|Pope Benedict and Archbishop Gerhard Muller are having issues with the German Church. Seems the idea of obedience to authority isn't quite as strong as it used to be in Germany.|
Vatican Insider has a sad article about Archbishop Muller the current head of the CDF and his issues with the German Catholic Church. Actually he extends his observations to the Church in all of Europe and the United States. Apparently Catholics in the first world are out to get the Church. This kind of thinking is sometimes referred to as paranoid ideation. Someone should remind the Archbishop there would be no bad press in the first world if bishops like himself didn't attempt to snow first world Catholics about the clerical abuse of their children and the mismanagement of their donated monies. Accountability doesn't seem to be the word for the day in the lala land of Vatican city.
Müller compares mood toward Catholic Church to anti-Jewish pogroms
The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith launches an attack from the columns of German daily “Die Welt”: North America and Europe are involved in a "concerted campaign" to discredit the Catholic ChurchAlessandro Alviani - Vatican Insider - 2/2/2013 Berlin - The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Mgr. Gerhard Ludwig Müller, has launched a biting attack of the mood toward the Catholic Church in the U.S. and Europe, comparing it to an anti-Jewish “pogrom” in German weekly Die Welt. “The campaigns which are specifically targeted at discrediting the Catholic Church in the U.S. and Europe have led to clerics in some sectors being publicly insulted in a vulgar way,” the former bishop of Regensburg said. “An artificially instigated anger is building, occasionally echoing the sentiment of the pogroms against Jews in Europe,” he added. Attacks against the Church are launched on many blogs and on television. The instruments adopted in these attacks “recall the struggles of totalitarian ideologies against Christianity.” (These are the remarks of a man who does not live in the real world. That he runs the CDF is frightening.)
In his interview with Die Welt, the cardinal also criticises the process of dialogue that is currently underway between bishops and lay people in dioceses across Germany. The fact that there is dialogue is a positive thing but essential questions must be dealt with instead of “dredging up the same problems every time.” The problems Müller was referring to are for example, the requests by the laity for the priesthood to be opened up to women: this “is not possible,” not because women are worth less than men, but because “it is in the nature of the Sacrament of Order for Christ to be represented within it as husband in relation to wife.” (This is just bizarre logic and has nothing to do with Jesus' request that his leadership be servant leaders. For that to happen the priesthood would have to represent the wife in this equation.)
The rejection of same-sex unions is just as clear-cut: “It is impossible for the Catholic Church to accept a relationship between people of the same sex, as such relations cannot in any way be considered equivalent to marriage,” Müller stated. He also shut the door on the potential abolition of celibacy: “Priestly celibacy corresponds to the example and word of Jesus and has found unique expression through the spiritual experience of the Latin Church.” There is no sign, he added, of the Church wanting to change this, starting with certain mistaken ideas, as if practicing one’ sexuality in or outside marriage were a natural necessity.” (Classic confusion of sexual activity with a loving relationship. Until this changes there is no hope for any sanity in the CDF.)
The real stagnation in reforms within the Church, Müller said, regards “essential issues that are not being dealt with, such as participation in the sacraments and knowledge of the Catholic faith.” The word “reform” should be used to hinder real renewal through Christ. (Maybe he never heard the expression 'you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink'.)
Müller then said one cannot speak of the “German Church” but rather of the Catholic Church in Germany. He went on to deny the existence of “Roman centralism”, saying that unfortunately there is not enough unity in the Church and that is not centralism that is causing the Church to suffer, but other centrifugal forces which are too strong. (Yep, it's too bad the Vatican no longer has the clout to stop the advance of science. It only has the clout to stop advancement in Catholic theology and practice.)
Finally, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sent a clear message to the Lefebvrians: we presented them with a proposed doctrinal preamble but “we have received no response so far and we will not wait forever.”
I'm beginning to think the men in the Vatican are seriously losing their grip on reality. I am at a loss to understand how Muller can begin to compare the media coverage the clergy of the Church most certainly brought on themselves with pogroms instituted against Jews. The anger with Roman Catholic leadership has not been 'artificially instigated'. It has been justifiably earned. Talk about living in denial.
I find this article pretty ominous actually. No question the German Pope and the German head of the CDF have real problems with the Catholic Church in Germany and many of those problems are directly related to the centralism that is apparently not causing the Church to suffer. I don't think jamming catechesis down the throats of people who have already rejected the rational for that catechesis is going to work very well. Especially when those rationales for the all male priesthood include such drivel as 'representing Jesus as groom to the church as His bride'. I know this is taken from a New Testament verse, but marriage in those days was a property contract, not necessarily a relationship between two equals. So no, I don't think this metaphor implies equality between men and women, nor does it imply equality between the ordained and the lay. It implies exactly what we have, religious relationships based in dominance and submission and the continual relegation of women to the margins.
Perhaps the real problem the Vatican has with the Catholic Church in the US and Europe is that the laity and some of the priesthood have come to the conclusion that spiritual relationships based in dominance and submission are not conducive to spiritual growth. In fact, such relationships have produced an enormous amount of infantilization of the laity and the outright sexual abuse of our children, which in turn has produced all the lousy media coverage Archbishop Muller resents. Throwing a tantrum is not going to shut anyone up. If he was a real husband to a real wife, he might have figured this one out on his own. Unfortunately he's become another example of another cleric living in a fantasy world where all his logic makes internal sense but doesn't translate well at all in the external world with it's own set of realities. Which is why I find this article ominous. If this truly gives a picture of where Muller is coming from, the Church in the first world is in for a very bad time and men like Fr Flannery might just as well find other employment.