Editor: We got earlier statements from the good Cardinal at Enlace Catolico. Here he is again, this time for Vatican Radio and kath.net, saying his piece against these theologians. It's certainly one of the most striking statements from a Curial official so far, and one of the most surprising. Here are some excerpts from his interview as translated at kath.net.
As we pointed out last year in September, the Cardinal had admonished Germans to obey the Holy Father.
"Churches, which have opted for woman's ordination and the recognition of same-sex partnerships, have put themselves for that reason in a very deep crisis"
Rome (kath.net) The Roman Curial Cardinal, Walter Kasper has made a clear denunciation for the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" against the Munster "Theological Referendum". Kath.net has documented the main statements from "Radio Vatikan" from FAZ-Report on the theme of "We're Coming to the Point".
"No sensible man, no follower of Christ will contend that the Catholic Church in Germany has had an acerbic and necessary break. No one can seriously contend that the teachers and teacheresses of Theology are accorded any especial responsibility. As one who has been in service for more than thirty years in academia, I must say clearly, that the Memorandum has disturbed me greatly... because I would have expected more from Theologians, namely, a substantial theological contribution.
I ask myself, how a theologian can speak of the past situation and their difficulties, without mentioning the crisis of faith. Instead of this, the Memorandum remains stuck in a justifiable self-criticism. Do the undersigned seriously believe that the Church's constitution today is an existential question for people? Is it not the reverse: that the crisis in the Church follows from a crisis of faith? That is also valid for the horrible cases of sexual abuse.
What the undersigners of the Memorandum want to bring to the Dialog, has already been long known and expressed by other groups ad nauseum. For that reason I have paid attention as the initial words of the message of freedom in the Gospel demand. I thought: Yes, that's it.
I asked myself, how can it be that German Catholic theologians are so clearly closed, that churches, which are decided for women's ordination and for the recogniztion of same sex partnerships, have for that reason put themselves in a much deeper crisis than the Catholic Church in Germany.
The Celibacy is not just for today a hot iron in the fire. Actually, I have been preoccupied with it for over forty years with other theologians that Pope and Episcopal College have the duty to assure the unmarried state of the diocesan priesthood. Clearly, the fact is little known that this assessment has been for a long time in place. The question has been discussed internationally, exegetically as well as historically some exceptions, that it can't be seriously allowed to review the old arguments. Not less than three World Conferences of bishops have voted in the meantime with overpowering majorities for the continuance of the unmarried priesthood. If anyone had wanted another internal Church legal structure, then it would have been appended, that decisions would also have been recognized, that he had preferred another solution himself.
Only a hopeless and futureless and therefore false conservatism can be living, what pastoral structures have previously been identified artificially with 'viri probati' [married men of good character]. In any event those superficial German priestly communities in the Diocese are also not the final word.
More imagination and a view beyond one's own teacup could help out tremendously.
The crisis of faith is not only a celibacy crisis, rather it has also led to a crisis of the faithful and the community. When in Germany the number of regular churchgoers since 1950 has dropped more than two thirds, then that is a sign that has been long nudging and pushing to the real ground, what the priest shortage really means. I can only propose a radical solution which is set on this "radix", on this root, in place of superficially turning on the parameters of celibacy."