Showing posts with label Cardinal Brandmuller. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cardinal Brandmuller. Show all posts

Saturday, March 10, 2012

How Benedict XV Dealt With Czech Dissidents in 1919

About a hundred years ago there was a "Pastor's Initiative" of about 1200 priests against celibacy.  Rome reacted quickly and with great effectiveness.
The Main Church of the
Neo-Hussites in Prague

(  Calls from clerics, who are disobedient to the hierarchy, is nothing new.

This was revealed by the Bavaria born Church historian, Cardinal Walter Brandmuller (83), in an article for the Catholic newspaer 'Tagespost'.

The Cardinal recalled a revolt of clerics which took place in Bohemia at the beginning of the twentieth century and spread to Slovakia.

Without Jews, without Rome, we'll build the German Cathedral.

Cardinal Brandmuller explained about how the turn of the nineteenth century there was a "Break Away from Rome Movement" present in Austria.

The initiator was Georg Ritter von Schönerer († 1921).

He used anti-clerical and antisemitic ideas: "Without Jews, without Rome, we'll build a German Cathedral home."

This was the genesis of the National Socialists.

After a decade the propaganda persuaded then around a hundred thousand Austrian Catholics.

This movement found a sequel a half-century later -- said Cardinal Brandmuller: "in the turbulent time after the Second Vatican Council by the adherents of "We Are Church", "Church From Below" and the circles around the "Kirchenvolkbegehren [Church People Seeking Reform].

The Demand Was Changed After the Council

A similar parallel to the Austrian one man show 'Pastor Initiative' is what Cardinal Brandmuller sees in the "Czech-Hussite National Church".  They existed in the years after the First World War.

Czech clerics revolted after the collapse of the Habsburg Monarchy firstly against the Episcopate.

After that they demanded a supposedly democratized and Rome-independent National Church.

The movement called itself 'Jednota'.  They wanted a Liturgy in the national language, a shortened Breviary and married priests.

Additionally they demanded to elect their own Bishops by the clergy and the people, a democratization of the Church constitution and the abolition of clerical clothing.

Rome Reacts

At the end of February 1919 the Viennese Nuncio Teodoro Valfre di Bonzo (+1922) traveled to Prague, in order to form a picture of the situation.

In June 1919 delegates of 'Jednota' were invited by the Pope to Rome.

In the mean time, the Nuncio informed the Vatican State Secretary, Pietro Cardinal Gasparri (+1934).

The Nuncio promoted  an unmistakable and decisive  position against 'Jednota'.

The rebels were not won over by concessions.  Giving away would have only further disturbed the faithful.

The 'Jednota' -- demands -- especially for married priests -- were decisively rejected.

The sending of a 'Jednota'-delegation to Rome led, according to Cardinal Brandmuller, to a division of  minds.

For example, the theological faculty of the University of Prague had distanced itself from its Dean, who had participated in the 'Jednota' delegation.

1,200 Want End to Priestly Celibacy

As the next development was completed, a radicalization of the group took place, said the Cardinal.  These named themselves from then on as 'Ohnisko' -- for burn point.

Their members were already decided even before the trip of 'Jednota'- Delegation to Rome,  were prepared to transact their demands in case of a Roman rejection.

In August 1919 'Ohnisko' called upon Catholic Priests to marry civilly.

As one of the first steps, fallen priest Bohumil Zahradnik acted.   In any case he was already living in concubinage for ten years.

The 'Ohnisko'- priests were addressed by the State authorities and compensated.

In September 1919 they attempted to get a dispensation for a very large number, 1,200 priests from celibacy.

The National Church was Proclaimed

On January 8th of 1920 the anti-clerical Czech government declared a "Czechoslovakian Church".

As Patriarch, the lapsed priest, a certain Karel Farsky (+1927) was elected.

This National Church represented Modernism.

A Catechism by Farksy maintained that Jesus was only a son of God in the same sense that all men were sons of God.

Christ is only the greatest of prophets.

For Cardinal Brandmuller it was thoroughly clear that the roots of the problem lay deeper than in the area of practical, disciplinary changes:

"A large part of the clergy were in a shattering crisis of their Catholic Faith."

Rome Came with a Heavy Hand

A week after the founding of the State Church -- on the 15th of January 1920-- the Holy See condemned the schismatic coalition and anathematized them.

Priests who belonged to the National Church, were in any case in excommunicated automatically in all senses.

Benedict XV. insisted in a letter of the 29th of January 1920, that there was never an agreement on priestly marriage.

The Czech Bishops had shown themselves equal to the situation -- and he was grateful for the decisive shepherds.

The Church's Censure Showed Itself as the Right Way

In an address at the end of the year in 1920, Pope Benedict XV stressed that Rome would not endeavor making the rule regarding celibacy any less stringent.

Any deviating assertions are misleading.

It is clear that the Church has priestly celibacy to thank for a great part of Her power.

It must be wholely and entirely unaltered.

That  is " never before has it been more necessary in these times of moral degredation and unchecked vice" -- said the Pope on the eve of National Socialism and Fascism.

It will never happen that "this Holy Apostolic See will enfeeble or abolish this most holy law of priestly celibacy in any manner."

Back then: The Church Oriented Itself on Reality

Cardinal Brandmuller praised Romes decisive proceedings against the Czech rebels:  "There was an understanding that set in that this was something that couldn't be won by negotiations."

The rebels wanted to alter the foundations of the Catholic Faith and of Christendom.

That was shown, among other things, in a popular census in 1921.

According to that 3.2 percent of Czechs belonged to the State sponsored Church.

The other part of Catholics -- about 76.3 percent of the population -- remained Catholic.

Today, the rebel society calls itself the 'Czech-Hussite Church'.

They count on paper around 100,000 demoralized members.

Link to

Photo: © Che, Wikipedia, CC

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cardinal Brandmüller Celebrates Pontifical High Mass

EditorYou'll remember the Cardinal for his apt criticism of German politicians who thought they could weigh in on the Catholic doctrine of celibacy and how he was in turn unjustly criticized by Cardinal Lehman.

Walter Cardinal Brandmülle celebrated a pontifical high Mass in the Immemorial Mass of All Ages, in the sanctuary of the Dolors of the Virgin in Camovacallo di Osimo [Marken].

Campocavallo di Osimo ( After the solemn procession in the sanctuary at 15:00 the Cardinal led prayers before the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, according to the prayers of the "Hora tertia Pontificalis" and vesting for the celebration of Holy Mass at 15:45.

Musically the liturgy was sung by the Schola Cantorum "Sancta Cecilia" from Corridonia under the direction of Alessandro Pucci with the "Missa secunda Pontificalis" by Lorenzo Perosi.

Since 1893 the sanctuary of Campocavallo village honors the Dolors [sorrows] of the Mother of God.  Campocavallo is located in the vicinity of the great Marian sanctuary 'Casa Santa" [Holy House] of Loretto.  Every Sunday and on feast days a Mass in the Immemorial Rite is celebrated  at 16:45, and on workdays at 7:00.

Every day  at 18:30 after Holy Mass the Blessed Sacrament is exposed and the rosary is prayed with a concluding Eucharistic blessing.  Every Saturday from 21:30 till 5:30 the next morning, there is a Eucharistic vigil.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cardinal Lehman Attacks Cardinal Brandmüller's Letter in Defense of Celibacy

Cardinal Lehmann attacked Cardinal Brandmüller in his own paper "Glaube und Leben" and shamed himself with an open letter to the Cardinal -- no critical word for the CDU-Politicians -- see the Survey on Lehman  -- speak out!
The Face of Germany's Bloated Hierarchy

Mainz  ( Cardinal Karl Lehmann, the former President of the German Bishops Conference had sharply attacked the Roman Curial Cardinal Brandmüller, because he had criticized a provocative assertion about celibacy by some CDU-Zdk politicians.  The politicians had made an appeal to the German Bishops advocating for a change in the practice of celibacy.  In this, they posed the question, "how can the growing priest shortage be managed?"

Lehmann spoke in connection with the provacative letter of "eight serving CDU-politicians in the Federal and National level", who recalled "one such inexhaustible theme" that has been discussed in the Church well "over 40years long".  Then the Mainz Bishop spoke of a "climbing priest shortage"  -- a contention, which appeared elsewhere in the last days in "Focus" --which was disproved by editor Alexander Kissler -- if one did not ordain priests "men who've proved themselves in families and occupations".  Lehmann recognized then that he had always took pains so that the Church is also "open to new ways of thinking" with an afterthought about the priesthood, "without that the discussion was already identical with an answer on these difficult questions".  For the Cardinal was also "expectant", that these questions about the "viri probati" [responsible men in families and marriages] would come again in the order of the day, if one were invited to a "Dialog Process" over today's questions.

Then Lehman attacked Cardinal Brandmüller's open letter and opines:  "I'm very ashamed of the tone taken by this open letter, and in all sympathy for the powerful objection of the letter by eight politicians for I have  worked for years as Bishop, active for a long time in Germany.  One must really not compare, if one touches on the subject of 'viri probati', speak of wanting 'another Church',  to put 'the German experience' in play, which 'leads to the path of the schism of a national German church.'"

Beloved by the Media
Lehman showed himself "deeply disappointed", as here for example the sitting Bundespresident, in any case after the Bundespresidents, the second authority in the land, a serving Bundesminister and three highly esteemed Ministerial Presidents are "attacked", who have worked in the Church for decades.  "This is not the style with which we go about our differences of opinion in this country."  For the Mainz Bishop, these opinions are "extreme", and even the opinions of the "Süddeutschen" he regards as "extreme".  "The Dialog Process must seek a new middle, without drifting into lazy compromises.  Hopefully we can come out of this stalled double dialog," he finally concluded.

Parts of Cardinal Brandmuller's letter, Celibacy Originates with the Time of Jesus, here translated from

You can participate in a poll on if you want, make the first selection if you think that Cardinal Lehmann should be ashamed of himself for attacking Cardinal Brandmueller.  Most of the readers of feel that Cardinal Lehman should be ashamed of himself at the bottom of the article, here.

 Thanks to TIA for the photos.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Celibacy Originates From the Time of Jesus and the Apostles: Cardinal Brandmuller

Cardinal Brandmuller: "It is a secure fact of science that at the beginning priests and Bishops were orained, but these from the day of consecration on family life continued, but not, however, the bond of marriage."
Photo of Cardinal Walter Brandmuller from the site ''

(, Vatikan) The Bavarian Church historian and Cardinal, Walter Brandmuller has challenged Anti-Celibacy politicians of the German CDU.

"What makes them legitimate as politicians, to take positions on internal-Church themes, when they have neither the office nor the knowledge?"

This question was put by the Cardinal in an open letter which appeared in the 'Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung'.

Cardinal Brandmuller commented on a writing which was published last friday by eight politicans of the German homosexual and abortion CDU party.

Within there were arguments for the allowance of priestly marriage.

The Faith has failed, Not the Priest

In their writing these politicians made a connection between the priest shortage to the lifting of priestly celibacy worldwide.

Actually Cardinal Brandmuller refuted them.

He pointed to "the increasingly lower number of Mass goers and faithful, who receive the Sacraments."

The Union politicians were made to look like fools because for them "it wasn't only   celibacy, but the first steps back to an 'other Church'".

The German National Church is Shattered

The promotion for the German special way may lead to schism -- warned Cardinal Brandmuller:

"Are you aware that you are only part of a campaign that has been engaged since the beginning of the 19th Century -- and which is failed today.?" -- the Cardinal asks the politicians.

The CDU-functionaries have put a way of life in question, "those who are the overwhelming number of priests who are convinced and are living truthfully of their own free will."

Cardinal Brandmuller also informed these Union politicians that they are insulting Jesus Christ with this campaign:

"Priests who are living unmarried like the young Jesus do nothing else, besides making their manner of life like that of the Master."

The Priests of the Early Church Were Already Living Celibate Lives

Furthermore, the Prince of the Church explained to the anti-Celibacy politicians that the priestly celibacy is an apostolic tradition:

"It is surely scientifically proven that in the beginning married men were certainly ordained as priests and bishops, but from the day of consecration on, probably the family life continued, but not, however, the married bond."

That also goes for the researchers that even  an ecumenical Council itself couldn't ignore:

"It is therefore urgent  to express that this discussion, which we have already exhausted to tedium and  harmed and thoroughly multiplied the confusion of the faithful, be brought to an end."