not or not devoted German Catholics ought to refuse to pay the church tax in protest of episcopal heresies. The German bishops have stated previously — and the state courts have upheld them — that any German Catholic who refuses to pay the church tax can be excommunicated.
What a horrible place for devoted German Catholics! Von Gersdorff regards Cardinal Marx’s equivocating interview as a “fig leaf” hiding what he believes is the German bishops’ actual wishes. Excerpt as translated by Google:
For Cardinal Marx and for Bishop Bode it’s clear: Catholic sexual morality should adapt to the Sexual Revolution. The above-talked about proposals of those two prelates and people from German Progressivism might be summarized as follows: Catholic sexual morality have to be changed by the maxims of the Sexual Revolution. In concrete phrases, which means there aren’t any inherently morally flawed sexual acts, wishes, concepts. Everything is allowed (so long as no violence is used towards third events). Of course you don’t say that so straight, however you can’t interpret the omissions of German progressivism in another way. When did you final hear a suggestion that requires extra self-discipline, abstinence, chastity, decency in fashions and many others. and many others.
The mission assertion of Bishop Bode, of Cardinal Marx and of German Progressivism on the whole is the Sexual Revolution based on the maxims of the 1968 revolution. How this argument will finish remains to be unsure. Above all, the query arises of how sturdy the resistance within the church individuals will probably be towards this harmful work. However, one factor have to be ready for one factor: the Catholic Church in Germany faces turbulent instances.
Yes, and I’m glad German translation of The Benedict Option goes to be printed later this yr.
The conservative Catholic web site OnePeterFive has extra data on Cardinal Marx’s phrases, and the course of the German Catholic bishops:
In the wake of those outstanding and excessive-rating encouragements with respect to gay , a German diocese now proposes much more concrete steps for the institution of an official liturgical blessing for gay . With the express encouragement of the Bishop of the Diocese of Limburg, Johannes zu Eltz — a excessive-rating priest, canon, and Dean of the City of Frankfurt (with a duty for round 150,000 souls) — has now made a public proposal to have a “theologically justified blessing” for these who’re both gay, “remarried,” or who for different causes don’t really feel “sufficiently worthy” for the Sacrament of Matrimony.
Zu Eltz now proposes a “liturgical celebration” that “omits the exchange of rings or the utterance of a marital vow.” Rather, one may, “with respect for a reliable partnership,” ask for God’s blessing “for a successful future of something that already exists.”
The points round homosexuality have moved by the Christian church buildings of the West like a scorching knife by butter. There is not any escaping it, no place to cover. Already inside American Orthodox Christianity outstanding voices come up to advertise liberalization on the difficulty. Today in Orthodox church buildings we heard this studying from the sixth chapter of St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians:
12 All issues are lawful for me, however all issues will not be useful. All issues are lawful for me, however I cannot be introduced underneath the facility of any.
13 Foods for the abdomen and the abdomen for meals, however God will destroy each it and them. Now the physique will not be for sexual immorality however for the Lord, and the Lord for the physique.
14 And God each raised up the Lord and also will increase us up by His energy.
15 Do you not know that your our bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!
16 Or do you not know that he who’s joined to a harlot is one physique along with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”
17 But he who’s joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin man does is exterior the physique, however he who commits sexual immorality sins towards his personal physique.
19 Or do you not know that your physique is the temple of the Holy Spirit who’s in you, whom you have got from God, and you aren’t your personal?
20 For you had been purchased at a worth; due to this fact glorify God in your physique and in your spirit, that are God’s.
There is not any getting round this, except you deny it flat-out. Which is what liberal church buildings and liberalizing church individuals need to do. At some level this turns into a brand new faith. Watch Germany: if parish clergymen start to bless identical-intercourse unions, and bishops settle for this — together with the Bishop of Rome — then the scenario will probably be a lot clearer, I’m afraid.
I’ve seen a brand new collection of assaults on The Benedict Option from greater ranges of the Catholic Church. There was not too long ago the evaluation within the authoritative Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica, by which the author accused me of ethical rigorism that flirts with the Donatist heresy (my response was right here). Last week, Cardinal Blase Cupich, the fairly liberal Archbishop of Chicago, denounced the Benedict Option:
Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich refuted the so-referred to as “Benedict Option” that requires retreat from the trendy world, and as an alternative urged Catholics to interact with the world by a “consistent ethic of solidarity” that addresses a variety of points.
“That’s not who we are,” Cupich stated of the “Benedict Option,” which takes its title from a e-book that requires a conservative counterculture. He was responding to a query at a public discuss Feb. 1 at Holy Name Cathedral right here.
Instead, Cupich stated, Catholics ought to exit and interact the world, very similar to Jesus’ disciples after Pentecost, or those that fought Hitler in World War II.
“We have to be in the trenches,” Cupich stated, however Americans “are risk-adverse … to take up big problems.”
Today, Bernd Hagenkord, the Jesuit priest in command of Radio Vatican’s German language broadcasting, additionally denounced the Ben Op in a weblog put up on Radio Vatican’s web site. It reads as follows, in Google’s translation from German, barely polished by me:
“That’s not what we stand for”: Cardinal Blase Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, was very clear in a speech at a demo for Life. He particularly opposed The Benedict Option, a e-book that speaks for a Catholic counterculture.
Wait a minute, Benedict Option? For instance: detachment from the world? No, under no circumstances. Benedict is on this case Benedict of Nursia, the monastery founder and monk. The e-book has the thesis that it takes a turning away from the morally decadent world with a view to reside a Christian life.
And Cardinal Cupich is towards it. Thank you, Cardinal Cupich. Apart from the quite simple perception that such a counterculture is strictly the other of what Jesus’ fee entrusts, the e-book’s adoption relies on a well-liked however false fantasy: specifically, that Benedict turned away from the ethical decadence of the Romans which finally led to the downfall of the Roman Empire.
The thesis is outdated however flawed. Cultural critics can’t go away it; it’s simply too seductive. Amusingly, it’s primarily based on the English historian Edward Gibbon, who claimed it’s exactly Christianity that weakened the Roman Empire. This decadence thesis is a modification.
The fall of the Roman Empire had many causes, and was the results of a improvement that can not be traced again to a selected cause. Especially not on the alleged ethical decadence.
I’ve to interject right here and say that The Benedict Option makes no claims for why the Roman Empire within the West collapsed. And it’s actually the case that St. Benedict withdrew from town of Rome for ethical causes. As we all know from St. Gregory the Great’s lifetime of St. Benedict, who realized this stuff by interviewing 4 disciples of St. Benedict:
He was born within the province of Nursia, of honorable parentage, and introduced up at Rome within the examine of humanity. As a lot as he noticed many by cause of such studying fall to dissolute and lewd life, he drew again his foot, which he had because it had been now set forth into the world, lest, getting into too far in acquaintance with it, he likewise might need fallen into that harmful and godless gulf.
Therefore, giving over his e-book, and forsaking his father’s home and wealth, with a resolute thoughts solely to serve God, he hunted for some place, the place he would possibly attain to the need of his holy function. In this manner he departed, instructed with realized ignorance, and furnished with unlearned knowledge.
Back to our Jesuit good friend’s weblog put up:
And that’s why the withdrawal of Benedict had different causes. And that’s why he’s not the godfather of an possibility that’s campaigning to show away from the world. Ask any Benedictine, and even higher a missionary Benedictine: to reside within the monastery doesn’t imply to half with the world.
I might even say that the so-referred to as Benedict Option is finally nothing however resignation. It will not be a optimistic, not a inventive response to the decision of Christ in our time, however an try to avoid wasting what might be saved as a result of one way or the other you can not deal with the challenges of at present. And resignation doesn’t appear to me to be a Christian advantage.
Why am I saying this? Does this matter in any respect? Perhaps not within the exaggerated logic of reasoning of the writer of the e-book concerning the alleged “Benedict Option”. But wanting down on the world, which desires to separate itself from alleged anti-christian currents, the complaints concerning the world which presuppose an interior separation, are in every single place. By distinction, Cardinal Cupich units the dedication. And not solely him. And that’s good.
That’s it. If both Cardinal Cupich or Father Hagenkord has learn The Benedict Option, I’ll eat a pair of lederhosen. At this level, I hardly want to enter element about how they argue in unhealthy religion. The Benedict Option idea will not be what they are saying it’s; somewhat, it’s about why Catholics (and Orthodox Christians, and Protestants) who need to hold the religion resiliently within the post-Christian — certainly, more and more anti-Christian — West should withdraw to a sure extent from the mainstream for the sake of strengthening our religion, in order that once we do have interaction with the world — as we should — we are able to accomplish that as severe Christians.
What’s fascinating is to think about why abruptly it has attracted the essential consideration of very outstanding liberal Catholics. Why do they contemplate the Ben Op to be so threatening? After all, what Catholic readers specifically ought to take from my e-book is that they need to be extra devoted Catholics: pray extra, learn extra Scripture, take up fasting, go to confession extra typically, examine the Catechism, mirror deeply on the Church’s teachings and traditions, and so forth. Why is that offensive to those liberal churchmen?
Could or not it’s that if Catholics do this stuff, they are going to shortly observe that the course by which these liberals are attempting to guide the Catholic Church is way away from Catholic fact? The greatest method to get modern Catholics to desert Catholic orthodoxy is to discourage them from deep engagement with Catholic instructing and custom, and to suppose laborious about how being devoted places one at odds with the trendy world. Which is why these Church liberals are so prepared to distort its message to assault it.
I might say among the best causes (however not the one cause!) for Catholics to learn The Benedict Option is to arrange for preserving and passing on the religion in a Church dominated by such bishops, clergymen, and lay leaders. The time of trial is upon all Christians, and it’ll solely get extra extreme. Prepare!