Skip to comments.Reuters Analysis: Pope disappoints hopes of Catholics and Protestants in Germany
Posted on 09/28/2011 1:42:02 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
(Reuters) - Pope Benedict's visit to his German homeland was bound to provoke harsh words from his critics. The surprise of the event was how bluntly he took his own Church to task and disappointed Protestants ready to work with him.
Despite his frail physique and soft-spoken style, the 84-year-old pontiff delivered a vigorous defense of his conservative views and brusquely rejected calls for reforms, some of which even had cautious support from some bishops.
At the end of his four-day visit on Sunday, Benedict predicted "small communities of believers" would spread Catholicism in future -- and not, he seemed to say, the rich German Church, which he hinted had more bureaucracy than belief.
Some Church leaders fear they may end up with only small communities if they don't consider reforms. Record numbers of the faithful have officially quit the Church in recent years, often in protest against clerical sex abuse scandals.
"The pope was demanding, almost hard -- not in his manner, but in the essence of his words," Berlin's Tagesspiegel daily commented. "Nobody should be fooled by his fragility."
"The pope sees the signs of the times, but interprets them not as a demand to courageously open up the Catholic Church but, on the contrary, to close its ranks."
Breaking down faith barriers is a major issue in the land of the Protestant Reformation. Christians are equally divided between Catholics and Protestants in Germany and intermarriage and ecumenical cooperation make both sides ask why old divisions still exist.
Politicians from President Christian Wulff down publicly told the pope they hoped his visit would help to bring the churches closer. One suggestion was to allow Protestant spouses of Catholics to take communion when they attend Catholic mass.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
He's absolutely right. It must be very hard for him, as a German, to see what has happened to the German Church. Between clown masses (yes, I know, everybody else abandoned these years ago), agitation for gay marriage and female or married priests, plus abandonment of any semblance of Catholic doctrine, the Church in Germany, along with the state church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, has abandoned any semblance of Christian faith.
Oh he is so right. Liberalizing has worked so well for the Anglicans that many of their churches have as many 10 members at their Sunday services.
“One suggestion was to allow Protestant spouses of Catholics to take communion when they attend Catholic mass.”
NO! I was a protestant and even when I was a protestant I had to accept the blessing when I attended a Catholic mass.
It’s respectful that the mass is only for those who are Catholic, because protestants do not agree on the real presence.
I prefer the Courage of conviction and righteousness.
I am really starting to like this Pope!
Did the lefties at Reuters really think that Benedict was going to abandon the Gospel in order to make liberals happy?
The Holy Father beautifully embraces the Cross and therefore beautifully suffers the Cross, in the public square. I love this God blessed man. This charitable little trek of his to Germany turned out to be an image of the Way of the Cross. How dare these licentious rubes insult the Faith, the Church and the Holy Father to his face, blowing absurd and abusive screeds parading as petitions for unity, and beating him about the head and boxing his ears with that which is clearly and irrevocably anathema to the Church militant. What a ghastly endurance test into the pit of temptors. No more summits.
As the Pope has so eloquently said in the past Ecumenicalism is not a negotiation.
I think the light has finally dawned that the Catholic church, by upholding its values and doctrines, despite the desire of many for them to embrace trendy and ephemeral modernism, has retained its strength and is growing, while less faithful denominations are withering terribly.
It is called preaching the Gospel. The leaders in Jerusalem did not take kindly to what Jesus said either.