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At individual points it becomes suddenly apparent that what is evil and destroys man has become a matter of course. That is the case with pedophilia. It was theorized only a short time ago as quite legitimate, but it has spread further and further. And now we realize with shock that things are happening to our children and young people that threaten to destroy them. The fact that this could also spread in the Church and among priests ought to disturb us in particular. Why did pedophilia reach such proportions? Ultimately, the reason is the absence of God. We Christians and priests also prefer not to talk about God, because this speech does not seem to be practical.

After the upheaval of the Second World War, we in Germany had still expressly placed our Constitution under the responsibility to God as a guiding principle. Half a century later, it was no longer possible to include responsibility to God as a guiding principle in the European constitution. God is regarded as the party concern of a small group and can no longer stand as the guiding principle for the community as a whole. This decision reflects the situation in the West, where God has become the private affair of a minority. A paramount task, which must result from the moral upheavals of our time, is that we ourselves once again begin to live by God and unto Him.

Above all, we ourselves must learn again to recognize God as the foundation of our life instead of leaving Him aside as a somehow ineffective phrase. I will never forget the warning that the great theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar once wrote to me on one of his letter cards. Indeed, in theology God is often taken for granted as a matter of course, but concretely one does not deal with Him. The theme of God seems so unreal, so far removed from the things that concern us. And yet everything becomes different if one does not presuppose but present God.

Not somehow leaving Him in the background, but recognizing Him as the center of our thoughts, words and actions. Man as His creature is so close to His heart that He has united himself with him and has thus entered human history in a very practical way. He speaks with us, He lives with us, He suffers with us and He took death upon Himself for us. We talk about this in detail in theology, with learned words and thoughts. But it is precisely in this way that we run the risk of becoming masters of faith instead of being renewed and mastered by the Faith.

Let us consider this with regard to a central issue, the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Our handling of the Eucharist can only arouse concern. In part, this really has come about, and we should be most grateful to the Lord for it. And yet a rather different attitude is prevalent. The declining participation in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration shows how little we Christians of today still know about appreciating the greatness of the gift that consists in His Real Presence. The Eucharist is devalued into a mere ceremonial gesture when it is taken for granted that courtesy requires Him to be offered at family celebrations or on occasions such as weddings and funerals to all those invited for family reasons.

The way people often simply receive the Holy Sacrament in communion as a matter of course shows that many see communion as a purely ceremonial gesture. Therefore, when thinking about what action is required first and foremost, it is rather obvious that we do not need another Church of our own design.

Rather, what is required first and foremost is the renewal of the Faith in the Reality of Jesus Christ given to us in the Blessed Sacrament. In conversations with victims of pedophilia, I have been made acutely aware of this first and foremost requirement. It is obvious that this woman can no longer hear the very words of consecration without experiencing again all the horrific distress of her abuse.

Yes, we must urgently implore the Lord for forgiveness, and first and foremost we must swear by Him and ask Him to teach us all anew to understand the greatness of His suffering, His sacrifice. And we must do all we can to protect the gift of the Holy Eucharist from abuse.

Indeed, the Church today is widely regarded as just some kind of political apparatus. One speaks of it almost exclusively in political categories, and this applies even to bishops, who formulate their conception of the church of tomorrow almost exclusively in political terms.

The crisis, caused by the many cases of clerical abuse, urges us to regard the Church as something almost unacceptable, which we must now take into our own hands and redesign. But a self-made Church cannot constitute hope. Jesus Himself compared the Church to a fishing net in which good and bad fish are ultimately separated by God Himself.

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Will Pope Francis Cause a Schism in the Catholic Church? | The New Yorker

And at all times, there are not only the weeds and the evil fish, but also the crops of God and the good fish. To proclaim both with emphasis is not a false form of apologetics, but a necessary service to the Truth. In this context it is necessary to refer to an important text in the Revelation of St. The devil is identified as the accuser who accuses our brothers before God day and night Revelation In that book, the devil sought to talk down the righteousness of Job before God as being merely external.

And exactly this is what the Apocalypse has to say: The devil wants to prove that there are no righteous people; that all righteousness of people is only displayed on the outside. If one could hew closer to a person, then the appearance of his justice would quickly fall away. The narrative in Job begins with a dispute between God and the devil, in which God had referred to Job as a truly righteous man. He is now to be used as an example to test who is right.

Take away his possessions and you will see that nothing remains of his piety, the devil argues. God allows him this attempt, from which Job emerges positively. All that a man has he will give for his life.

Can Pope Francis Really Change the Church?

But put forth thy hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. God grants the devil a second turn. He may also touch the skin of Job. Only killing Job is denied to him. For Christians it is clear that this Job, who stands before God as an example for all mankind, is Jesus Christ. In St. The Creator God is confronted with the devil who speaks ill of all mankind and all creation.

He says, not only to God but above all to people: Look at what this God has done. Supposedly a good creation, but in reality full of misery and disgust. That disparagement of creation is really a disparagement of God.


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It wants to prove that God Himself is not good, and thus to turn us away from Him. The timeliness of what the Apocalypse is telling us here is obvious. Today, the accusation against God is, above all, about characterizing His Church as entirely bad, and thus dissuading us from it. The idea of a better Church, created by ourselves, is in fact a proposal of the devil, with which he wants to lead us away from the living God, through a deceitful logic by which we are too easily duped.

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No, even today the Church is not just made up of bad fish and weeds. The Church of God also exists today, and today it is the very instrument through which God saves us. It is very important to oppose the lies and half-truths of the devil with the whole truth: Yes, there is sin in the Church and evil.

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But even today there is the Holy Church, which is indestructible. Today there are many people who humbly believe, suffer and love, in whom the real God, the loving God, shows Himself to us. Today God also has His witnesses martyres in the world.

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We just have to be vigilant in order to see and hear them. The word martyr is taken from procedural law. In the trial against the devil, Jesus Christ is the first and actual witness for God, the first martyr, who has since been followed by countless others. If we look around and listen with an attentive heart, we can find witnesses everywhere today, especially among ordinary people, but also in the high ranks of the Church, who stand up for God with their life and suffering.

It is an inertia of the heart that leads us to not wish to recognize them. One of the great and essential tasks of our evangelization is, as far as we can, to establish habitats of Faith and, above all, to find and recognize them. I live in a house, in a small community of people who discover such witnesses of the living God again and again in everyday life and who joyfully point this out to me as well. To see and find the living Church is a wonderful task which strengthens us and makes us joyful in our Faith time and again. At the end of my reflections I would like to thank Pope Francis for everything he does to show us, again and again, the light of God, which has not disappeared, even today.

Thank you, Holy Father! Translated by Anian Christoph Wimmer. If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity! Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

Washington D. Wuerl forwarded […]. US Attorneys contacted the diocese of Buffalo, NY, in late May, to inform officials of their interest in documents related to abuse reports after and therefore susceptible of prosecution under federal criminal statutes.


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Terrence […]. You missed, by the way, Jake. No Way lawless men , no Truth prideful men , and no access to Life unless we pay homage to them. Amid some threads of beauty is much muddled thinking a bout the history and problem of sexul abuse. A desire to another the clergy into a caste untouchable is as strange as the suggestions that abuse is all down to the failure of the church in moral theology and conciliar mzdelos since the Vatican Council reforms of the s. Perhaps he is not so well.

An analytical description of moral collapse detailed and pointed, although insufficient in respect to priestly homosexuality. Pedophilia, a medical diagnosis [cited 8 times by Benedict] more consistent with the tack of Pope Francis and failure of the Feb Synod replaces the far greater moral issue [pedophilia has prev been largely addressed and curtailed] of adult priest, prelate homosexual behavior and the victimizing of vulnerable priests and seminarians.

Child abuse nevertheless is frequently committed by homosexuals as was the case with former cardinal McCarrick. That the Catholic Church projected that false image to the world through its priests, and as it must be sorrowfully acknowledged by a Vatican policy of advancing and protecting Hierarchy, priests subject to allegations even convictions of homosexual impropriety, is most unusual and Satanic in character.

What really matters is that he address the crux of the issue. Our young are not cherished. God protect them.. They are tainted, too weak in the Faith. Face-to-face encounters make "the pope a human figure. That's what these trips are really about -- to see that the pope is not the boogeyman, he is someone who is kind and wise and wants to discuss issues.

His Own Pope Yet?

He may never come back to Africa again. Share this on:. Tens of thousands of people gathered at a football stadium in Cameroon to see the pope. E-mail to a friend. Mixx Facebook Twitter Digg del. From the Blogs: Controversy, commentary, and debate. English Available at another branch. More Info Place Hold. Add a Review. Add To List. Also in This Series. More Like This. Table of Contents. Loading Table Of Contents Loading Excerpt Author Notes. Loading Author Notes More Details. Similar Series From NoveList. Similar Titles From NoveList. Similar Authors From NoveList. Borrower Reviews.

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