Within hours of my post earlier today on the Catholic silent revolution, came news of a dramatic corroboration, with a solid band of German academic theologians in open revolt.
In September this year, Pope Benedict will make his first papal visit to Berlin. This will be worth watching: there have been numerous indications that the German Church has been transformed by public anger and disillusionment following the abuse scandals. Well in advance of the visit, prominent German Catholics are preparing for the visit by making public calls for reforms in the Church.
Reuters has a call by a sizeable number of Catholic theologians, said to represent fully one third of all the theologians in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, for far-reaching, radical reforms of the Catholic Church.
English language reports have concentrated on the call to ordain “older” married men, which intriguingly appears to mirror a similar call made right back in 1970 by – Fr Joseph Ratzinger.
Supporters of a married priesthood caused a stir late last month when they unearthed a 1970 appeal to ordain older married men signed by nine German theologians including the then Father Joseph Ratzinger, the present pope.
An end to celibacy though is not the only reform that is needed, nor the only one demanded by the German theologians. They have also asked for the ordination of women, lay participation in the election of bishops, and greater inclusion for those who have remarried or are in homosexual partnerships. Read the rest of this entry »