Editor: He had previously this week offered to pay out settlements to compensate victims. He had also, as Novice Master, spoken of the pernicious homosexual culture in seminaries.
And he maintains: Appointments in the Church Hierarchy are reminiscent almost of "corruption" -- Almost half of Catholics are today continuously closed off from the Sacraments.
The new Provincial of the German Jesuits, P. Stefan Kiechle SJ, spoke this week for the abolition of celibacy. Kiechle spoke this Wednesday in the auspices of the "Cardinal-Höffner-Circle" Catholic CDU-member for the release of married men for the priesthood and for the consideration also of the ordination of women. Along these lines, Kiechle criticized the practice of appointments in the hierarchy of the Church. They are arranged by connections and are almost reminiscent of "corruption".
Kiechle speaks for another contact of the Church with the theme of mercy. He references the praxis of the Eastern Church, which has a conservative doctrine and in which it never the less has married priests. "That works", he insists. Surely, the abolition of celibacy will not solve all problems. Kiechle took over the administration of the Jesuit Province on the first of September.
The provincial speaks of a massive crisis in the Church, which is partly the result of a quantitative and qualitative shortage of priests. This crisis will not be solved first through the awareness of abuse cases. Firstly, the priest shortage hits "throughout". The Jesuit was concerned about the "selection, education and formation" of priests. Many clerics today are hardly in a position to take a leading role.
With a view on the ordering of officeholders throughout the Church there is "much about connections" said Kiechle. Some in Germany are interested in knowing someone in Rome, who has influence, or is eager to have dinner in Rome for personal favors. Such were the normal course of appointments, which pass for objectivity, "often evasive". The Provincial says this is dangerous: "In other contexts, one would speak of corruption."
The Superior continued, saying, the Catholic Church should establish centers. In the first place, there is a "reduction to core business", belonging to the "orderly and qualitative" Liturgy and Catechesis; these may also may influence good moods. Further accents must be "with quality" in the formation of schools and religious instruction. What the Church sows with the children, will remain.
Further accents must be mercifulness toward and usefulness of the disenfranchised and people on the edge. "That is the core business of the Church", he said. Almost half of the Catholics today are forbidden from approaching the Sacraments, intoned Kiechele, referring to the existence of cohabiting couples or remarried and divorced people. [More people in Germany seem to be aware of the Church's teaching in these matters.]
The Jesuit Provincial's remarks concerned the 40 participants in the conference for a controversial discussion. Before Kiechle, the leader of the Circle, Family Secretatry Herman Kues (CDU), called those concerns to mind. Cardinal Höffner stood for the opening of the Catholic Church to the modern world," said Kues. Those were the fundamental concerns for Höffner (1906-87), who was for many years the Archbishop of Cologne and the President of the German Bishops Conference, as well as the gathering of the Höffner Circle.