Skip to comments."Now there is a loss of trust in the church..."
Posted on 03/23/2010 3:45:22 PM PDT by NYer
The New York Times this morning printed an essay from German author Peter Schneider, who raised some pointed questions about the Church in the pope's homeland:
Read the whole thing right here.
Pope Benedict should also recognize how precarious the Catholic Church is in Germany. Like Americans, Germans have already had to cope with a general loss of trust in public institutions. First there were the bankers, with their insane bets and bonuses. Then the politicians, who couldn't stop the bankers. Now there is a loss of trust in the church.
But unlike in America, religion in Germany is already weak. In the former Communist east, only 2 percent of the population go to church on Sunday; in the western states, the number is 8 percent. Some dwindling congregations have had to sell their church buildings.
So far the church is benefiting from the breadth of sexual abuse scandals. Victims are also coming forward from Protestant institutions, from secular boarding schools and elite academies, from children's homes. Many critics argue that any closed institution where male educators have charge of male children runs the risk of sexual abuse.
Conservative Catholic bishops go further, saying that the sexual abuse committed by their priests is a general social problem, traceable not to the church but to the sexualization of society, to the zeitgeist, to the sins of the 1968 generation. The truth, they suggest, was that the evil had struck in all sectors of society. Others have warned of the dangers of a witch hunt, and some have even highlighted a new form of political correctness.
But the figures available so far show that the problem is especially severe in the Catholic Church. Alois Glück, president of the Central Committee of German Catholics, has urged consideration of the "church-specific conditions that favor sexual abuse," which many have taken as a call for the church to reconsider the matter of its priests' celibacy.
This is yet another difference between the Irish and American scandals and our own. Ireland and America are deeply religious places; if priestly celibacy is not as well understood there as it once was, it is nevertheless respected.
Germany is not only a secular country, but a sexually liberated one as well. Many Germans find the Vatican's demand of priestly celibacy completely alien, and we recognize it as a historical, rather than holy, tradition, going back to a decree by Pope Benedict VIII in 1022. Indeed, in a poll conducted last week, 87 percent of Germans said that celibacy is no longer appropriate.
It's not hard, then, for us to draw the conclusion -- fair or not -- that the church's problems are rooted in celibacy. Much more so than in the United States, the German debate is about the fundamental structure of the Catholic church: Must a person be chaste to exercise the office of a priest? Does this condition not attract sexually disturbed and pedophiliac men, who count on cover and understanding in the bosom of the church?
How Benedict handles the issue in the coming weeks will determine not only how well the German church endures, but whether it can survive in its current form at all. None of the victims has yet sought reparations, but sooner or later, the church will have to offer compensation. The American church has paid $2 billion to abuse victims since 1992; can the German church afford the same?
With one central authority figure, the Catholic Church is now on the radar screen for all the media and journalists.
Rome better listen and change -sarc
The author lost me with this paragraph. It re-inforces the propaganda that a free market is bad. The author is qualified to discuss the church and its member lack of trust in the church. To somehow link how Americans feel about the church/gov't/bankers with how Germans feel about their institutions is ludicrous.
Write about what you know...and NO MORE.
“...Indeed, in a poll conducted last week, 87 percent of Germans said that celibacy is no longer appropriate...”
I can only offer my own observations from extensive travels in Southeast Asia and meeting various Germans - not only do they not believe celibacy is appropriate, they are trying to prove that the exact opposite is true!
How can they lose what they never had?
Voluntary lack of sexual relations with women makes men pederasts. Makes sense to me - rolls eyes.
Why Benedict, why now? I feel that the Catholic Church is going to face a MASSIVE hit from liberals. They have to destroy the church to promote their agenda. I see it in my dear elderly friends who align themselves with the worst leftists thinking they are following peace-loving Jesus. Dupe the weak.
I don’t get that either. How does free enterprise relate to this issue? Not at all, imho.
One question I have: Are priests allowed or encouraged to masturbate? I only ask this because if godly sexual relations with a woman are not allowed, is anything allowed that is sexual for priests? And, if not, does the Catholic church have any priests that have had their testicles removed to help further curb desire?
Well, I’m no Roman Catholic, but this plea from a “sexually liberated” culture is crap. If the Roman Catholic church can find a way to exit celibacy, let it be by their own reasoning and volition, not by pressure to conform to a godless society.
I think the argument is that, by limiting the priesthood to men who will abstain from sex with women, the rule of celibacy attracts disproportionate numbers of pederasts to the priesthood. I'm not saying I agree with the argument (I'm not Catholic and haven't thought about it enough to draw any conclusion), but the argument has a greater surface plausibility than your re-casting of it.
Well said. Thank you!
Post-christian europe is a mission field. It has to be approached that way. Catholics and evangelicals alike need to understand that and either work to reclaim it or watch the lights go out over europe.
Preach Christ and take back the lost ground.
It’s a nonsensical argument.
It is no longer adultery and fornication that are innapropriate. (”Who are they hurting?”), now it’s celibacy that is innapropriate. Now REALLY. Who is THAT hurting?
The secularists will do anything to destroy the Church and belief in God in general. This is but one way that they believe will accomplish that goal.
Instead of all Christians uniting against this threat, there are those who welcome this opportunity to destroy Catholicism.
I think a lack of releasing stored sperm in the epididymis results in nocturnal emissions, and "wet" dreams. It's the body's way of making room for more.