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(Part 63)


April 28, 2015

German laity want changes in Church teaching. The voice of the people is the voice of God, right? Wrong. The Jews also cried out for the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus.

In fact, in today’s darkened world, values have been turned topsy-turvy. What is good is bad and what is bad is good. The world has accepted sexual licentiousness and secular humanism, while rejecting traditional Christian family values. So we should not look to the demands of the mob, or even the directions of progressive clerics and prelates. Rather, we look to the teaching of Jesus, to the authority of the Bible, to centuries-old tradition, and to the Magisterium of our Church.

The German bishops report of complaints about an “idealization of marriage and family” in Church teaching, and calls for new pastoral initiatives to help families that fall short. We cannot achieve the high ideals so let us just discard them, right? Wrong. Christians are called to the highest ideals--holiness, discipleship, perfection. Moses allowed divorce because of the hardness of heart of the people, but Jesus brought the teaching back to how it was at the beginning. We are not called to accommodate what is wrong, but to strive, even in our weakness, by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, for what is right.

The report finds a gap between the lived reality of families and the teachings of the Church. So conform the teachings of the Church to the lived reality of families, right? Wrong. That would not be a solution but an exacerbation of the problem. We will only lose more families. Rather, families should be helped to achieve the high ideals of marriage and family life, and thus be in conformity with the teachings of the Church.

It is interesting that 42% of German priests do not pray every day, and that 54% go to confession only once a year. Right there is the problem. If the pastors of the Church do not pray regularly, and fervently, then the modernist world and its thinking can easily take over their minds and hearts. If they confess only once a year (I wonder how many do not even do that), then the lack of humility that comes with a deep sense of sin can easily lead them to look to their own liberal opinions and preferences rather than to God’s authentic teaching.

No wonder then that the German laity are like that. They take their cue from their pastors.

German bishops' report: laity want change in Church teaching; many priests do not pray regularly

Catholic World News - April 23, 2015

The German Catholic bishops’ conference has made public a report on a survey of the faithful in preparation for the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops, finding a “gap between the lived reality of families and our communities” and the teachings of the Church.

The report complains of an “idealization of marriage and family” in Church teaching, and calls for the approval of new pastoral initiatives to help families that fall short. The bishops “expectations among the faithful are very high” that the Church will approve new policies. And the bishops recall the decision of their own episcopal conference to endorse a policy allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

In a separate report, the German bishops’ conference has released the results of a survey that found more than half (54%) of the country’s Catholic priests go to confession no more than once a year, and only 58% of German priests report that they pray every day.

Additional sources for this story

Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

  • Erste deutschlandweite Seelsorgestudie der katholischen Kirche (German bishops' conference)
  • Ergebnisse des zweiten Fragebogens zur Bischofssynode in Rom (German bishops' conference)

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