Celibacy: Is Pope Francis Going to Ordain Married Deacons to the Priesthood in Mexico?
(Rome) The divorced and remarried and homosexuality are only two fronts. Behind the scenes there is struggling in the Catholic Church about much more. A meeting began at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome this afternoon, whose theme in view of the circumstances of the time has been particularly explosive: "Priestlly celibacy is a path of freedom." The Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet will be siding with the defense of priestly celibacy in the Latin Church. "But Pope Francis gave the German bishops again to understand that he wants to break with this tradition", said Vatican expert Sandro Magister.
The mere realization of the meeting was thus something extraordinary in itself. In Rome there are usually very sensitive responses about papal wishes, and the signals from Pope Francis for some time already have been going in another direction.
Particularly striking is the starring cast of the conference. The presence of the Cardinal Secretary of State and Cardinal Ouellet reveals the importance given to this topic. Ouellet's presence is aimed at bishops, since only they can administer the sacrament of Holy Orders. Ouellet was the first speaker today. He talked about celibacy and the marriage-like union between Christ the Bridegroom and His Bride the Church.
Cardinal Secretary of State Parolin is took the floor on Saturday morning as the last speaker and addressed the in persona Christi of ordained priests.
The most conspicuous absentee was therefore Cardinal Beniamino Stella, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy and thus actually directly responsible. Stella is one of the heads of dicastries appointed by Francis. His absence in the list of speakers showed his partisanship.
The German troublemakers
The latest signal of Pope Francis to admit married men to the priesthood, earlier coming from the demands of '68 liberal church circles, has come again from the German-speaking countries, the actual source of unrest in the Catholic Church since Pope John XXIII. in 1963, when the Second Vatican Council opened.
That "the Germans" are again behind the attack on priestly celibacy, one could already recognize in earlier signals. The Austrian missionary bishop and Catholic leftist Erwin Kräutler plays a role in the forefront with his " Amazon workshop." Although Kräutler completed his 75th year in July 2015. Francis did not acccept his canonically prescribed resignation to date. He still seems to have a task.
The "Amazon Workshop" is an attempt to overthrow priestly celibacy on the grounds of a "pastoral emergency," which was caused by an acute shortage of priests. The Amazon was therefore chosen since Kräutler rules as the hustling Bishop, whose real situation in the remote Amazon anyway no one knows, but arouses all the more, the socially-romantic associations of the "noble savage" to protect the rainforests.
That Kräutler consciously hides the spiritual dimension of the priestly vocation as grace in favor of unilateral structural reforms, and in this question proves himself more of an ideologue than a shepherd, is passed over in silence.
The German urge to "change" celibacy
The German bishops would like to abolish celibacy directly, yet this does not wear well in the universal Church, which was shown by in the recent double-synod. The schism was inevitable. Therefore the detour was attempted and the question shifted to a remote corner of the earth. Thus one takes himself out of the firing line and activates an old proven method: an extreme and hardly verifiable exceptional situation is made the lever.[!]
There is talk in Rome in connection with the "Amazon Workshop" of a " German-Brazilian axis," but it actually turns out to be German-German axis on closer inspection. At one end sit bishops and theologians from the German-speaking world, the push for "change in celibacy", organizing these in the background and sponsor. At the other end sits the Austrian Kräutler. It's no coincidence. They understand one another, and this does not only mean the language, but also the anti-Roman, German thought. "Anti Roman" does not mean the current Pope, but the papacy in general and Catholic doctrine. Whoever thought that protestantizing, nationalist ecclesiastically minded Germans would become papists with Pope Francis are mistaken. The objectives are unchanged. With Pope Francis they only see "only" a better chance to complete the Copernican turn initiated 50 years ago.
Hans-Jochen Jaschke Follow Erwin Kräutler and Wunibald Müller
After Erwin Kräutlers Visit with Francis and Wunibald Muller's correspondence with him, it is now Hamburg Auxiliary Bishop Hans-Jochen Jaschke, who hailed papal intentions. Jaschke was a guest last weekend guest on the SWR talkshow Nachtcafé . There he described the ad limina visit of the German bishops with Pope Francis, which took place on November 20, 2015. At that time it was said that the pope had "read the riot act" to the German bishops. From Jaschke there was no mention of it. On the contrary.
The ad limina visit proceeded quite differently. Pope Francis only distributed the prepared speech. It had a single indictment of the failure of the German bishops, which had led to an "erosion of the Catholic faith". The speech came obviously not from Francis, who led instead entered into a conversation with with the bishops.
When the discussion was raised by the German bishops, including the possibility of using married priests in godforsaken and areas with a shortage of priest, especially in Latin America, "the Pope didn't shrug it off.". It was "an alternative model" and "included other ways of being priests and married priests" as "alternative models," indeed the pope did not dismiss it. Jaschke's story was entertained by the media of the German Bishops' Conferencewidespread on Monday with obvious satisfaction.
Married priests be "acceptable worldwide"
Jaschke was offered a view behind the scenes of the anti-celibacy strategy during the program. The Pope was "not a dictator", said the Bishop, which is why he would make such innovations "acceptible worldwide." This is how the will work. In the universal Church, there is no acceptance of the abolition of priestly celibacy, therefore this is why it must be precisely established.
That Jaschke campaigned on the same occasion for an "uninhibited" dealing with homosexuality, fits into the picture of the precarious state of the German Church. The SWR had, in addition to the Hamburger auxiliar bishop, invited the suspended Polish priest, Krzysztof Charamsa who had been "outed" the day before the Synod of Bishops in 2015 as an aberrosexual. The Pole has been since enjoying the media attention and appears to be not entirely comprehensible.
Battering Action: Will Francis consecrate married deacons in Mexico to the priesthood?
"Among the German bishops it is rumored that during his visit to Mexico in mid-February, Francis did intend to consecrate some married deacons of the Chiapas diocese San Cristobal de Las Casas," said the Vatican expert Sandro Magister.
A haphazard action of the Pope to make the abolition of priestly celibacy "most acceptable"? The bishop of Chiapas diocese, Msgr. Felipe Arzmendi Esquivel, has all but denied the rumors in this direction. However, the story offers a glimpse into the impatient expectations at the top of the German Church.
Even the papal master of ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini, Sandro Magister assured that the Pope when visiting Mexico "is not going to conduct any ordinations during Mass."
Cardinal Marx: "Pope assured he knew nothing of the speech text"
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich, President of the German Bishops' Conference and member of the C9-Cardinal Council to advise the Pope, wanted to know what the Francis text distributed for the ad limina, had in it. The Pope had assured him, that he knew nothing of the text and had not read it. At least the latter seems doubtful since he summarily renounced the lecture.
"In fact, the text shows no trace of Bergoglio's style, nor his sympathy for the German bishops. The text appears as if it were written by Pope Benedict XVI, flowing as a continuation of his speech for the detachment from the world of the Church, which he had held on September 25, 2011 in Freiburg," said Magister.
Therefore, suspicion falls directly on Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Roman Congregation, as Benedict XVI. has an excellent knowledge of the German situation. The German bishops, led by Cardinal Marx see in Cardinal Müller their great opponent, they ignore him almost ostentatiously in his capacity as guardian of the faith.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Heralds / MiL / Settimo Cielo
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