(Aachen) In the post-Conciliar Church "dialog" is one of the keywords that can be extremely tolerant person now can not hear themselves. What comes out of a post-Conciliar "dialogue" is not necessarily surprising, but still significant.
The Diocese of Aachen will serve as an example, because there was, about a month ago, the publication of "Documentation of Focus Groups COMMUNITY and POWER" - why such lurid terms? - In his preface to the comprehensive 46 pages of paper, Aachen Bishop Heinrich Mussinghoff nebulously writes: "The dialogue thrives on no one claiming a space alone for himself, but that between the various stakeholders a new, communal space is opened up in which dialogue can develop as communication and as a search for truth." Remarkable is also the explicitly political approach of the dialogue process, should produce "both in width and in depth, a deeper dialogue among members of the local church and between bishops and faithful," which does not speak of "heights", but namely the relationship with God.
"Keeping open the Question of the Admission of Women to the Ordained Ministries"
The reader should be able to form an opinion based on the following quotes, which remain largely without comment, even as regards the state of affairs in the church. The first "recommendation" of the "focus group POWER" - we simply omit the "focus group COMMUNITY" here - is concerned, as might be expected, with the theme of "keeping open the question of the admission of women to the ordained ministries".
In order to keep the question of the admission of women open to the ordained ministries, we recommend the following practical measures:
- the celebration of the day the deaconesses in the Diocese of Aachen;
- use our Bishop and the auxiliary bishops in the Episcopal Conference, keep the question open. [...]
- the recognition of the diaconal praxis in the local church, which is mostly undertaken by women.
"More Women in Leadership Positions in the Diocese"
A similar orientation, the second "recommendation" is to demand "More women in leadership positions of the church in the diocese of Aachen."
first to update the recommendations from the above study on the employment situation of women in church ministry in the Diocese of Aachen and implement it,
The second to develop mentoring programs and conduct;
The third set targets, in what period what proportion of women is to be achieved in leadership positions;
Fourth establish the position of an equality officer under the Episcopal Vicar General
and provide them with decision-making powers.
"Culture of Power- Abuse of Power" in the Church
While the first "recommendation" at least had a dissenting vote, all members voted the "focus group POWER" for the second "recommendation", which is fixed only on structures and sounds like the colorless program, a replaceable political party. Under the heading "Culture of Power - Abuse of Power" then we find the following "recommendation":
In the training for future in pastoral will treat the essential contents of the prevention concept of the Diocese of Aachen (child welfare, dealing with sexuality (even their own!), Perpetrator strategies, victim behavior, action steps for suspected abuse).
Pastoral Collective: "Management in Community"
Again it comes to structures in the fifth "recommendation", this time in relation to the management of parishes or "Pastoral Collectives" or what's left of it, again with only a single dissenting vote.
In order not to jeopardize the positive results lying just behind structural reform, instead of the new pastoral units in order to fill them with necessary and new life, we recommend to the bishop, all line managers and committees, for the future of our diocese to consider and pursue a stronger principle of "leading in Community."
"Benevolent Encounters" with "Re-married Divorcees" and Homosexuals
To put an end to the misery, there followed a final "recommendation" addressing "remarried" divorcees and homosexuals, which were also honored again, with one vote against. Incidentally, in the next "recommendation" a spongy "benevolent approach" is required for such persons, if they are paid by the Church.
We recommend that you:
1. make a proposal for pastoral remarried divorcees comprehensively known and expand in the sense that there will be a specific mandate. The responsible contact person, who should be available for victims, will be straightforward and reliable. A range of tasks from personal counseling, mediation and other tasks are to be determined.
2. make the pastoral proposal "Episcopal Commission for homosexuals and their families" known to all employees to open up a greater degree of ways to use this pastoral offer. It is, among other things, also helpful to place a note in the schema on this proposal.
What the "Dialogue Process" Does not Want to Hear
An exception in the series numerous "recommendations" of the "focus group POWER" is remarkable, but all "recommendations" were adopted with a large majority, often with only one dissenting vote. The following "recommendation", however, was rejected by the majority and received with only one positive vote. Why? Let the text speak for itself:
With the advocacy for attempting changes in the organization and structure of our church with our human logic should never be the measure of our decisions.
It is promised to our Church, to last for all time, despite all the weaknesses and sins of Its human representatives. But there have never previously been considerations that were aligned in this sustainability and expression to adapt the elementary truths of our faith to the apparent needs of our time.
Hence, our aim should be to know the will of God in accordance with the teachings of our Church and for us to be open to His will. If we "Lord, thy will be done" with then we should look for this mandate and reminder and not make of our own human perspective the measure of all things.
The term "God" appears about 15 times in all the recommendations of the "focus group POWER". Of this amount, 13 mentions on those "recommendation", comes from the last quote, the other two cases the term "God" was used not just in a particularly meaningful way. A sign of the new orientation of the Church after the Second Vatican Council? Let the reader decide.
Text: Benedict M. BuergerTrans: Tancred
image: diocese-aachen.de (Screenshot)
image: diocese-aachen.de (Screenshot)