(Munich) Archbishop Reinhard Marx of Cardinal of Munich and Freising was interviewed for the March issue of the French Jesuit journal Etudes. In it he says that the Church needs "Renaissance" and not "Reconquista." At the Synod of Bishops of the cardinal spoke of an "open Synod" on the family, because "the teaching office may continue to develop."
"We do not need religious entrepreneurs, but witnesses of both genders," says the President of the German Bishops' Conference (DBK) and a member of the C9 Cardinal Council to advise Pope Francis. The Italian translator of the interview for Vatican insider who knew what to do with the German gender-speech, translated the site with "Zeugen und Zeugnisses."[Inclusive language for the word witness has no English equivalent.]
"An important step toward reaching people is the step towards self-evangelization," said the most powerful German prelate dialectically. The Chairman of the President of the European Bishops' Conferences COMECE also said: "We ourselves as a church must read the Gospel again and again and learn to live with it."
"The term 'New Evangelization' gives me problems"
The term "new evangelization" is a concept, said the Cardinal, which causes him "problems". "I admit that I 'have my problems with the concept of the new evangelization. It could be confused with the model of a spiritual, Reconquista,' as it is a question of reconquering lost ground. But it's not about restoration or repetition of what once was, but a new beginning, a new approach, in a new situation. And it is not simply a communication problem. This would mean that if we had more people and more money and more media coverage, we could achieve the goal. I can accept very well the concept but if it is to emphasize that we do have, not only in Europe, but as a whole, in a new situation for the faith and we must respond with renewed thinking. Actually, this is really a process that the whole Church goes through throughout history. The Gospel is always new, Ecclesia semper iuvenescens, the Church is always young, so the Church Fathers have said.
Because with "many concepts and discussions about new evangelization, I have the impression that many think: The great history of Christianity lies behind us and ahead of us is an insecure and rather frightening future. So you can not evangelize in any case," said the cardinal.
The Church can bring the Gospel " forth in all fields of human activity, thought, adding value to commerce, continuity, and questions to think about. The cultural workers, politicians, philosophers and artists are open to conversations and meetings. I experience this again and again. But in our words, actions, in our liturgy, public appearance, and in the specific pastoral care on site it must be visible through the quality of our work. I think in this context often of the term "Renaissance". Yes, I believe in a renaissance of the Christian faith, but it is a long way of deep religious and spiritual renewal," said Archbishop Marx of Munich.
Synod: "Will Decide the Future Prospects of the Church in the Field of Marriage, and Family"
At the Synod of Bishops on the family the cardinal said, "Clearly on one side, great expectations were awakened while fears were aroused on the other side. All this has been shown during the discussion in the Synod Hall and in the working groups. The Holy Father has made it clear once again in his closing speech, just how much he has also appreciated and desired open debate. This is an important step forward. For particularly in the field of marriage and family the future prospects of the Church will be decided. It is too early for an appraisal. After one Synod, there is another Synod! "
The Pope, according to Marx, "guarantees unity with tradition and the Church's unity internally. But that is why it is necessary to openly argue with each other in a spiritual way about the future path of the Church in these existential questions that clearly touch almost all people and all the faithful." "Of course you have to make sure that it will not be a political-tactical process. I do not know if we have always avoided this. It requires a fundamental openness and a real confidence to find common ground. There may indeed be no winners and losers at the end of a synodal path, but all need each other to try and think of others and our new common steps going into the future," said Cardinal Marx.
"Doctrine of the Church must Develop"
Basically the DBK- President described the family Synod like this: "In teaching, the Church must indeed develop without giving up its position, but throughout the entire history of the Church, its dogma is still developing and has been deepened. This is also true with regard to marriage and family. So there is no end point for the search for truth."
The "open society" is at this moment of time "yet, is also progress in the gospel. So the question is not whether the majority share in our opinion, but whether we are also a pluralistic society that still has something to say to our way of life and our thoughts and many can win the way for many to follow the Gospel in the fellowship of the visible Church" said Cardinal Reinhard Marx for Etudes .
The complete German translation of the interview was published by the German Jesuit journal Stimmen der Zeit.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org