(Regensburg) Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg is of the opinion that the term layman should be replaced by “World Christian" in the parlance of the Church, which should mean as much as Christian in the world and Christian to the world. This would better reflect the teaching of the Second Vatican Council of role and mission of the laity.
Bishop Voderholzer, a new member of the Congregation of the Faith in Rome, considers that the term "lay" for baptized but not consecrated Catholics, probably with a view to the universal priesthood, to be discriminatory. The bishop made this statement on 31 May at the Katholikentag, [Catholic Day] which was held in his diocese. That’s when a controversy arose in the context of a discussion of the role of the laity in the Church. The organizer of the Catholic Conference is the Central Committee German Catholics (ZdK).
The bi-annual Catholic Day serves as a platform for all Catholics of Germany, or at least nearly all. The restriction is necessary because the big event is dominated by progressive to radical progressive groups. Those looking for a truly Catholic, offer true to the faith, will not find it at Katholikentag right away. Seriously faithful Catholics have disappeared for several years from such new events, such as the Congress Joy of the Faith of the Forum of German Catholics or the Congress Meeting World Church or the Church in Need. The Katholikentag is primarily a diluted, a disintegrating on the margins Catholic milieu that maintains its more anti-Roman sentiment, constantly talks about “structural" reforms "struktuelle" because what it lacks in content, it compensates by hyperactivity.
"Catholic Lesbian" Instead of Pro-Lifers
A glance at the program of the Katholikentag "in which the taboos fall” confirms any apprehension. While the non-negotiable values whose defense Pope Benedict XVI. had urged were at best marginally represented, there were "Catholic lesbians", "gay Catholics", "women against the celibacy" and other groups, by definition, anti-church groups who were given a lot of space. The ZdK supports the government bill for abortion counseling system of women determined to have an abortion, whose hypocritical government neutrality allowed and accepted the funded killing machine. Bishop Voderholzer initially had refused the participation of the Association Donum Vitae following Rome’s guidance, but then quickly caved in before ZdK. In a joint statement by Bishop and ZdK it was said: "While maintaining different fundamental views" recommended by both sides, Donum Vitae will be allowed at Katholikentag. The position demanded by Cardinal Raymond Burke that Catholics be “uncompromising” Pro-lifers would be hard pressed to find at Katholikentag. Zdk does not want to offend the zeitgeist because shows pro-lifers the door. Tellingly would therefore translated better as "Toothless German Catholics" ZdK, or more accurately with “Zeitgeisty German Catholics.”
Some years ago the ZdK published a declaration on the Jews, which states that Jews need neither Christ nor the Church, as they are already members of the Old Covenant which has never been repealed. Finally, a heresy, but above all a fraud against the Jews, who are deprived of salvation.
Trying to Garner Applause
The question remains, what Bishop Voderholzer with his proposal would like to express exactly beyond activism and zeal for reform. Why should the terms "Catholic" and "Christian" no longer be sufficient? Since the claim in the self-designation of Christian has always been universal and transcends all boundaries of nations and states, the complement appears as "World Christian” is just as bulky as it is a superfluous pleonasm. Or should priests and religious who leave the battlefield in the world a new type "World Christian"? Will it be said that the consecrated representatives of the Church give up the fight for the non-negotiable values, and the final decision is left to the “worldly Christians"?
Ultimately, the proposal of Bishop Voderholzer seems a rather unsuccessful attempt to garner applause from ZdK and other disaffected progressive laity. Perhaps the anti-Church Association We are Church, which recently hit the headlines with the excommunication of its president Martha Heizer, is adopting the proposal of the Bishop of Regensburg.
What remains of the Katholikentag in Regensburg than to “to touch a bishop"? Despite the "new openness" with the "Francis" effect, which the ZdK conspicuously benevolent "welcomed", enter in the "mature Christians”, who will in the future be possibly named "World Christians", even after several days of Katholikentag are frustrated by the same “unresolved problems of the Church”. It’s a burden that they do not get rid of, if they do not accept the Church's teachings in faith, but believe they are justified here and there bending it according to their wishes. Bishop Voderholzer would have had a large audience, had he called upon some basic things of being a Christian to memory. As an aside, and it is noted in passing on the ZdK, that a Holy Mass in the Old Rite was not allowed in the Katholikentag extravaganza despite its more than 1,000 events.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Corrispondenza Romana
image: Corrispondenza Romana
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org