Cardinal blasts German church as useless against secularism

A German cardinal has blasted his nation’s ecclesiastical apparatus as completely unfit to work against growing secularism.

According to the Catholic News Agency, Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes wrote a letter to a German language newspaper objecting to statements by two prelates from his homeland.

In February, German bishops’ conference president Cardinal Reinhard Marx said: “We are not a branch of Rome.”

“We cannot wait for a synod to tell us how we have to shape pastoral care for marriage and family here,” Cardinal Marx said.

Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabruck – a fellow synod delegate with Cardinal Marx – urged that “the reality of men and the world” be a source for theological understanding.

Cardinal Cordes, who is president emeritus of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, stated if Cardinal Marx wanted to put up Germany as an example, he is being fooled by wishful thinking.

Cardinal Cordes, 80, noted that a recent survey shows that only 16 per cent of Catholics in western Germany believe God to be personal.

“The existing German ecclesial apparatus is completely unfit to work against growing secularism,” he wrote.

He also slammed Cardinal Marx’s comment about not being a branch of Rome as more suited “to the counter of a bar”.

“The president argues about the drama of the divorced and remarried.

“This matter reaches far beyond regional particularities of a pragmatic nature, of a given mentality and cultural background.”

“This matter is bound to the very centre of theology,” Cardinal Cordes wrote.

“In this field not even a cardinal can loosen such a complex Gordian knot in a single sword stroke. He has the sacramental theology of the Council of Trent.”

In response to Bishop Bode’s comments, Cardinal Cordes stated Vatican II taught would be erroneous to see the “signs of the times” in the life of people simply as a “source of faith”.

In contrast, he noted, the Second Vatican Council’s dogmatic constitution on divine revelation, Dei Verbum, “leaves no doubt that faith in the Catholic Church feeds solely from Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium”.


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News category: World.

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