German Bishops Support Kasper’s Proposals on Remarried Catholics

St John the Baptist gave his life in the defense of marriage. The German bishops, by coming out in favor of Cardinal Kasper’s proposals on divorced and remarried Catholics, took the side of Herod. In effect, they concluded that St. John’s position was too antagonistic and decided to issue a letter of congratulations to Herod upon marrying his brother’s wife. While some might think this comparison hyperbolic, it is nonetheless what their recent statements regarding the divorced and remarried come down to. Rather than being a witness to the indissolubility of marriage and what it means to sin against it (making it a further sin to receive Communion in that state), they have embraced a false kind of mercy, believing that one must follow current fashion.

Anyone who doubts this assessment need only consult the pastoral directives issued by the German bishops’ conference on December 22, 2014. They say that the exclusion of the divorced and remarried from the sacraments was “no longer comprehensible,” even to many priests who therefore disregard Church directives, and that it is a “test of the Church’s credibility” to many faithful (p. 47, 59; cf. German document). Re-admission to the sacraments should therefore be permitted in individual, specifically delineated cases. Most of the 66 German bishops are in agreement, though there are some exceptions like bishop Oster from Passau.

The bishops’ conference had put these directives together in June in preparation for the synod on the family, but had decided to wait until the first half was over before publishing it. It characterizes in detail and with great empathy the difficulties many divorced and remarried couples face. It also explains in large measure the doctrine of the Church with insight and clarity, especially when summarizing Familiaris Consortio. Yet when arguing for the admission of the divorced and remarried, confusion abounds in the directives (which are, by the way, quite similar to those issued by the diocese of Freiburg in October 2013 that Cardinal Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, severely criticized). Since the Church’s position is perceived by many in Germany to be unmerciful (p. 47, 60), the illogical conclusion the bishops draw is that the Church needs to change its rulings—instead of explaining what real mercy means and why the Church does not fail in it by continuing to proclaim the divine life-giving laws regarding marriage, the Eucharist and confession. That this means not admitting those in a state of permanent adultery (as the bishops themselves affirm about those among the divorced and remarried whose first marriage is valid) to the sacraments is opaque to them though they should know better.

St Paul’s famous passages in 1 Corinthians that say whoever receives the Eucharist unworthily brings judgment upon himself are nowhere mentioned in the bishops’ directives (1 Cor 11:27 & 29). Real mercy would require warning people of the spiritual death they are incurring by receiving the Eucharist when in a state of grave sin. Instead, the text adds more confusion to the mix: if Christ shared meals with tax collectors and prostitutes, should we not allow the divorced and remarried to receive Communion as well (66)? That Christ was simply sharing a meal with the former, but not giving them the Eucharist, is ignored. Yes, the divorced and remarried need grace to change their ways, like everybody else. Therefore, attending mass, going to adoration, and leading a life of prayer are essential and should be encouraged. A new pastoral should look at ways to encourage this. That they feel “unreconciled” by not being allowed to receive Communion is something that the bishops bemoan (58). In reality, this should be seen as a healthy reminder to the divorced and remarried that they are, in fact, unreconciled, that they should long for reconciliation, and pray that God will give them the grace to change.

Actually, the bishops themselves are sinning against mercy, for they are encouraging the divorced and remarried to live a lie. They tell them that they may participate in the feast (i.e. Communion) just like the prodigal son did upon his return. Yet the son who participates in the celebration when he has no intention of reforming his life is basing the relationship to the Father on a falsehood. Christ severely condemned those living a lie, calling them whitewashed tombs. He was merciful with sinners who knew what their situation was and were looking for help. Instead of following Christ’s example, we are trying to turn the divorced and remarried into something akin to hypocrites, pretending they are not in a state needing redemptive transformation. Admitting them to the sacraments will be widely understood as a sanction of their lifestyle. But this implicit approval will make things ten times worse, like telling someone with an aggressive cancer that he is healthy and that his symptoms are merely psychosomatic. This false kind of mercy prevents the person from taking the actions necessary to heal.

For real mercy knows that only the truth can save, and God’s mercy is always based on the truth—the truth not just about his infinite love and forgiveness, but also about our failings, our wounds, our needs and our pain. Yes, it is hard to realize that we may need to give up things we cannot imagine living without, when our life as it is seems to collapse in shambles. God, however, is with us in this moment, and so should the pastors and the faithful, accompanying those back on their journey to the Father. He knows what it feels like to have one’s heart broken. Only he can console us in this situation. God’s mercy works like a leaven, changing our hearts and making us capable to love him enough so that we are willing to give up our idols and the kind of human happiness that contradicts his laws and therefore his love.

Furthermore, the directives claim that doctrine puts people at a dead end, when all they want is to make a new beginning with their new family, go to mass and participate in parish life. It seems cruel not to allow them to get out of this blind alley (66). What the bishops fail to admit is that it is not doctrine that has put the divorced and remarried there, but a combination of their own and other people’s choices. They may have incurred no guilt in the breakdown of their marriage, but their decision to remarry civilly is their choice. They did not choose the celibate life, and they may well feel overtaxed by it, but this still does not justify sinning against the laws of God. He instituted them not to make life difficult for us, but to give us abundant life. Many single people wish to get married, but can’t find the right spouse; they too have to live a celibate life they have not chosen.

Life throws challenges and difficulties our way. It is up to us to deal with them correctly, and not blame everything on circumstances when we fail. When we feel incapable of obeying God’s commands and fall down on our knees acknowledging our weakness, we finally allow God to act. Nothing moves God more, nothing is as essential to the spiritual life, as when we humbly recognize our brokenness. But through their approach, the German bishops are postponing this moment of grace ad infinitum. Hearts not allowed to be broken for fear of the pain remain unfulfilled, while the divine doctor knows that some suffering is unavoidable.

Another sign of the bishops’ confusion is the way they speak about the moral impasse faced by the divorced and remarried. That the situation of the latter is very difficult, that it is hard to find a way to do justice to one’s children from a second union (if the other does not want to live celibately) is clear. Some may feel they are letting their second civilly married spouse down by starting anew to obey God’s law. But the bishops seem to say that leaving that second spouse is just as bad, if not worse, as staying with him or her (58). They fail to distinguish between sin and suffering, guilt and tragedy. We may have to do things that cause pain. Entering religious life can break the hearts of one’s parents, for example, yet that should not derail a vocation.

The fact that the exclusion of the divorced and remarried from Communion is “no longer comprehensible” to many priests who simply disregard the ruling, as the text says, tells us much about the ecclesial situation in this country. Having spent much of my life in Germany, I can attest that priests have disregarded the Church’s doctrine for decades. Instead of seeing the necessity of properly catechizing the priests and through them the faithful anew, the directives confirm them in their ignorance and sanction their acts. The result of disobeying Rome for decades is that the faithful are utterly confused, and have been made to believe that the Church’s positions have changed, or if not, will inevitably do so. The bishops have come to believe their own lies. They carry less responsibility than those a couple generations ago who spoke out against Humanae Vitae in the Königssteiner Erklärung in 1968. For the latter became priests when the teachings were clear, while the current bishops have heard these lies repeated over and over for most of their clerical lives.

The German bishops want to have it both ways. They claim to uphold Christ’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage while at the same time allowing Communion in some exceptional cases. They repeatedly say that they do not want to dim Christ’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage (47, 53, 56), yet don’t realize that they are doing just that. They have not learned from experience that this will be interpreted as a blank check for all. The bishops did not intend the widespread use of contraception when they told Catholics they could decide what to do “in conscience.” Yet most contemporary Catholics in the West use contraceptives. Without (perhaps) realizing it, the bishops are ushering in a revolution that will bring about the demise of the Church in Germany. Christ promised that the Church would not be destroyed. But this does not mean it cannot be led into crisis, confusion and widespread apostasy.

Worldly thinking has seduced them, false compassion has led them astray and fear of being ostracized has turned them into cowards. Their victims are not just the faithful who are deceived, but also the orthodox priests who wish to remain true to Christ’s and the Church’s teaching. They are under tremendous pressure to accept the demands of lay people. Parish councils, pastoral assistants, fellow-priests, theologians and the bishops all pull in the same direction. My German priest-friends tell me about these difficulties. The bishops rightly point out in the directives that there are tensions within the Church because of the dichotomy between doctrine and practice; yet they appear to sympathize more with the priests who are disobedient rather than with those who are faithful and who suffer tremendously (59).

The Church’s doctrine on marriage is often under attack. It puts such great demands on people that even the apostles were shocked when Christ explained it to them. But God calls us to more than a self-made happiness in this life. He calls us to holiness, and this always involves heroic sacrifices. At some point in our life, we all have to say “no” to something that violates God’s loving commands even though it breaks our heart. We don’t always realize that keeping God’s commands makes us all the more capable of loving him and our neighbor, and that this will make us grow more than anything else.

Thomas More could have taken the easy route and followed the example of most of the politicians and bishops of England who sanctioned Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, taking the oath of allegiance to the king as new head of the church. He along with Cardinal John Fisher stood firm as witnesses for the truth and paid with their lives. He should be the guiding light for all those called to defend the family in these difficult times. St. Thomas More, pray for us!

(Photo credit: Image of Cardinal Reinhard Marx. CNS photo.)

Marie Meaney


Marie Meaney received her doctorate and an M. Phil. in Modern Languages from the University of Oxford. She is the author of Simone Weil’s Apologetic Use of Literature: Her Christological Interpretations of Classic Greek Texts (Oxford University Press, 2007). Her booklet Embracing the Cross of Infertility (HLI) has also appeared in Spanish, German, Hungarian and Croatian. Before the birth of her daughter, she was a teaching fellow at Villanova University.

  • John

    Not only Herod. How about King Henry VIII? Those bishops want to start a new church without leaving the old one.

    • jacobhalo

      When you preach heresy, you have already left the church.

    • publiusnj

      The People of the Catholic Church need to protest the German bishops’ and this Pope’s drift toward a particularly lax form of Protestantism. The adoption ot the Kasper Proposal would be a radical break with the True Tradition of the Catholic Church, expressed most recently in Familiaris Consortio and the Catechism which is clear and explicit on the precise issue of receipt of Communion by the remarried while their “”first” spouse lives (CC, Sections 1647-51 (“If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that
      objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic
      communion as long as this situation persists. “)).

      The US bishops need to know that its most faithful members will not go along with the Destruction of the Catholic Tradition.

    • ron a.

      These bishops and their progenitors, the Progressives of V2, may eventually realize success. But it will not stand because it would be built on lies. At least the “reformers” of the 16th Century has the honesty to break with the Church. But these? They rely on nuance, dialogue and gradualism; truth be damned!

  • The Bishop’s in Germany would admit the remarried and exclude those too poor to pay the Church Tax. I think it is obvious whom they serve, and it is not Christ.

    • fredx2

      Well said. When I found out that the bishops there make between $120,000 and $180,000 per year, I was just astounded, and suddenly a lot became clear about these men.

      They deny the sacraments to those who don’t want to pay their “8% of your income” tax, but they are now suddenly focused on being merciful.

      One suspects that they have adopted this extreme approach about “mercy” to balance out their obvious lack of mercy when it comes to paying their tax.

      • BXVI

        Yes, but how does Pope Francis not see this? THAT is what is profoundly disturbing to me.

        • gaeliclass

          all the laity should writer to the Holy Father and ask him to comment on Cardinal Kasper, the German Bishops push towards schism.. et al…..

        • Jacqueleen

          Pope Francis orchestrated this synod and is good friends with Kasper and the other liberals that he personally chose in leadership of the Synod. Don’t forget that he demoted a Cardinal who is profoundly faithful to the teachings of Christ, Raymond Cardinal Burke. IMHO, Pope Francis, Liberation Theology buff, is behind this whole mess when he simply could have re-counted the teachings of the church and told the dissenters to pastor within those teachings.

      • One suspects they have adopted this extreme approach about “mercy” of the favorite sins of the rich, in order to get more people with higher incomes paying the 8% tax.

      • Neihan

        And, of course, because teaching the hard truths might result in people who don’t believe in them to leave – rather than stay and pay the tax.

      • “They deny the sacraments to those who don’t want to pay their “8% of your income” tax, but they are now suddenly focused on being merciful.”

        There’s a word for this. Oh yeah, Simony.

        Funny that we’ve never heard from the usual suspects who abhor the market about these money changers in the temple.

  • jacobhalo

    How are these bishops allowed to continue to be pastors of their flocks? They are advocating heresy.

    • The Truth

      Hope you’re not expecting anything significant from our new Pope. I’m not sure what Catholicism teaches anymore. It basically stands for nothing.

      • Then you should read what Pope Francis said in Manila about the Family. Suddenly, the Pope is Catholic again (to the total hatred of certain left wing “catholic” news sources):

        • BXVI

          Here is where Pope Francis is a radical: He despises anything in the Church that “imposes” or “insists” or makes “demands” upon people. And he detests anything in the Church that “excludes” or creates any “barriers” to full participation in the Sacraments or the life of the Church. He views the individual’s conscience as primary, believing each person must follow his conscience even if that puts him or her at odds with Church doctrine or teaching. He does not seem to believe (and, it seems, would never preach) that one must subordinate one’s conscience to the Church’s Magisterium when they are at odds. No one should ever be “excluded.” I don’t see how that can be consistent with the Bible (see 1 Corinthians, chapter 5) but that does seem to be his outlook. Oh, wait, except for those “Pharisees” with “rotten, putrid hearts” who “impose”, “insist”, make “demands”, “exclude”, or create “barriers.” Now THOSE people are facing damnation, as he constantly reminds us.

          • Like I said, you should read what he said in Manila about those who use contraception, those who would redefine the sacrament of marriage. He was most certainly being exclusionary.

          • ron a.

            It would seem that those many prelates who espouse the doctrine of ‘primacy of conscience’ have a heavy burden to inform those consciences of the values and truths of the Faith. It is absolutely striking how they have failed, either from the pulpit or in the classroom, these many years since V2, when the doctrine came into prominence. Poor leadership, the bane of the modern world—dare I say Church.

          • Because metanoia is so 1st century!

            “May his days [in office] be few; may another take his office.” (Ps 109:8)

        • bonaventure

          Read and listen a little deeper, Theodore.

          Or read the following analysis by the (sedevacantist) Anthony Cekada.(***)

          Rev. Anthony Cekada • 2 days ago

          Ms. Eagan, I don’t think you’re reading him right. His pronouncements on artificial contraception are delivered in a code which you have to understand correctly. It’s the language of post-Vatican II, progressive bishop-speak — Bernardinese, if you will.

          On one hand a prelate says that, of course, the prohibition against contraception is firmly established as Catholic moral teaching, and we can never, ever, no-siree, change it! But (here comes the other hand), well, we have to be really careful to “respect consciences” of lay couples, be “merciful” in applying the teaching, and of course, not mentioned outdated negative concepts like mortal sin and hell.

          So, artificial contraception ends up being approved in practice.

          In the speech you object to, Francis uses this code in the following passage when he says that Paul VI was: “so merciful toward special cases and asked confessors to be very understanding and merciful.”

          Cardinal Tagle reinforced that code language in a press conference the following day. There was “sensitivity to particular cases while remaining faithful to the tradition,” Tagle said.

          It is double-talk, of course, intended to prevent people like me (and the Burke-ites) from accusing the speakers of OPEN heresy, but enough to give a “nuanced” green light to clergy and lay folks who think that artificial contraception is just peachy.

          So, you and others have to understand Francis’ language before concluding that he is churning out pre-Vatican II orthodoxies.


          (***) This was posted by Anthony Cekada on Margery Eagan’s column “Feeling Devastated by this Pope” on Crux, January 17, 2015.

          I take absolutely no credit for the above, and in fact I very strongly disagree with its author’s overall sedevacantist ecclesiology. However, his interpretation of Francis’ “praxis of mercy” is to the point.

          • “the following analysis by the (sedevacantist)”

            That alone causes me to close my ears a bit, for I see zero difference between the sedes and these German Bishops.

            • bonaventure

              Actually, sedevacantists are schismatics (similarly to the Eastern Orthodox), but not heretics. While the German bishops are heretical. There is a very important ecclesiological difference between schism and heresy.

              But I hear you, for as soon as I discovered who Anthony Cekada is, I had a similar jerking reaction.

              However, read the text for what it is. Think of it as if I hadn’t told you who wrote it. Or imagine I told you Vittorio Mesori wrote it (as he very well could have), or someone from the non-schismatic (and fully approved by the Holy See) Fraternity of St. Peter. Anyway, for a sedevacantist, Anthony Cekada’s analysis is very mild and moderate, to say the least. That may even be how he’s trying to recruit people to his cause, but once written, I believe that a text stands or falls on its own.

              • He does have a point, from the Sede point of view- and I too struggle with the concept of the Charitable Interpretation in Ignatian spiritual exercises. However, I don’t see any reading between the lines possible in this case, where the Pope has repeatedly referred to issues that attack the family as diabolic in origin.

                • bonaventure

                  Remember that in the South American culture, anything can be “diabolic.” For example, the late dictator of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, a hardcore leftist and communist, regularly referred to the enemies of communism as “devils,” etc. He even publicly “prayed,” and used the sign of the cross in such speeches. And of course got the blessing of more than one Venezuelan Catholic bishop.

                  I am not comparing Francis to Chavez, simply stating the fact of their common cultural heritage. Also, I am not suggesting that Francis is not sincere when he claims that attacks on the family are from the devil — he probably is 110% sincere about it.

                  But if the winds change under his guard — as they apparently are changing in Germany (and, for a while, radically blew in the wrong direction at the Synod) — anyone may turn the “diabolic” description used by Francis to justify their ends. And at this time, there are, unfortunately, no reasons to interpret Francis’ speech about attacks on the family from a conservative lens, other than the assumption that he must be speaking on those issues from a conservative position, since the Church’s doctrine is conservative (I don’t like the term “conservative” when applied to Church teaching, but I’ll leave at that for now). In fact, do we have any reason to interpret his references to attacks on the family as conservative at all, considering that he never clarifies anything he says?

                  What if, in a fictional future, he came out and said — or implied — that attacks on the family as then redefined (i.e., divorce-remarriage, homosexual “marriage”, etc) are uncharitable, and therefore diabolic? After all, when he spoke about the “ideological colonization that we have to be careful about that is trying to destroy the family” — he never clarified what “ideological colonization” he meant, yet it could be a liberation theology inspired denunciation of something totally different from what the media — and many Catholics — assumed he meant (i.e., contraception, homosexual “marriage,” divorce, etc).

                  So I raise the same objections as Cardinals Burke and George, and Archbishop Chaput: as of now, he hasn’t clarified what he meant. Why? In a world of instant communication and immediate spin, why does he never clarify what he means, when he either speaks off the cuff, or when he reads something that opposite ideologies can claim as their own?

              • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                Sedevacantists deny an article of the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in the Holy ghost in the Holy Catholic Church”

                Catholics believe, in Manning’s words, “that there is a Divine Person teaching now, as in the beginning, with a divine, and therefore infallible voice; and that the Church of this hour is the organ through which He speaks to the world” ; that she is “the body and visible witness of the Incarnate Word, the dwelling and organ of the Holy Ghost now as in the beginning.”

              • MarcAlcan

                I have not gone with a fine tooth comb over his talks in Manila and was elated by what was reported (that he has upheld the evil of contraception). So it is very disheartening that this may not be entirely the case.

            • Regardless of the source, you have to wonder what Francis means when he affirms Church teaching in order to reconcile this with his undermining them in other occasions. That Francis doesn’t take Church teaching except in an idealistic, utopic way would explain his contradictions.

              “May his days [in office] be few; may another take his office.” (Ps 109:8)

      • gaeliclass

        No you are wrong.. Catholicism – stands for much.!
        and that is what must be defended.
        Heresy being brought into the Church – deliberately by some of those sheep ‘in wolves clothing’ (remember the words of the great Benedict XVI at the beginning of his pontificate” ‘pray that I don’t flee from the wolves’ –
        he knew of whom he was speaking!! Unite yourself to the good Cardinals Bishops and priests =- there are many .– pray much.. and talk !

      • Jacqueleen

        Robert Royal on EWTN, World Alive predicted that at the end of the Synod in 2015, there will be an even split of those Clergy for and those against and Pope Francis will have to intervene and make the decision….and that will be FOR THE ADULTERERS TO RECEIVE COMMUNION. At this time, this is only a prediction. Pray for the church that God will remove all evil and demonic infiltration from the Vatican and all ranks of Cardinals and Bishops down to the newest Seminarian, etc.

        • “May his days [in office] be few; may another take his office.” (Ps 109:8)

          • Jacqueleen

            If St. Malachy is correct….we have seen the last of true Popes with Benedict XVI. We don’t know who Pope Francis is, i.e., the False Prophet or the Anti-Christ?…In either case, expect the appearance of the Anti-Christ soon.

            • Karl Leinfelder

              It would be of interest to know what is the level of your expertise on this topic of the pope. First you need to state what are the beliefs or predictions of Malachi; and secondly, if you check the literature you will find the following quotation: “Given the very accurate description of popes up to 1590 and lack of accuracy after that year, historians generally conclude that the alleged prophecies are a fabrication written shortly before they were published. The Roman Catholic Church also dismisses them as forgery.[1][2] The prophecies may have been created in an attempt to suggest that Cardinal Girolamo Simoncelli’s bid for the papacy in the second conclave of 1590 was divinely ordained”.

              • Jacqueleen

                Please read my first sentence which begins with IF ST. MALACHY IS CORRECT…..Thank you.

                • Karl Leinfelder

                  Don’t you think that you employed the word “if” as though an action had occurred.

      • Susan

        Comments like this one are quite bothersome and tiring since they are ignorant based and redundant… Catholicism is STRONG in itself, The Church IS Christ! Enemies of Christ are always lurking within the circle of the faithful, like Judas. STOP attacking the Holy Father please and abandon yourself more to Christ by increasing prayer and fasting, which is what we all should be doing in these times of turmoil in the world and the Church!

        • Maggie Sullivan

          Stop attacking the Holy Father????? He’s not attacking Francis he is simply speaking about the confusion Francis allows and promotes…….we all know it….to speak about it is not attacking…it is trying to find the truth through the smoke of satan.

          • ForChristAlone

            You’re the one who has it right, Maggie.

        • bonaventure

          No one is attacking Francis. But Francis is undermining his own petrine ministry.

          In fact, he could — if he wanted — avoid any confusion by SIMPLY clarifying a few things.

          Of course, that would cost him the admiration on all the liberals who currently flock to him for photo ops… which makes me wonder, does he ever share the fullness of the Gospel with them?

      • Maggie Sullivan

        The Church stands for Christ and truth…it’s hard to tell what our leaders stand for.

        • Karl Leinfelder

          Hey Maggie, who are you referring to when you write “our leaders”? Your comment is confusing and overly generalized.

      • bonaventure

        Gave you a like, but with a clarification. The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church stands for Everything that is True, Good and Beautiful (i.e., the fullness of the Gospel), but our current leaders (Francis included?) stand for nothing.

      • Do not confuse Church teaching with a pope’s opinions. A pope is not divinely protected from being a fool or hiding heretical beliefs. For example, John XXII didn’t believe that the saints had the beatific vision and his successor, Benedict XII, immediately declared this belief a dogma. Now, John XXII never taught it officially, but I find it hard that it didn’t seep into his homilies. Yet, the Church was protected from this heresy, if not in his time, after it.

        “May his days [in office] be few; may another take his office.” (Ps 109:8)

      • Karl Leinfelder

        Dear Jacob: Alter reading your naïve comment about the Pope and Catholicism, it is quite apparent that you read little or nothing as it relates to the subject that you addressed.

      • Karl Leinfelder

        Hey The Truth, Just a little thought but you could solve your quest for the truth by reading the appropriate literature; and there is plenty of it. Before you speak you should be fortified with the correct information otherwise you are blowing into the wind; no, it is worse than that. You actually are speaking maliciously about an organization that you no so very little about.

    • Ethan

      I wouldn’t go as far as to call Raymond Burke a “heretic”, but prancing around in $30,000 outfits doesn’t exactly send out the message of the gospels. He claims on the one hand that “it requires a certain manly discipline to serve as an altar by”, but in the next breath he complains that “the girls were also very good at altar service.” So do the girls have more “manly discipline” or is it just discipline is not specifically “manly”. Real men are not afraid of girl cooties. Real men can accept that women can be better than they are at certain things. Real men will, like Pope Francis, encourage women and girls to express their gifts within the Church and will want the best for them. Burke is sexist but not a heretic. He just needs to set aside his lacy outfits and man up to the fact that women have talents that need to be allowed to blossom.

      • Speak the Truth

        What are you talking about? When did Jacobhalo call Burke a “heretic”?

        “Lacy” outfit. That’s what they wear, you are a know-nothing liberal Troll, Ethan.

        But liberal troll like yourself likes to promote Anal Sex! Yeah you’re real classy!

        • Ethan

          Why don’t you address the argument instead of throwing meaningless cheap shots. Jacobhalo spoke of “bishops” within the context of Burke complaining about feminization. Try to see beyond your petty prejudices, stereotypes, and all out obsession with anal sex and explain why some men are terrified of women who are good at stuff.

          • Ethan

            Ugh! I put this in the wrong forum. I will repost.

      • Jacobhalo

        how do you know how much Burke’s outfits cost? Burke is a true Catholic, who teaches Catholic teachings, unlike many of Pope Francis’s inner circle.

    • Speak the Truth

      Pope Francis demoted Cardinal Burke, but Cardinal Marx who listens to Kasper is in Pope Francis’ inner 8.

      Peter is not suppose to listen to Judas….but here we are.

    • Marcelus

      wonder who made him bishops…

  • Elaine Steffek

    Wow! Excellent! Cardinal Burke would be so proud of you!

    • GG

      Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

      • MarcAlcan

        Hey, that is brilliant!

  • GG


  • Vinny

    “The bishops…..told Catholics they could decide what to do “in conscience.” Seems the same with the Pope. It seems to me that the Pope and Bishops do not know that a conscience has to be formed with correct teaching and witness. And, that it has to be continual.

    • BXVI

      For them, the individual conscience is paramount, and to tell someone that they must subordinate their own consience (and will) the that of Christ and to the Church’s Magisterium if the want to remain in full communion is anathema. This is the key to understanding Pope Francis. He despises it when the Church supposedly tries to “impose” or “control” peoples’ faith by withholding anything from them for their obdurate refusal to assent to the Church’s teachings.

  • Louise Riccobene

    “But God calls us to more than a self-made happiness in this life. He calls us to holiness, and this always involves heroic sacrifices.” That point is true and succinctly put. If more people could understand and accept this, how much more mentally and emotionally healthy a society we would be. Thanks for the words.

  • Guest

    The Catholic Church in Germany continues to inject Protestant ideas. They have not truly and faithfully followed the teachings of the Church since Vatican II. They want it both ways…they want the money collected in the name in the Catholic Church and prestige, but do not want to do what is honorable and true. You cannot have it both ways. Do not think this is also not prevalent here in the U.S. There are Catholics today who believe they should be able to receive Communion and all Sacraments as their right not a privilege. As we have learned in the years since Vatican II, once this door is opened it is very difficult to close.

  • FrankW

    There is no getting around this one basic fact: if the German bishops get their way, and the Church actually starts permitting civilly divorced and remarried Catholics to partake of the sacraments, then marriage itself can no longer be held up by the Catholic Church as one of the seven sacraments. Marriage is either indissoluble, or it is not.

    The Catholic Church does not exist to conform to the whim of society, and it does not exist to tell us what we want to hear. The Catholic Church exists to preach the truth for the purpose of saving sinners from eternal damnation. It’s about time these dissident clerics started realizing this.

    • gaeliclass

      Frank – truth is — if that happened the German church will be in schism.—

  • John O’Neill

    All those years of dialoguing and ecumenism have paid off; the German bishops finally realized that they are really Lutherans. Just as in America all those years of Vatican II kumbaya have paid off and Dolan and the boys realize that they are really Episcopalians .
    There still remains a remnant Church and it will have to go underground and make way for the new “peace” priests loyal to the New World Order.

  • St JD George

    Beautifully written Marie. Truly I say that there are stiff necked people who want to follow Christ (I presume) if only it weren’t so hard, ie on their terms. Smells to high heaven of spiritual laziness, and in Germany’s case all about a numbers game and tax revenue sharing.

  • BillinJax

    I think we could summarize all of this with the words of Christ when He said “…be ye perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect”

    However, as a happily married husband for over sixty years with a wonderful saintly wife, I have much empathy for those of broken marriages where their spouses have physically or emotionally abandoned them at a stage in life when they are most vulnerable to the stress of living alone and/or often with children left with a single parent.
    ” Nothing moves God more, nothing is as essential to the spiritual life, as when we humbly recognize our brokenness.”
    This notion is something the Church should have years ago woven into our approach to annulment proceedings and the high costs and time associated with the process. How often have we witnessed the wealthy or celebrities quickly transition this abyss so easily into a second or third marriage with the blessings of a Church wedding. There is no doubt that the advent and popularity of the “No Fault” civil divorce was great influence by the fact we made annulments nearly impossible for the average family.
    This still does not excuse the willful choices these folks make in order to satisfy their desire to have a partner for intimacy regardless of the consequences.

    • beriggs

      I am not sure where you live, but in my diocese, the cost of an annulment is quite reasonable, and is waived under economic circumstances. In my experience with people in “irregular situations,” some will use any excuse (money, dislike of paperwork, no time to meet with the priest), to avoid the revisiting of a painful episode of their lives. Some of them suspect that their first marriages were indeed sacramental, and just can’t bear the results of that determination, (so it’s better not to know for sure).

      • BillinJax

        My experience with friends and relatives involved in annulments in years past was that it is more than the drive through you seem to be making of it.

        • beriggs

          I wouldn’t say annulment is a drive through. I know that it is a tough thing to go through the self-examination and the painful memories, not to mention the necessity of involving family and friends as witnesses, and the reaction of the former spouse. I have watched people in RCIA “fade away” because of their inability to face the process, but in our diocese, no one is turned away because they can’t afford it. They are asked to make a donation of a few hundred dollars to cover costs, but again, if that is a hardship, it is waived.

      • gaeliclass

        this is why the answer for these people first of all- is to find or refind their relationship with Christ — and yes (as we do already) to be welcomed into our parish community, assisted, listened to etc…
        – much guidance and pastoral listening is needed.
        To receive the Holy Eucharist unworthily – counts against that person.
        .. and the German Bishops know it!

    • fredx2

      As far as I can determine, the cost of an anulment is about 400.00 in most places. And they almost always will take payments or will waive the fees entirely if you can’t afford it.

      There are no major impediments to getting an anulment.

  • Geoff Kiernan West Australia

    What is it with the German people? Their arrogance is familiar somehow. The have this habit of riding rough shod over what ever their ‘humility’ deems inferior and not in keeping with their superior nature.
    Wait a minute are they not the same arrogant bastards that started two world wars? Now it starts to make sense.

    • Sol

      Nazis, Marx, Friedrich Nietzche, Martin Luther, Kasper, etc.
      Germans’ philosophies have stained our world so much, they made it dirtier & cloudier
      Christ’s Light will shine tho

      • Sol

        I forgot to mention but the only good & humble German has been Pope Benedict

        • MarcAlcan

          Who more than makes up for the grime of the others.

        • Anglicanæ

          Bonhoeffer was a good man.

          • Sol

            Indeed, I greatly admire Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer (& Dietrich was an admirer/ally of Catholicism, according to the bio by Eric Metaxas). I always find his thoughts on conscience & Christian Faith illuminating.
            I also forgot Saint Edith Stein but she could be considered Jewish rather than German.

        • ForChristAlone

          He was from Bavaria…Catholic Bavaria, that is. Or, what once was Catholic Bavaria.

      • Anglicanæ

        You forgot Schleiermacher and Freud and Jung.

        • Sol

          Freud & Jung are also German-speakers but technically one Austrian (Freud) & the other Swiss. Yes, I suppose from the German-speaking world though (as opposed to Spanish/Hispanic, English, or Chinese-speaking worlds)

          • Anglicanæ

            My ignorance. I retract.

    • Louise Riccobene

      St. Hildegard of Bingen, St. Gertrude the Great, St. Mechtilde, St. Edith Stein Charlemagne, St. Bruno, Albertus Magnus, St. Hubert, St. Rupert, Beethoven, Gutenberg (of Gutenberg Bible fame). You and Sol need “Christ’s light” (see Sol’s comment below) to shine on your intelligence.

      Wars are the fruit of sin, and not that alone of the Germans. West Australians might even commit an occasional one.

      • Geoff Kiernan West Australia

        Louise: Are you being deliberately obscure? Please, try and say precisely what you mean.. You may be inferring that those you have mentioned are great people and you may well be right. Does that however mean the German people have not been at the centre of two world wars, both occasions trying to impose themselves on others?

        • Louise Riccobene

          I thought I was being pretty obvious. I will do my best to be more precise: I think both you and Sol perpetrated an ethnic slur on all Germans (with the exception of Pope Benedict.) I find blanket generalizing lazy. I thought I would trot out a few famous names you would recognize as people who did not suffer from the “arrogance” and “superior nature” you assigned to every German but Pope Benedict. I implied (not inferred) that the Germans I named were great, as they were. I did not state Germany was NOT the center of two world wars, they were; but do not be too hasty to assign all blame to the aggressors of war. Our Lady of Fatima was pretty clear about war being the punishment for sin. Not just German sin, but my sin and your sin too. Hope that clears up any questions you may have about what I was trying to say.

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    Those who, at great cost and suffering, have obeyed Mother Church for centuries (on marriage) can be made irrelevant fools just as Pope Francis mocked and made fools of those who say the Rosary and presented him a spiritual bouquet. This is the Church in the 21st century?

  • russ

    Why is it the Church wastes away where it has become a heretical, inauthentic garment, no matter how gaudy? Why then to shepherds of these flocks attempt to improve things by sewing on a few more bangles and sequins? Great post!

  • John Mainhart

    More of the same in our modern world. We want what God does not permit and when we take it we do not want the suffering that accompanies it. There is no true love without suffering so no matter what choice you make if it is in keeping with the love of God then it is accompanied with the suffering that gains great graces in order to, save more souls. If your choices are not in keeping with the love of God there will be suffering that gains no graces for that suffering is permitted by our Savior so we understand that we have offended God and need to come back to Him. God love you all..

  • MarcAlcan

    the exclusion of the divorced and remarried from the sacraments was “no longer comprehensible,” even to many priests who therefore disregard Church directives, and that it is a “test of the Church’s credibility” to many faithful

    And this state of affairs has resulted in the emptying of our coffers and the only remedy is the jettisoning of Church doctrine so that once again the till will start ringing.

  • Bruno

    I know of no National Conference of Bishops doing a good job. Indeed they have proved to be many times a center of subtle and persistent perversion of the Church’s mission.

    Shouldn’t those organizations be done away with?

  • Florian

    Jan. 19th…If there are those in second or third marriages who are really suffering intensely because they cannot receive the Eucharist then they can live chastely – so many have made sacrifices for things that they wanted whether for an education or a job – or for someone they love…mothers have given their lives for their unborn babies by refusing chemotherapy treatments for cancer. If someone really longs to receive Christ in the Eucharist and if this longing is real, show it by the sacrifices you are willing to make in order to be permitted to receive the Eucharist.

    • BXVI

      You are absolutely correct. But this is precisely what Pope Francis despises more than anything. He is viscerally disgusted by anyone who would make any “demand” upon someone as a precondition to sharing fully in the life of the Church – including the Sacraments. He sees it as unmerciful, Pharisaical, and repeatedly preaches that priests who “block access” to the sacraments are at heart evil people. He sees the Eucharist as “medicine” for the sick. In other words, the worst sinners are the ones who need it most and it should be given them. This attitude is, of course, directly at odds with the Church’s positon throughout history, and with the Bible. Read 1 Cor 5; do you think St. Paul would have permitted the man practicing incest to participate at the Lord’s table? No.

      • Marcelus

        Do you talk often with Francis? you seem to know what others do not.

    • gaeliclass

      absolutely right!!!
      And this is what our Church teaches (i.e. the True Church of Christ which Jesus gave His Most Holy Body and Blood for….)… Noone can destroy it – they can try (as the German Bishops but to their own demise.. God will not be mocked)

  • BXVI

    This issue has been decided already by Pope Francis in favor of the German Bishops’ position. We are now just going through the motions to get through the synod so that he can announce it. It’s done. We lost. Only something unmentionable can stop this, and I am not willing to hope for that. We need to start thinking about the implications for our faith and how we are going to deal with this once it has happened. Anyone who sees this differently is simply not reading the signs.

    • Doyle

      Pretty sure the Holy Spirit has power to spare and power to trump them. They’ll be a lot of yelling and confusion but dogma will not change. This could go the way of birth control, but the Church will not proclaim error (at least officially)

      • Let us all pray for Pope Francis:
        “May his days be few;
        may another take his office.”
        (Ps 109:8)

        • Marcelus

          disgusting. And he will be around long enough for you to enjoy

  • BXVI

    If the Pope really wanted to do something, he would forbid the German Church from collecting the Church tax and force them to go on donations alone.

    • Marcelus

      as this did not start on 13/3/13, what do you think ketp Benedict from doing it? and the other popes?

      • GG

        Good question, but they are gone and this Pope is a reformer so he should have no trouble taking them down.

        • Marcelus

          Bumerang. Always back to PF

  • PiccoloFiori

    Heresy for the sake of greed and false empathy. Again.

  • bonaventure

    I miss Benedict XVI…

    • Enoch14

      Sorry to disappoint you. They are birds of the same feather. Look closer and you will see what I mean.

  • gaeliclass

    The German Bishops are causing a schism in the Catholic Church – there is no doubt …
    We should all ask the German Bishops starting with the most leftist of all Cardinal Kaspar why St. John Paul II’s ground breaking family Encyclical “Familiaris Consortio” was never even quoted at the Synod meeting: Why was Scripture left out and the teaching in the Catholic Catechism..??? Why ? Even Protestants are asking this question!

    The German Bishops headed by Cardinal Kasper, and German Theologians including non Catholic theologians (execomunicated) Gregory Baum – (Canada) – and others – are leading the pack!
    They are creating heresy and they know it…=
    Time for the Catholic Laity to fight for the Church Jesus gave His Most Holy Body and Blood for !! and if needed – yes give our lives like the great ST.Thomas More, St. John Fisher – who refused to bow down to the King.

  • John Hiner

    The author or editor of this article seems to be on the side of confusion. I refer to this sentence: “They say that the exclusion of the divorced and remarried from the sacraments was ‘no longer comprehensible,’ even to many priests who therefore disregard Church directives, and that it is a ‘test of the Church’s credibility’ to many faithful (p. 47, 59).” This is typical of sentences that I have scratched my head over in other articles about this topic. My difficulty is with the final word, “faithful.”

    In what sense are the people in question “faithful”? They are not faithful to Christ. They are not faithful to their wedding vows. They are not faithful to God’s plan for families. Why use this word?

    How could the members of the Church and the world generally be other than confused, when we cannot bear to call a sinner unfaithful – but rather go out of our way to (mindlessly?) refer to him as “faithful” rather than the half dozen or so other words which could be chosen?

    The people who are unworthy of Holy Communion are not faithful, the guilty bishops are wrong not to tell them so, this article is wrong to refer to them so.

    John Hiner

  • ssoldie

    The fruits of Vatican II just keep coming and coming, and coming.

    • I KNOW! I haven’t heard this much wailing and gnashing of teeth since John XXIII.

  • Chris in Maryland

    Such Bishops as Cardinal Kasper work for the state, and for mammon. Period. May they be defeated by St. Michael.

  • Ethiopic Transtional deacon

    May God bless you for speaking up for truth in charity and I belive it is through our relationship with our Blessed Mother can priests realize their calling to be faithful to Christ even unto martyrdom

  • Harry

    The contemporary situation is indeed very troubling for orthodox Catholics. The signs of the times seem to indicate that ominous, unthinkable events are on the horizon. Christ, knowing that the time had come for events to take place that would cause the sheep of His flock to be scattered, exhorted His disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me.” (Jn 14:1) We must still do that, and remain prepared to meet the bridegroom when He comes.

    Origen on the parable of the ten bridesmaids: “They that believe rightly, and live righteously, are likened to the five wise; they that profess the faith of Jesus, but prepare themselves not by good works to salvation, are likened to the five foolish.” Persisting in “good works to salvation” — living out the faith we profess — is still the best way to be prepared for whatever comes, which may be abominations that amount to direct assaults on the ancient faith of the Church, or may be the coming of the bridegroom, or may be both, one followed by the other.

    Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. Trust in Jesus. Prepare yourselves “by good works to salvation.” And rejoice always, which inspires others to trust and to prepare.

    Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

    — Rev 22:20

  • Jacqueleen

    This article was most informative. Thank you.

    Pope Benedict XVI had said that many men become priests for all the wrong reasons…Germany is a prime example of this statement! Jesus said (paraphrased) “Pick up your cross, not your assets and bank accounts and follow me!” Shame on the liberal German clergy. Was not the Illuminati founded in Germany?

    I have known for some time now that the German Seminaries were teaching immoral acts as perfectly okay for priests..Confusion? You bet! Speak about Satan’s infiltration into the priesthood, this is purely demonic and it should not surprise us that the liberal German bishops are all for going against the Word of God! Lord have mercy on them and on us!

  • WRBaker

    What the Germans couldn’t quite accomplish during Vatican II, they are trying to do now (with a little Liberation Theology thrown in to help bring the pope around).

  • Captain America

    Interesting to me, one of the large reasons a Baptist friend of mine admires the Catholic church is it’s stance toward divorce.

    My gut notion here—unsupported by facts either way—is that the German bishops feel that their livelihood — the state church tax — will be in jeopardy unless they make a show of this issue.

  • jacobum

    The Modernist Cabal are on full display and decked out in the living colors of the Rainbow Boys. “Save Souls!?…”Hell No!”….”It’s all about the money honey” as in “Keep those taxes coming”, Don’t ya know these empty Cathedrals and Churches are muy expensive to keep up. Tell you what. Here’s the deal…(1) We will pretend to be Cardinals, Bishops and Clergy and you pretend to be “Catholics”; (2) Attendance is not required but your taxes are mandatory; (3) Don’t bother us; (4) We’ll meet you in hell. Amen.

  • Ethan

    Personally I’d like to see everyone be allowed to participate in the Eucharist, even non-Catholics. We are all sinners. Who is to decide which of us is to be punished more or less than others? As Pope Francis says, “The Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.”

    • GG

      Where on earth do you get that from?

      • Ethan

        Evangelii Gaudium.

        • Does it say anything about the obstinately impenitent?

          • GG

            And it does not say open communion is licit.

          • Ethan

            Do you have something on your conscience?

            • Not at the minute and never with regard to the subject at hand. You?

        • GG

          Huh? It says communion is for everyone regardless of personal state? You are advocating open communion which is contrary to Truth and mercy. That is not found in that document or any magisterial teaching. None.

    • michael susce

      And the sacrament of reconciliation is also not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.

    • ForChristAlone

      Alas, this does seem more like yet another example of the protestant wing of the Church spinning the Pope’s remarks for their own agenda.

  • Stephen Hitchings

    I’m sure we’re all familiar with Mt 18:6: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

    So what happens to shepherds who lead whole countries astray?

    Obviously this directive will have to be outlawed, but how much damage to souls will be done in the meantime?

    • The same can be said about Francis. Fr Longnecker and other priests have reported about couples in irregular situation approaching them with the notion that Francis has changed the rules, but leave disappointed and angry at the priest for betraying the pope. I’m sure that they can find a priest who agrees with the new “rules” at the next parish.

  • ron a.

    These same bishops, no doubt, would have been very EMPATHETIC watching Adam and Eve walk out of the Garden of Eden. But it was God’s will. HIS will, not theirs’, is Supreme.

  • The real question for Germany. Haven’t you given the world enough misery?

  • joycelen

    St. John the Baptist was decrying a situation of adultery long before Jesus talked about marriage. Jews did allow divorce -at the expense of the woman-but there was clear cut adultery in Herod taking away his brothers wife. Please notice the distinction. This comment is neither in support or criticism of the German Bishops as I do not know their stance that well. But I do know the Bible and the sociological realities of that day. It does not seem honest to use St John Baptist to criticize the Germans, as the marriage and divorce issue that the Church must grapple with sometimes involves people who have lost their marriage because of the adultery of the spouse. Apples and Pears.

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      “there was clear cut adultery in Herod taking away his brothers wife”

      Such a marriage is expressly prohibited as incest in Leviticus 18:16 “Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother’s wife: because it is the nakedness of thy brother.” Even marriage with a brother’s widow was included

      • Enoch14

        What about levirate marriages?

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          Marriage with a brother’s widow was forbidden as a general rule (Lev. xviii. 16, xx. 21), but was regarded as obligatory (Deut. xxv. 56) when there was no male issue, and when the two brothers had been dwelling on the same family estate. The surviving brother could evade the obligation by the ceremony of Ḥaliẓah

          Endless disputes about it can be found in the Talmud and the Samaritans and Karaites applied it only in the case of a woman betrothed, but not married, to the deceased.

          • Enoch14

            It can be found in the Book of Tobias. And even our Lord and the Sadducees alluded to it in the debate about life after death.

  • ForChristAlone

    The Germans have not lost their sense of superiority and aggressiveness. It’s in their blood to push themselves on others. Ever been to Europe and cue up with Germans in line? They’ll push, shove and crush your feet to move a few inches ahead of you. Benedict should have taken care of the Church’s German problem.

  • ForChristAlone

    On Sunday, our illustrious Pope mocked Catholics who have more than 2.1 children by referring to the Church not requiring Catholics to “breed like rabbits.” I think he ought to apologize for his insensitive and crude remark. Does he have any idea how Catholic families who have 6, 7,, 8, or more children might feel about this comment? Yet another of his great “back of the plane” interviews where he comes off as an idiot.

    • Can I punch Francis now or later?

    • Harry

      I grew up in a German Catholic farm town thinking I came from a small family. I only had eight siblings. Families with twelve children or more were common. These Catholic families were raised by parents who worked hard, prayed hard and played hard, who lived out their faith, who proclaimed loudly and clearly what was of eternal significance and what was not really all that important. They didn’t do this with words, but by living according to the Truth. For example, instead of having only two children who they could afford to dress in obscenely expensive clothes, they had many children who occasionally wore jeans with a patch on the knee. Did that mean these people were breeding “like rabbits” after their third or fourth child? Not at all. Their lives were actually a testimony to the truths of the Catholic faith and to Catholic values, not a demonstration of irresponsibility.

      Contemporary society has utterly rejected God’s plan for human sexuality. The world’s resistance to it is so vehement that far from just scoffing at God’s command to “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth,” it has brutally taken the lives of billions of unborn children worldwide. Responding to this, the greatest holocaust of innocent human life in the history of the world, in a manner commensurate with the dignity of Christ in these the least of His brethren who are being dismembered and disemboweled by the thousands daily, is an unnecessary “obsession” according to Francis.

      Catholics who strive to be faithful to the divine plan the world opposes with such lethal violence are now told by the Pope they are irresponsibly breeding “like rabbits”? That’s not what he meant? What does he mean? Does that irresponsibility begin with the fifth child? The sixth? Anything beyond two children? Who knows? He never clarifies his ambiguous, headline-making remarks after they have been spun by media hostile to traditional morality regarding human sexuality, and spun by the perpetrators of the contemporary holocaust. How can he not know by now the damage his off-the-cuff remarks have done and continue to do?

      The Pope needs to just shut up unless he is going to read prepared remarks that have been approved by some clerics with a modicum of common sense and an appreciation of the struggles of those striving to live according to the truths of the faith in opposition to a world that is blatantly and violently hostile to them.

      Yes, he occasionally makes some orthodox statements. Good for him. His is the Pope, after all. JP II and Benedict XVI also made orthodox statements, but they managed to avoid making remarks that gave ammunition to the enemies of the human race and of the Church. Is that too much to ask of Francis? Is there anyone near the Pope, who has his confidence, who can tell him to just shut up until he finds the time to read, say, JP II’s Evangelium Vitae and let it sink in? Far from referring to resistance to the contemporary holocaust as an unnecessary obsession, JP II declared in this encyclical that we are obligated practice civil disobedience in our resistance to it if it comes to that. And I don’t recall any remarks in Evangelium Vitae about big Catholic families breeding “like rabbits.”

    • Marcelus

      Did you read his lines?? before he made the comment he asked to be excused for using this line and he was refering to a pregnant mother of 7 , risking her life and also leaving these 7 as orphans if she kept that up. He went on to explain that the Church has council and natural methods available.

      • Harry

        The Pope has insulted every big Catholic family in the world. Yet they are used to the world’s insults and scorn. They know God has given them treasures of inestimable value in their children, and nothing they could have obtained by limiting the size of their family could replace any of them. These families are tough; they have learned well that the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and that there are few who find it. They have found it, and will remain on it unto eternal life, notwithstanding the Pope’s callous remarks.

      • ForChristAlone

        Nice try; no cigar.

        And if he asked to be excused for “using this line”, he should have had the presence of mind not to have made the comment in the first place. A real leader would have learned from the debacle at the back of the plane on the return flight from South America for WYD. A prudent man would have said to himself: “It’s not too smart of me to give off-the-cuff plane interviews after a grueling stretch of days pastoring 6 million people.”

        Does the Holy Father not realize that Catholics with 8 children routinely have abuse heaped on them even by Catholics who make remarks like “Do you know where children come from?” Now the Pope refers to the procreation of children as “breeding.”

        For God’s sake, this man is head of the billion member Catholic church, not the leader of a crocheting group of women (with apologies to women who crochet).

    • SnowCherryBlossoms

      I heard what he actually said and he never used the word “breed” so unless it was actually removed technically, he did not say that.

  • Too many Germans have stopped paying the kirschensteuer (church tax), and the bishops are in a panic mode about it. They somehow think that by being accommodating to secular culture, they’ll stop alienating nominal German Catholics. Such accommodation, however, will weaken the Church in Germany. Just look at what’s happened to the shrinking mainline protestant denominations.

  • EJ

    Pretty disturbing direction many of the comments, and their authors, are going in. For a second I wondered if I had wandered off onto Rorate Caeli here…We are not Protestants. PRAY for the Holy Father, at least for every utterance in critique or condemnation of him, beg the Holy Spirit to guide and assist him. And in the meantime let us not presume to be more Catholic than the Pope. Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia.

    • Harry

      “Is the Pope Catholic?”

      At one time that expression was used to respond to questioning about one’s absolute certainty about something. It is taking on a new meaning. One might reply with “Is the Pope Catholic?” to convey that one can’t really be sure about something.

    • GG

      Rorate is a great site. Too Catholic for you?

  • SnowCherryBlossoms

    And now-again- today, the offended Germans are throwing chaste rabbits at the Pope… Never ends. I, for one, am sick to death of people being willfully obtuse over every single thing the Pope says. I have no problems with him at all.

    • GG

      Comparing the marital act to rabbits is unfortunate. I am being kind.

      • SnowCherryBlossoms

        I understood what he meant.


          Crudeness is the issue.

        • ForChristAlone

          The Holy Father must not agree with you. Today, he has backed away from his comment.

          • SnowCherryBlossoms

            I haven’t had a chance to read anything about this yet.

  • Fargo106

    Why does a country smaller than Montana, with 5 archdioceses
    and 18 dioceses somehow have 66 bishops? This seems incredibly
    disproportionate. I know they have about 25 million Catholics, but this still
    seems out of whack.

    • ForChristAlone

      and of the 25 million “Catholics” what percent attend Mass weekly? Maybe 2%?

      • Karl Leinfelder

        It would be interesting to know where you derived that number of 25 million. Would you mind citing a reference?

        • ForChristAlone

          I took at face value the number cited by Fargo. I presume he was referring to Germany.



  • ForChristAlone

    It was predictable: The Pope’s spokesman at the Vatican is backing off the original comment the Holy Father made about Catholics not expected to be like rabbits. (My guess is that the hares protested loudly about being compared to humans)

  • JustAnOldBear

    To the bishops of Germany (including Cardinal Kasper): Are you just going along to get along? You better be darn sure of yourselves. Judgement is harsher on those who should know better and to those who lead others astray.

  • JustAnOldBear

    To All of the Bishops in Germany:

    Temptations to Sin. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)

    • Karl Leinfelder

      Hey Just, That is a great quotation and quite true. What sin are you apparently accusing the German bishops of?

  • Jdonnell

    To argue in response to the German bishops, “if Christ shared meals with tax collectors and prostitutes, should we not allow the divorced and remarried to receive Communion as well (66)?” by responding “That Christ was simply sharing a meal with the former, but not giving them the Eucharist, is ignored,” ludicrous but typical of this article’s manner. Jesus, of course, was arrested shortly after the Last Supper. By bringing in the matter of communion, one might also add that Jesus invited no women to the Last Supper and gave communion to no women. Presumably, the author of this article does not follow that precedent. The culture of the present renders many marriages unsustainable. As Kasper writes, “Mercy is God’s justice,” a view that is seldom expressed by writers for Crisis.

  • LongIslandMichael

    So in the German Bishop’s minds and actions divorce is not a reason to withhold Sacraments, but failure to pay the Church tax is?

    Martin Luther was more of a Catholic than these “pastors.”

  • Mary Alice Rossini

    There is a harshness about your article that is not what the Church teaches. There is no comparison between John the Baptist telling King Herod he cannot marry his brother’s wife which was done out of greed and lust. Then what the Bishops are stating. No one is negating John the Baptist here….The divorced cannot be put into one category. There are many reasons that people cannot and in some cases should not stay together (unfortunately) but we live in a broken world and the world has to mend…..The German Bishops, as I read in your article, are not stating a general, unrepentent absolution should be given to everyone, but “Re-admission to the sacraments should therefore be permitted in individual, specifically delineated cases.” Where are you getting your harshness from? Jesus came for the sinners, not the self-righteous. If the Bishops are receiving the discernment to show mercy, who are we to judge. We have to trust in our Bishops and that the Holy Spirit is giving them discernment.

  • geraldine clark

    I believe that you have managed to write the truth in a clear, respectful manner, without malice. Thank you. It’s not easy for any of us.
    So many events of late highlight how deep the divide is within our church. I know that we have been here many times before.
    Perhaps God is allowing those groups who want Him to modernize His Church, to experience for themselves the chaos which results. To come to realize that He is outside of our time. We who find all of this so sad and difficult will find it even harder to remember that they are also loved by Him.

  • geraldine clark

    clarification for below ..Last sentence was a reflection on myself. Should have written “may well find it even ” to make it a more general possibility! Plan to read all of your articles. Thanks.