CDF prefect slams German church claims to moral leadership

The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has attacked the German Catholic Church’s claim of world leadership on moral matters.

Speaking at the launch of the German edition of Cardinal Robert Sarah’s book “God or Nothing – A Conversation on Faith”, Cardinal Gerhard Müller hit out at his national church.

The cardinal accused German church leaders of trying “by hook or by crook” to deconstruct and relativise Catholic teaching on marriage “in order to make it seem that it conforms with society”.

This is despite the fact that high numbers of German Catholics are leaving the Church and that its confessionals, seminaries and religious institutions are “empty”.

Therefore claims by the German church to a leadership role must be examined critically, Cardinal Müller said.

“We must not deceive people as far as the sacramentality of marriage, its openness for children and the fundamental complementarity of both sexes are concerned,” he said.

“Pastoral care has to keep in view the eternal salvation”, as opposed to a desire to be popular or accepted in the world, he said.

Cardinal Müller said that the Church should not accept the secularising trend that is most evident in Western Europe, because it is not an “inevitable natural process”.

While the trend is strong, he said, energetic evangelisation can counteract it: “With faith you can move mountains.”

Speaking a few days after Cardinal Müller’s comments, Cardinal Reinhard Marx said German Catholics should not expect their views to be adopted by the world.

Cardinal Marx, who is president of the German Catholic bishops’ conference, said that Catholic teaching on marriage was by no means outdated.

The majority of people still hope for a life-long marriage and are open to children.

The Church must encourage this model of marriage and not only consider the possibility that it would fail, he said.

Cardinal Marx said he hopes that the upcoming synod on the family’s message would be that lifelong marriage “is possible, but if you fail, we will stand by you”.

The synod’s purpose is to find common solutions to family problems in the world church, he said.

Sources

News category: World.

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