Germany: Drewermann, Gaillot, Kasper, Küng invited to Katholikentag

Source: FSSPX News


The present understanding of the priestly function is a matter of “pure magic” and constitutes the major obstacle on the ecumenical path, affirmed the contentious German priest, Eugen Drewermann, during the 95th Katholiktag (German Catholic Day) at Ulm on June 17, in a room packed with 1,500 people.

For his part, the French Bishop dismissed from office, Jacques Gaillot, considered the separation of priests and the laity as fruitless. The functions in the Church should be allocated, sooner or later, without distinction of sex or social status. The former bishop of Evreux had in mind, particularly, preaching, activities of chaplain and the sacraments… Happily, Christians have become adults, he affirmed, calling into question the attitude of the Church, faced with the problem of the lack of priests, “which is simply managed” through the contribution of the Poles and the Africans. Now, this would be the occasion to reconsider the function of the priest.

Eugen Drewermann calls for priest to be elected from the rank and file. Up to now, everything has been thought to come from on high. From the concept of God in Heaven, there followed that of his representative on earth, the pope. He chooses the bishops, who themselves ordain priests. But the conditions of access to the priesthood, such as celibacy and the duty of obedience, are scandalous, in his opinion. As long as the Catholic priests behave “with their finger raised”, as intermediaries between God and man, not granting the latter any freedom at all, they will leave them “torn between confidence and fear”.

On June 18, Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for the Unity of Christians, affirmed that Eucharistic Communion among Christians was possible in certain circumstances, during a conference on the theme “Ecumenism of Life”. Eucharistic Communion has “a rule”, stressed the German cardinal. “Each Christian practices communion within his own Church. But there are circumstances in which a non-Catholic may receive Communion during a Catholic Mass. For the moment it is not possible to enumerate all the cases where this would be licit,” he said to an audience of more than two thousand people.

“We find ourselves, from the point of view of ecumenism, at an intermediary stage,” according to the former bishop of Stuttgart. “The wall between the confessions has fallen down, but there are still many blocks around, which make the passage difficult.” According to him there are two currents in ecumenism: progressive utopia which consists of believing that there is no longer any difference between the confessions, and “clerical-integrism” which considers problems can be solved through interdicts. “The latter position destroys every possibility of progress.”

On Saturday June 19, it was the Swiss theologian, forbidden to teach since 1979, Hans Küng who discussed with Cardinal Karl Lehmann, president of the German Bishops Conference, on the theme “To what are we called today?”. “I can openly affirm that this invitation pleased me very much, after many years of broadcasting silence between the German episcopate and myself,” he said. “It is progress not only for me personally, but also for the Church in Germany.” The debate focused on the future of the Catholic Church, 40 years after the publication of the conciliar Constitution Lumen Gentium.

This 95th Katholikentag brought together 26,000 participants in a festive and multicultural atmosphere; it ended with a Mass and an ecumenical celebration. Cardinal Karl Lehmann called for more cooperation and sharing with the Protestants and Orthodox.

On the other hand, the archbishop of Bamberg, Mgr. Ludwig Schick, and the bishop of Regensburg, Mgr. Gerhard Ludwig Müller, strongly criticized the invitation to Drewermann, “a man who acts against the Church”. “That Drewermann was offered a forum” during such a meeting constitutes a “sign of decadence in the Church” which we must fight against, declared Bishop Müller. And Archbishop Schick affirmed, that once again, the Church is presenting herself as “a debating club for anything and everything”. According to him, most attention was given to this “professional faultfinder of the Church”, Eugen Drewermann. The Katholikentag consecrated no more than a passing mention to Jesus Christ and was characterized more than anything, by its absence of orientation.