Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, declared on December 31, 2018 that the Church should reconsider the issue of priestly celibacy “in the light of the failure” of the abuse crisis by the clergy that has received a large amount of media attention these past few years.
“I believe the hour has come to deeply commit ourselves to open the way of the Church to renewal and reform,” declared Cardinal Marx in his sermon on December 31, 2018 in the cathedral of Our Lady in Munich. These remarks made on the feast of St. Sylvester were published on the website of the archdiocese.
In the name of “the great renewal impulse of the Second Vatican Council”, Cardinal Marx, who is also the president of the German Bishops’ Conference until 2020, called for “further adaptations of Church teachings” on the tradition of ecclesiastical celibacy.
With regards to celibacy, as with other issues, “truth is not final”, the cardinal was not afraid to claim in his sermon, adding shortly after that “this new thinking is required.” How is that for a peremptory statement! In other words, the tradition of celibacy needs to be “adapted”; we need to stop considering it as final and therefore abolish it…It is rigged statements like these that keep the Revolution moving forward.
Cardinal Marx concluded his homily with the promise of a year 2019 full of “unrest and opposition” in the Church with the questioning of clerical celibacy. Is this the wish of a pastor, a successor of the Apostles, responsible before God for the sanctification of his clergy?
These riotous remarks should be considered in the light of Cardinal Marx’s increasing isolation on his own turf, which has him seeking support outside of his diocese among the progressivist majority of the German episcopate. On April 4, 2018, the newspaper of the city of Cologne, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, recalled that “the opposition to Cardinal Marx and the majority of the bishops” on issues such as celibacy or intercommunion “is concentrated in Bavaria”, precisely where Reinhard Marx exercises his episcopal ministry.