Friday, April 22, 2011

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch Ignores the Traditional 'Priest Network'

In Germany more and more Catholics of the inclination that they are not prepared just to tolerate the leadership which is looking on at the desolation of the faith.

( Dark clouds have gathered over the Church and the priesthood in the past few months.

This is what three speakers of the 'Netzwerks katholiscer Priester' say - Father Guido Rodheudt from the Diocese of Aachen, Fr. Hendrick Jolie from the Diocese of Main and Pastor Uwe Winkel from the Diocese of Fulda --- in an statement for Holy Week.

The following are not foreseeable

The statement dealt firstly with the abuse-hoax:

"Besides the efforts provided by the official sites, the militant proceedings of the abuse cases, as well as the operation of those responsible before the media, will become gradually more visible at first."

The priestly office suffers precipitous collapses in trust at times.

Its consequence for pastoral work "was generally not foreseeable"

And: "that in a climate of mistrust, the clear hostility and the general suspicion of the priestly occupation could grow, must not especially be mentioned".

Opportunity for Pastoral Care?

The event didn't speak of a "catastrophic situation".

For that reason it is not surprising to the "Priest Network' that celibacy is under fire -- in so far as the various senior leaders who are fully directing the "loosening" of the whole celibacy requirement.

The 'Priest Network' recalled the statement when Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg became the President of the German Bishops Conference.

On August 2008, he described the priest shortage as a "chance for pastoral care". He also complained that the ecclesiastical life had concentrated very much on the priest.

He is high time that in the pastoral work that not only male priests, rather also women should be active.

The 'Priest Network' commented: "Here the bugbear of a patriarchal clerical church is confirmed."

Reasons for Concern

The 'Priest Network' is looking on with concern about the four year long dialog process being forced by the Bishops.

For that reason the statement made the following examples:

-the fact that Fr. Hans Langendorfer, the Secretary of the German Bishops Conference, had praised the theological memorandum pamphlet as a "good signal", which supposedly would uncover "deficits and places where reform was needed".

-the fact that the dissident theologians have been teaching for decades at the Universities, who have also been overseen by the Bishops, who were indignant about their pamphlet.

-the fact that the German Bishops in March in a "word to the Community" had made this scolding of the Catholic critics of the Memorandum, "all this with the old, the misery of the Church is not enough to be faithful to its own inheritance and self-understanding is not oppositional enough."

-the fact that Archbishop Zollitsch has ignored an official request mediated weeks ago through the Nuncio by the 'Priest Network' only to by dryly declined: "Is this the spirit of this much promised dialog?"

Sincere Hopes

In connection with the dialog process the 'Priest Network' has in view on the German Bishops the following questions:

Who look on inactively at the destruction of the faith, leaving the faithful priests in the lurch, lacking the courage to protest against the German "sonderweg", "could he resist, if he could see the confrontation of the mob's "demands for reform" inspired by the media?"

The 'Priest Network' explained this optimistically:

"Our hopes are directed in this time of calamity once again on the Holy Father, who will visit our Fatherland in September."

Because the situation of German Catholics is -- says the Network -- not through a vague "demand for inner-ecclesiastical discussion about the quest of God" or to improve through "emotionally disarming ecclesiastical visions".

The Catholics Make It

The 'Priest Network' read from no newspaper:

"Catholicism in German is split in a way, that is what even friendly commentators speak of an openly schismatic situation."

Neither under the priests nor among the faithful is there a consensus about this, about what is really Catholic: "Does this not fall on those who are most responsible?"

Actually, despite this "worst case scenario" the 'Priest Network' doesn't see Catholic resistance [to Church teaching] on a wide front.

"According to some respected journalists who are especially aware of the faithful on the internet from all levels and classes, that they are not ready to accept the senior leadership's inactivity as the faith is desolated.

For that reason it is clear to 'Priest Network', that the mainstream media's sovereignty over Church developments needs to be withdrawn."


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