‘Is a new Reformation dawning in Germany?’ Initiative writes to bishops around the world

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff


The ‘Synodal Way’ began Dec. 1, 2019. / Rudolf Gehrig/CNA Deutsch.

Munich, Germany, Feb 3, 2022 / 15:25 pm (CNA).

As the opening assembly of the Synodal Way is taking place in Germany, the “New Beginning” initiative has warned of a schism arising from the country. In a letter to bishops there and around the world, the organizers describe “a spirit of rebellion” at work which betrays the gospel.

In their essay “Seven questions to the Catholic Church in Germany on Freedom and Autonomy” the initiative expressed its concern that the Synodal Way proclaims a new paradigm of radical, absolute self‐determination which may lead the Church in Germany into schism.

The initiative describes itself as an association of theologians, philosophers and anthropologists who call for radical reform in the Catholic Church, but who do not consider the German Synodal Way a viable solution.

The essay says, “The focus is no longer on the Lord ‐ his word and will ‐ but on man ‐ his will, his interests, his identity, his desires, his freedom is to determine what is the matter in the Church, what still seems plausible before the tribunal of modernity … what may and may not be taught and lived.”

The initiative asks the bishops of the Catholic Church to use their influence to prevent schism: “That Pope Leo X once dismissed the theses of Martin Luther as an irrelevant ‘monks’ bickering’ was perhaps the most momentous mistake in Church history. Exactly 500 years later, the Roman Catholic Church is once again about to play down a theological debate in a not‐too‐distant country, ignore it, and consider it a German problem. The next schism in Christendom is just around the corner. And it will come again from Germany.”

In January the New Beginning initiative handed a “manifesto for reform” to Pope Francis, signed by 6,000 Catholics. It argued that the Synodal Way “abuses the abuse”, that is, it instrumentalizes the necessary and urgent discussions in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal to change the Church according to its agenda.

The initiative said that apart from the 67 bishops in Germany, around 2,000 bishops worldwide, as well as 500 Catholic congregations, institutions, and movements, have received an explanatory text titled “This is not the Gospel” and a theological invitation to a scientific debate: “Seven questions to the Catholic Church in Germany on freedom and autonomy”.

The group also added to these two documents a collection of quotes and statements of theologians and bishops in the process of the Synodal Way, and statements typical of the process which they say show “that its agenda is not compatible with the continuous teaching of the universal Church.”

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  1. May I suggest a motto for the schismatic Bishops of Germany who are running as fast as they can toward the Martin Luther-synodal way, Part 2. “Anything goes, who are we to It’s clear that what these Bishops are peddling is not Catholicism in any form. I wonder if this is not the clear reason why so many Catholics have opted out of declaring themselves Catholic in Germany, for the purposes of tax support of the church. Effectively the church has left the people, not the other way around.Why WOULD they support it? In Germany they can vote with their tax dollars, and the Bishops are losing. There is no reason for these “catholic” Bishops to strain their brains re-inventing the theological wheel with a self-justifying synod. They can more easily convert to Lutheranism or any other protestant sect of their choice. The Pope would be smart to call in these Bishops for a private meeting sooner rather than later, and mince no words. If however he somehow supports their agenda, he can expect to leave behind millions of devout traditional catholics, who will not play along.They will not support the normalization of immorality which is being proposed, and their wallets will remain with them. Maybe to go THEIR own way, which may include a Latin Mass??

  2. I’ve been beating a dead horse on this…where is our illustrious Pope, ‘Mal’?

    Since Amoris Laetitia, the German Church has gone its own way especially with the Holy Eucharist and, now, on sexuality. To date, Pope Francis has said nothing and has even encouraged the German bishops.

    Is Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich not to be corrected?

    To repudiate doctrine is to deny Christ and His promise what is bound on Earth is bound in Heaven and that the Gates of Hell will not prevail.

    Either the Church has definitive teachings or Christ did not establish a Church.

  3. One Reformation was one too many already. Just excommunicate all the Schismatics in Germany and let them form their own Church, the Synodal Church, were believe in God and His Commandments is optional, homosexual relations are just as good (if not superior) to heterosexual relations, and the only Dogma is that you must pay the Church tax.

  4. Some factual differences between the time of Luther and the moral and ecclesial crisis of so-called modernity. So, three points and a question:

    FIRST, in the 16th century, in addition to being inattentive, the papacy was distracted by Europe’s eastern frontier and the external incursions of Islam. Today, distracted by the internal sexual abuse crisis and global COVID, the papacy proposes fraternity, a message offering only limited cause for optimism.

    SECOND, today the internal threat of a mainstreamed homosexual agenda not only violates Christian (and Natural Law) morality, but is based on a falsified statement of the problem. We hear the non-infallible opinion that “God made you that way.” Whereas, homosexuality is spreading even as this affliction, by its very nature, does NOT biologically reproduce itself…

    Needed then, from the real Church, is non-accommodating witness “in season and out of season:” The underlying (lying!) affliction is sexual abuse within families (!), child pornography, early-age sexual experimentation, predation, and media grooming. That civil society has sold out to pretended moral neutrality is a compounding abuse. As is the Church’s synodal Vademecum which inclusively invites all manner of marginalized groups, but curiously overlooks “families.”

    THIRD, absolutely false is the insinuated theological proposition that while moral doctrines will never be actually denied by today’s Church mouthpieces, this morality can be selectively suspended—especially for homosexual behavior (not to be confused with inclinations). Condemned to the dustbin of “rigid” history are the fully human meaning of the Incarnation, the enriched Natural Law, and especially the clarity of Veritatis Splendor! Instead, it’s all about amnesiac holding hands in the dark and “walking together”…

    The QUESTION on the big screen is this:

    Where is the perennial Catholic Church, and where are the successors of the apostles, at this historic moment when modernity is NOT modern (!), but instead is simply mimicking the internal collapse of Greece, Rome and Christendom, and even the Muslim Ottoman Empire—all due to, or accelerated by moral corruption and perversion?

    The relator general of the Synod on Synodality, the well-positioned Cardinal Hollerich, has already witlessly signaled the likely, predetermined and corrupt outcome of his synodal “synthesis” in 2023. https://www.aol.com/news/liberal-cardinal-calls-revised-catholic-135429645-181222377.html

  5. The socalled reformation was a revolt. Under that revolt legions of «popes» emerged.
    This pullutation of new authority based on an anthropocentric theme fed into the political and cultural nationalist mood of the times and the concept of «national» Christianity took shape. The theme never went away. It is therefore small surprise it has re emerged where it has. Germany is once again engaged in «overthinking».
    Schism is a persistent itch.

  6. Despite that historical time frames differ, the primary issue remains the same. Luther was confronted by Cardinal Cajetan but mainly on papal authority, whereas the underlying issue was justification. Although Luther raised the key issue with Cajetan, “In Cajetan’s view the key issues were Luther’s denial that the church is empowered to distribute as indulgences the infinite treasury of merits accumulated by Christ on the cross. Luther insisted that faith is indispensable for justification” (Britannica). A reconciliation seems possible if we examine Luther’s premise of the preeminence of faith in relation to works, which Catholicism also realizes.
    Germany’s Synodal Way is on the path of a Protestant reformation. Antecedent is the premise of Amoris Laetitia that a man is reconciled to God through faith not objective acts, “Conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the demands of the Gospel. It can recognize with honesty what for now is the most generous response given to God, and come to see with moral security that it is what God is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits” (Amoris 303).
    We need simply recognize the enormity of the Fr Peter Hullermann case dragging in, unfairly in this writer’s opinion Benedict XVI, and the series of morally blind decisions from Essen 1979 to Munich 1986 suggesting a coterie of homosexuality sympathetic bishops. As exists today at the Vatican. Germany, on the theology of justification, and consequently, on synodality takes its cues from Rome.
    Does the universal Church have cause for trepidation? That it does is increasingly evident in the universal Synod on synodality agendas being proposed on homosexuality [Luxembourg Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ who leads the pan-European Catholic bishops’ conference, has called for a change in the church’s teaching on homosexuality], priestly ordination [viri probati], female ordination. And, shockingly the blasphemous atheist that Francis doesn’t exclude from the Communion of Saints.

  7. Wit due reverence: in all this danger schism where is heard a clear teaching of Faith ? The world is thirsting for Jesus! For the sake of clarity in doctrine and the well being of a living Faith, it is necessary to enunciate the doctrines of our faith without equification or fussines ! Where is the voice of correction ?

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