Rorate Caeli

Hamburg Archbishop: "People Live Together in Manifold Ways!" / Plus: The German Strategy for the Synod - and another "Liberal" Shadow Synod, now in September [Official Website of the German Bishops' Conference]
August 1, 2005

On Marriage and the Family : “We Have to See the Manifold Ways of How People Live Together” - Archbishop Heße Calls For More Realism in the Moral Teaching on Sexuality

The Archbishop of Hamburg, Stefan Heße, has called upon his Church to have more realism with regard to the moral teaching on sexuality. “We have to look upon the manifold ways and forms of living in which people live, as they now exist,” said the 48-year old to the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger  on Saturday. He, “of course,” also sees “same-sex couples entering the Metropolitan Cathedral of Hamburg, and nobody asking them to leave.”

Even though he is still somewhat hesitant concerning the “homo-marriage,” Heße also says: “But when these people seek to be close to us, then we as Church are there for them. What else?” The Church has to cherish it when in homosexual relationships there are to be found values such as fidelity and reliability. “In my eyes, this does not minimize the love and fidelity between two people,” according to Heße. He also wishes for the remarried divorcees “livable forms for the Church's recognition and accompaniment,” without thereby giving up the ideal of marriage.

Heße also defended the reform of the Church's Labor Law. “Otherwise, we could not keep going, because we could not find enough qualified employees, in order to be able to run our institutions,” said Heße; and he criticized the attitude of some of the Bavarian bishops who are hesitating to implement the reformed Labor Law. “I ask myself, what kind of image of the Church stands behind this? Do we want to be a Church which has her place in the middle of the world? Then, we have to be close to the life of the people, and we have to try to take along as many as possible. Or do we want, so to speak, a 'Church of the Pure,' without existential difficulties and disruptions? That indeed would then be a small, a very small crowd [sic] which only would have very few points of contact with its surrounding,” according to the Archbishop.
[...] [Source]


Mathias von Gersdorff is a German Traditional Catholic author and commentator. He has written two posts in his personal blog explaining the strategy of "Liberal" Catholics in Germany for the forthcoming Synod.

The Double Strategy of German Left-Wing Catholicism
Mathias von Gersdorff
August 4, 2015

Since the end of 2013, left-wing Catholic theologians and organizations have spread forth into the public, and with new strength and decisiveness, their old positions: erosion of the moral teaching on sexuality; new assessments of homosexuality; moral indifference toward the use of artificial contraception; acceptance of extramarital sexual commerce; positive assessments of non-marital partnerships, and so on.

These theologians and these organizations, such as “We Are Church” [Wir sind Kirche, a liberal Catholic organization in Germany] or the “Central Committee of German Catholics” lead now finally a campaign of protest more directly against the Catholic Magisterium. They wish to have a non-binding Magisterium and a devaluation of the priesthood as such, in order thereby to democratize the Church. 
That these claims are in opposition to the binding treasure [deposit and heritage] of the Faith of the Church does not count in their eyes. They, in effect, want to found a new church. Normally, the Church's authority should declare publicly that these kinds of demands are not Catholic.

Prior to the [October 2015] Synod on the Family, it has become clear that also some bishops are making public claims which are not in accordance with the teaching of the Church. That pertains especially to the admittance of remarried divorcees to Holy Communion, as well as to a certain acceptance of homosexual ways of life and partnerships.

This struggle against the Catholic Magisterium is only one of two strategies which German Left-Wing Catholicism uses in order to reach its vision of a new church.

This openly “combative” strategy, however, has two important disadvantages: first, it always causes immediately a counter-reaction; and secondly, it has always presented the image of a German “Sonderweg” [separate path] which stands in conflict with the Universal Church.

This is also the case with what one has been able to witness during the last few weeks: there was always a resistance against the more arrogant demands coming from Germany to weaken and raze the Church's teaching on marriage, family and sexuality. The African Bishops have even already announced their intended resistance at the Family Synod in the Fall of 2015, should the German delegation actually try to implement its abstruse ideas.

The Left-Wing Catholicism also, therefore, has a second strategy: One has to take into account the real life conditions. The “societal realities,” after all, have changed.

That is at least how the new Archbishop of Hamburg, Stefan Heße, has recently argued. According to, he said: “We have to look upon the diversity of forms of life that are out there, after all.” Concerning the new Church Labor Law – which does not anymore automatically prescribe the termination of contract in the case of a remarriage after a divorce, or in the case of someone's entering into a homosexual partnership, or in the case of someone's leaving the Church – Archbishop Heße has said: “Otherwise, we could not keep going, because we would not have enough qualified employees in order to be able to run our institutions.”

In similar fashion, the director of the Caritas in the diocese of Munich, Hans Lindenberger, has spoken – after a lesbian head of a Day Care Center of Caritas in upper Bavaria, in Holzkirchen, has been permitted now still to keep its position. She had entered into civil union with another woman.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung, moreover, wrote about this: “Prelate Lindenberger showed himself to be relieved about the continuation of the working relationship. The head of the Day Care Center had been always loyal to her employer, and she had never given any cause for scandal.” Obviously, the prelate does not have a feeling for the seriousness of this case: toward the outside, the message is sent that the (German) Catholic Church has changed her attitude toward practiced homosexuality.

In the wake of this development, the Catholic Shooting Association with its approximately 300,000 members follows also along : “The association is following the new Church's Labor Law, according to which a remarriage or a [homosexual] civil union has consequences only any more in serious cases,” according to the “Catholic News Agency [Katholische Nachrichtenagentur] KNA.”

Obviously, in numerous German dioceses, the dissolution of the Catholic Church is being promoted, step by step. One does not need to be an expert in calculus in order to be able to grasp that the boundaries of this strategy aim at the end of Catholic life.

The new Church's Labor Law is the ideal instrument to use, in order to deracinate [and sever] the Catholic Church in Germany from her past. The new Labor Law does not know any automatic  procedures. Each case has to be decided upon individually, whether an employee who finds himself in an irregular situation is still employable

In “Conservative” Dioceses, they more or less want to follow the old rules, while “liberal” dioceses will even openly promote homosexuals and the remarried in order to gain the image of being modern. Three dioceses, Passau, Regensburg, and Eichstätt, do not at all want to implement the new Church Labor Law.

Left-Wing Catholicism has always avoided to mix these two strategies.

A connection between these two strategies could likely turn out to be explosive: If, one day, a theological justification would become necessary, in order for them to preserve such an unorthodox practice, it would then come to be a heresy and thus lead to a schism in the Church. In such a situation, the protagonists and the agitators could quickly become the hunted ones: also Henry VIII and Martin Luther did not intend to provoke a schism at the beginning, but, one day, they were not any more the masters of the situation...


Family Synod: Marx & Company Receive Rear Cover
Mathias von Gersdorff
August 5, 2015

The ragged and isolated German delegation for the [October 2015] Synod of Bishops – most probably also the most liberal one in the whole world – receives now further support by liberal bishops, namely by those who are less damaged [tainted] in the eyes of the public.

The Bishop of Leiria–Fátima, António Marto, has now professed himself to be a follower of Kasper.

With it, he entered into a polemic with the Patriarch of Lisbon, Cardinal Manuel Clemente, at a gathering of the Portuguese Bishops' Conference convening at the end of July. According to press releases (, Cardinal Clemente was finally able to impose his own position. Nevertheless, it was noted with astonishment just how much the Portuguese Episcopate finds itself to be divided when it comes to the question of the remarried divorcees.

In the meantime, the liberal camp prepares another conference in Rome, to be held on 10-12 September 2015, and which is to deal with the themes of the Family Synod of this Fall.

However, this time, it is not organized by the Germans, the Swiss, and the French. They had already convoked and hosted a similar conference at the end of May 2015, which had caused noticeable irritations. One even considered it to be a “Shadow Synod” and a “Secret Gathering” with the intent to plan the liberal agenda of the Synod in the Fall of 2015 in Rome. Indeed, there spoke some of the sharpest opponents of the Catholic teaching on marriage and the family.

The most important Man of the Church at the September 2015 conference will be Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In spite of his Latin-American origin, Cardinal Maradiaga represents a strongly liberal position.

Numerous speakers defend the abstruse positions of Cardinal Walter Kasper, such as, for example, the German theologian Eberhard Schockenhoff. The conference is being organized by the “International Academy for Marital Spirituality” (, a clearly liberal institution.

The intention of these new initiatives and statements is arguably to remove the Germans out of the line of fire. With their attacks against the Catholic teaching and their partially arrogant advances, the Germans had provoked international resistance and maneuvered themselves into isolation.

[Translations kindly provided by Maike Hickson.]