By a Catholic woman.
While in May Catholic sexual morality, women's priesthood, and celibacy were the central arguments by the Church strike activists of Mary 2.0., Catholic religious teachers with similar demands for reform of the Church now appear on the scene. The Federal Association of Catholic Religious Teachers at College Preparatory Schools [Gymnasia] has sent an open letter to the German bishops on 3 June. In a 10-point catalog, they call for "structural changes in the Church.”
The religious teachers emphasize that they act out of responsibility for the future viability of the Church as a "credible community of believers.” They could no longer offer students a sense of credibility in the face of abuse scandals, "religious power source of a clerical priestly self-image", "demonization of sexuality," "taboo of homosexuality and alternative forms of love and life" and "exclusion of remarried divorced".
However, given these questionable catchphrases, one can not help feeling that teachers are formulating their own agenda for the decatholicization of the Church under the guise of concern for our "pupils" who "in these contexts are an opaque, dishonest, power-oriented official Church who respect the protection of the sacrality of her institution more than the people who entrust themselves to her.”
In their letter the religious teachers urge among other
things, represent a "rethinking in questions of sexuality especially of homosexuality", the "end of a repressive dealing with innovative (sic!) thinking theologians" and a courageous ecumenism by the "dismantling of all barriers, which are based in the Catholic understanding of office.”
The religious educators are very self-confident. They see the fulfillment of their demands as a presupposition that "the Church and faith probabaly have future." Yet the human presumption that links the survival of the Church to autonomous contemporary operations in the body of the Church of Christ, denies the revelation of the Lord.
Superbia? The wording of the letter is at least very autocratic: we are ready to engage in the reform process with our theological and pedagogical expertise as soon as the first clear steps are taken with regard to the implementation of these demands. Participation in the "synodal path", which was decided upon at the spring meeting of the German bishops, is the conditio sine qua non.
It remains to be hoped that the theological expertise of at least these teachers of religion will be spared us, who, after reading the open letter, can only be assessed as "unsatisfactory". (A rating on the same scale, unfortunately does not yield a better result for many shepherds and pastors.)
Under these circumstances, perhaps it would be time to not only question religious education as a proper subject within the framework of the state mission of schools, but to think about its abolition. Too great is the danger to our children that they will not meet religious teachers who are faithful to Catholic doctrine and understand Catholic sexual morality as the foundation of moral life. [Orthodox instructors tend not to survive long in any level of Catholic education, whereas this was once only the case at in German Universities like Tübingen, which have been nurseries of Modernism at least since 1814 when it began its Catholic department.]
But the Episcopal Conference is not likely to refrain from having parts of religious education as an extended arm. Moreover, without religious education in the classroom, it would be openly recognizable in the pastoral duty to offer catechism lessons, as it is known, for example. happening in secular France outside the school on its own initiative by the Church. And it would certainly be harder to catechize the same mislabelling as is the case with "Catholic" religious education. Because that's the point, according to the teachers' words, "primarily about value communication, not about value eradication.” In fact, the departure from catechesis had begun with the decisions of the Würzburg Synod of Bishops (1971-1975).
There are hopefully many more religious teachers who are not behind the open letter, but unfortunately obviously too many who are no longer on the ground of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Image: VaticanNews (screenshot)
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org