Dissent and German Exceptionalism

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter discusses the persistence of dissent in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, placing it in the context of “German exceptionalism”: “There’s long been a sense that German-speaking Catholicism is susceptible to what the late Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar termed an ‘anti-Roman affect,’ meaning, roughly, an instinct to rebel.” Pope Benedict XVI, Allen says, can expect the dissenters to come out for his upcoming visit to Germany: “The loyal opposition is gearing up to make its voice heard during Benedict’s Sept. 22-25 trip to Berlin, Erfurt and Freiburg, his third homecoming, but the first since the eruption of the abuse scandals in 2010.”

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