So reported Matteo Matzuzzi for Il Foglio - Matzuzzi's title is indeed very "Lutheran"...
The German Bishops have their “theses” ready to nail to the door of the Synod
Il FoglioSeptember 17, 2014
The theses from the theologian chosen by the Pope which will open the consistory discussions on the themes at the biennial Synod, now just around the corner, are shared and supported by the majority in the German Episcopate.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, explained this during a round- table on Dialogue in the Church, which took place last week in Magdeburg.
Cardinal Marx, who has been Head of the Bishops’ Conference for a few months now, is moving rapidly up in the Vatican, where he is also a member of the group of nine Cardinals who are studying the reform of the Curia. He is also the coordinator of the Council for Economy.
The group who are in favor of up-dating family pastoral care on all of those” unheard of situations until only a few years ago” and which were discussed in 1980, even if only marginally, at John Paul II’s Synod on the Family, wanted to say this directly to Cardinal Ludwig Muller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The meeting was “cordiale” and the atmosphere “was good”, Marx stressed, adding that the head of the delegation was the Bishop of Osnabruck, Monsignor Franz-Josef Bode.
Cardinal Muller for some time now has expressed opposing positions in respect to those of Kasper, and in July, published the book–interview “The Hope of the Family” (Edizioni Ares) where he reiterated that since “mercy is the fulfillment of justice” it “must never be used as an excuse to suspend or render the commandments and the sacraments invalid. Otherwise – noted the head of the ex-Holy Office – we would be seriously manipulating authentic mercy”.
Cardinal Marx also revealed that as soon as the synod talks arrive at the main subject, he, himself, as president of the local Bishops Conference, would be the one to bring a document to the assembly that would clarify the position of the majority of German Bishops who will have all their names signed at the bottom. A position that would follow the lines traced by Kasper in his long theological report exposed to the Cardinals last February and which he had made as an overture to the frank and open debate wanted by the Pope.
“We cannot be a Church of mission if we don’t maintain critical and open dialogue inside the Church itself.” added Marx at Magdeburg. The most delicate matter, the cardinal explained, is the re-approaching of the divorced and remarried to the Eucharist and the consideration to give to the many, coming from a failed marriage, who ask to be admitted anew to Communion. This matter “will not only be discussed here in Germany, but in almost all the Episcopal Conferences in Europe”, stressed the prelate to the participants at the round-table, among whom were thirty or so bishops.
The Archbishop of Munich, shortly after the consistory last winter, had hoped that the debate would be made public, with theologians and lay-people discussing the family and all its related problems, which from October and for the next two years would be studied in the new Aula by the Synod Fathers, the experts and the auditors.
The representatives of the progressive movement “We are Church” said they were very enthusiastic. Its longtime leaders Martha Heizer and her husband were excommunicated some months ago because they had celebrated the Eucharist in their living-room – “We have been doing it for years, we wanted to show that there was a solution to the problem of the scarcity of priests in Christian communities”, the Austrian ex-teacher had said, justifying it.
Cardinal Marx’s words then, are rather pleasing to the movement, provided that they are not only on paper: “Only a rapid, captivating, human-centered reform can contribute to fill the abyss that separates the traditional doctrine of the Church from the reality of faithful Catholics regarding sexual morality.”
[Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana]