Dr. Heinz-Lothar Barth is a professor of Latin and Greek Philology at the University of Bonn, a 200-year-old institution boasting over 30,000 students. On the University website, the school is described as “one of Germany’s most prestigious universities and also ranked among the top hundred in the world”. Founded in 1818 as Rhein University, the school has offered programs in both Catholic and Protestant theology since its inception as a “nonsectarian” institution.
Dr. Barth is a great supporter of the Traditional Latin Mass, and has written a number of books, the majority of which are on Catholic topics. In July, he participated in a seminar at Hohenfurth Abbey, a 758-year-old Cistercian monastery in the Czech town of Vyšší Brod that has recently returned to offering the traditional Mass and Cistercian office. The seminar was on the topic “The Mass of the Church – The Future of the Church”.
At one point during his talk (link goes to video, in German), Dr. Barth mentioned a difficult situation faced by theology students at his university (translation by Maike Hickson):
We still see this today in Bonn; there still exists the traditional Latin Mass in a small parish, where theology students more and more like to go, [which is] very joyous, but they have a huge fear that their names could be mentioned there. I know this exactly, it has been admitted to me. If it would be known that a theology student from the Theology Department of Bonn who wishes to become a priest would be mentioned there, he is going to be thrown out – finished, end of the formation. [These are] unbelievable conditions, even though this is supposed to be being dealt with in a different manner since Summorum Pontificum.
Bonn lies within the Archbishopric of Cologne, and the seminarians of that diocese appear to have the option of doing some of their theological training at the University of Bonn. The archdiocesan website is unclear on the arrangement, but it seems to indicate as much:
It is unusual that the priestly education in the Archbishopric of Cologne is spread over three houses. The division between Cologne and Bonn was initially historically conditioned: after the occupation of the Rhineland, the French closed the old Cologne university in 1798, and when the Rhineland fell to the Kingdom of Prussia after the liberation war in 1815, it was not reopened. Instead, the Prussians founded the still existing Friedrich Wilhelm Universtity in Bonn. Thus the training of the priests had to move to Bonn.
Friedrich Wilhelm (Frederick William III of Prussia) was the founder of the University of Bonn. If it is indeed the case that the seminarians of the archdiocese begin their theological training at Bonn, one can imagine why the situation that Dr. Barth describes is problematic for them.
The Cologne Archdiocese, it should be remembered, was formerly under the leadership of the late Cardinal Joachim Meisner. It is now shepherded by Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, appointed to the position by Pope Francis in 2014. In a profile written by John Allen at the time, we see an indication of the kind of prelate traditionally-inclined seminarians around the world have learned to be wary of:
Woelki, who turns 59 next month, takes over from 80-year-old Cardinal Joachim Meisner, who stepped down in February. Generally seen as an arch-conservative, Meisner had been a close confidante of Pope Benedict XVI, with the two men typically speaking on the phone at least once a week.
Born in Cologne, Woelki was perceived as a Meisner protégé early in his career, meaning someone cut from the same ideological cloth. He earned a doctorate at Opus Dei’s university in Rome, and was criticized when named to Berlin in 2011 for referring to homosexuality as an “offense against the order of creation.” Critics worried that a son of heavily Catholic Cologne would be unsuited for Berlin’s largely secular, and highly diverse, milieu.
Yet by most accounts, leading the church in such an environment brought something out in Woelki. He became an apostle of dialogue, holding meetings with leaders of the gay community and saying that, while the church believes marriage is between a man and a woman, it can also see that a long-term caring relationship between two people of the same sex deserves special moral consideration.
Woelki developed into a sort of Francis before his time, calling on the church to dial down the rhetoric in the culture wars.
“The church is not a moral institution that goes around pointing its finger at people,” he said. “The church is a community of seekers and believers, and it would like to help people find happiness in life.”
In 2012, a German “Alliance against Homophobia” actually nominated Woelki for a “Respect Award,” saying he had promoted a “new cooperation with homosexuals in society.” (Woelki expressed gratitude but politely declined.)
Woelki also emerged as a leader among the German bishops on poverty relief and advocacy on behalf of immigrants and refugees. He took a special interest in the work of the Catholic charitable agency Caritas. At a personal level Woelki comes off as humble, not wearing a lot of ecclesiastical finery and not taking himself overly seriously.
The German news service Deutsche Welle described his profile on Friday as “open-minded, tolerant, and concerned for the poor.”
Nine priests were ordained this year in the Archdiocese of Cologne. Eight new men entered the seminary this year. These numbers, while higher than other parts of Germany, are staggeringly low for a diocese of over 2 million Catholics and 5 million souls, and some believe the fact that there are any new vocations is a holdover from Cardinal Meisner’s tenure. As of 2013, there were just 1,033 priests in the archdiocese – a ratio of over 2,000 Catholics per priest. That’s less than half the number there were in 1950, although the number of self-professed Catholics in the diocese has dropped by nearly a million as well.
This is not an environment in which the German Church — unless it is intentionally self-destructing — can afford to drive out seminarians over their affection for an approved rite of Mass. But in a nation with one of the worst vocations crises in the world, where in one diocese over 95% of the parishes are being closed, intentional self-destruction can’t be summarily dismissed. And it doesn’t seem that the Archdiocese of Cologne is particularly keen on encouraging men to make those major sacrifices the priesthood entails. From the “priestly formation” section of their website, we’re treated to the following philosophy:
Special, but not better
Being a priest is a special way of following Jesus. It is no better than other ways, not even more difficult. It is only different.
The priest imitates the devotion of Jesus to all men in a radical way and represents it. This is the meaning of celibacy.
This description immediately called to mind the words of Fr. José Miguel Marqués Campo, who, in a piece written for OnePeterFive in February, 2015, revealed how seminarians were treated in his native Spain:
At the Rite of Admission, one of seminary rectors at the time had the custom of handing out — to those who were now, at long last, considered seminarians — a jacket pin of the icthus, that is, the symbol of the fish. This emblem, in the early centuries during the Roman persecutions, was a secret identification of Christians. He said that this was now a symbol of the “catechist,” as a token for the seminarians who now were—finally!—candidates for Holy Orders. And yet the title of catechist is usually bestowed upon the laity. Why now, after four years of study where we were kept from living differently than any other lay student? Why now, after formal entry into the seminary, were those who remained committed to being ordained to the priesthood being given this title which seemed almost a demotion from the accomplishment we had just achieved? It seemed as though we were always being reminded of the concept that we were no different than laymen, even as we grew closer to the priesthood than ever before.
Make no mistake: this obsession with the elevation of the laity, instilled in the daily lives of seminarians, has done untold harm to countless young men who entered the seminary, thinking that they had a calling to the priesthood. Seminarians were being trained to think differently about the priesthood, and were constantly reminded that they were really only laymen enrolled in ecclesiastical academics. They were to dress as laymen. They were encouraged lead the life of a secular university student, insofar as possible. (Of course, this was possible but obviously not always, thank goodness!) And then after ordination, they were to realize that the laity would again practically invade all areas of pastoral care, from female and male lectors and acolytes (the latter, ironically, without being conferred the alleged “Lay Ministries”), female and male Extraordinary Ministers of Communion, and so on.
The newly ordained would also discover that a priest was considered no more than a “presider“ over the Eucharist – not a “celebrant” who was unique since only he, a priest, could offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Is it any wonder how this has caused an unprecedented identity crisis in the priesthood after Vatican II? Is it any wonder that this sad state of affairs has contributed to a great loss of vocations to the priesthood? [emphasis added]
When we consider the words of Dr. Barth, we may find ourselves dismissively thinking, “Well, it’s Germany, what do you expect?”
But don’t the German people need Holy Mass & the Sacraments?
Don’t the German people need good priests?
Shouldn’t the young German men who are trying to follow God’s calling be given an authentic priestly formation? Don’t they have the canonical right to both attend and offer the traditional Latin Mass? Isn’t it true, as Pope Benedict XVI wrote, that “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. ”
Pray for the Catholics of Germany. There are good men and women there, and children even now who face a grim future with the state of Catholicism in their homeland.
They deserve better than this.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have eight children. You can find more of his writing at his Substack, The Skojec File.
Old liberals who destroyed the Church discriminate against young conservatives who could save the Church. Reminds me of communists: They’d rather destroy the world than see their experiment fail.
It reminds you of Communists for one simple reason.
They ARE Communists.
Exactly. These are men who want to destroy the Church, and they’re doing it.
They are the “wolves in sheep’s clothings”, these same wolves that made Benedict XVI fleeing before them.
Too pity for that!
“But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and flieth: and the wolf catcheth, and scattereth the sheep: And the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling: and he hath no care for the sheep.” (John 10,12-13)
That’s exactly right, and ya gotta hand it to El Bergo – he’ll bust a lot of chops to get what he wants, and doesn’t ask “Mother, may I?” in doing so. What he wants is not merely a disaster, it isn’t even Catholic. But he’s a tough old codger not afraid to use brass knuckles (as it were). I mean, just think, take 30 seconds to try to imagine what the Church would be like to day if either JP2 and B16 kicked over chairs and tables to get what they wanted?
Much worse and much more dangerous: wolves in Shepherd’s clothing
So Brian and Steve, if I … ahem … may ask, WHY are we “in Communion” with such people?
And it is a serious question from a guy who has lost a couple of great jobs in companies that were run by hotshot MBAs right into the ground. WHY would the Board of Directors hire them, and certainly WHY wouldn’t they then quickly fire them? But it happens. A lot. The Catholic Church is like a company firing managers and workers who sleep on the office floor overnight to meet deadline, and hiring idiots who can’t come in because they have to march in the local Pride Parade.
Why indeed! The question itself suggests an answer. A.Very.Unpopular.Answer.At.That. I have come to the conclusion that folks are willing to connect all the dots except that very last one. Can’t go there. Must not go there! 1 Peter 5 is open to many discussions and comments. The question you ask means “off limits” discussion. Yes, your description of that hotshot MBA and the Catholic Church is MOST apt.
I could give some possibilities: pride (one must be willing to admit one was wrong); investment (one has an investment in either being part of the current system or fighting the current system — two sides of the same coin); apathy and ignorance (no explanation needed); steadfast denial (no matter how bad it gets, it’s not that bad); and last, unquestioning submission to authority (years of pay, pray and obey).
The question, the discussion itself, is not off-limits.
It’s the moral certitude that such a thing is a known fact and that all the faithful must reach the same conclusion if they wish to be faithful to Christ that is off limits.
Cardinal Newman said that “A thousand difficulties do not make one doubt.”
I am telling you with utmost conviction that the minute we believe we can decide for ourselves who is pope and who is not, who is in the Church and who is out, we begin, through our very assent to such thoughts, to obviate the structure and authority Our Divine Lord Himself instituted. We declare that we cannot handle the mystery and complexity of human sin and weakness within the human organization of the divine institution. We set ourselves in a critical, adversarial role toward the offices established to lead and guide us, not just in this earthly life, but to heaven. We do our own part to undermine the papacy itself, and we find ourselves in the position of adjudicator. And when the next pope comes, will he be pope enough for us? What about the one after that?
Look at the sedevacantists. Look at Novus Ordo Watch. All they have is scorn and derision and hubristic self-assurance. They are in a dead end from which they can never emerge, because they have painted themselves into a corner by invalidating every aspect of the Church crisis they find too difficult to accept. Unable to believe that Our Lord would allow error to affect His spotless bride, they immediately cast every man in error into the outer darkness and say he is no member of the faith.
What conclave will ever suffice for them? What pope will ever be Catholic enough? And even if there is one, what right do they have to decide he’s not just a faithful pretender to the throne, once apostolic succession is nothing but a memory?
It’s a terrifying road to go down. It’s essentially schismatic, and it will lead souls to hell. And for many, once they start down that slippery slope, they can never return to the place they came from.
Martin Mosebach wrote about what has happened to the way we approach the liturgy, and it strikes me as directly analagous:
Elsewhere in the book, he says,
We have had incompetent popes, too. And they were kept sequestered away. It did not make them not the pope. The papacy is not an office that requires a holy and good bishop to validate it. In a sense, it is, ex opere operato.
I know that not everyone agrees with my approach to this. And believe me when I say I absolutely think there may be grounds for this papacy to be nullified, should the Church take the time, like a marriage tribunal, to investigate the circumstances.
But like in the case of annulment proceedings, where the couple is assumed married until the Church says there was some defect in the consent, some impediment that negated the bestowing of the sacrament, such that each spouse must treat the other as a true spouse unless the Church determines they were never truly married, so we wait on the Church to judge this papacy, and all the heretics within her ranks.
It is what faithful sons of the Church do. It is our duty. And if we give in to our suspicions and reach conclusions beyond our means…well, I think that way lies madness. And quite possibly eternal damnation.
Hi Steve, I voted a ‘like’ for this article (and Susan’s above it) because of the thoroughness of your response, and the time you took to write it. Thank you very much! And for Susan, I voted a thanks because I didn’t realize I was approaching forbidden territory. Oh yes, I knew we weren’t supposed question the validity of the pope’s election, but as time goes on, and the crisis deepens, we are all of us in a terrible fix.
But I honestly didn’t realize I was expressing “the moral certitude that such a thing is a known fact and that all the faithful must reach the same conclusion if they wish to be faithful to Christ that is off limits.” Now that I look back on it, I suppose it seemed I did indeed state that with “moral certitude” the first half of your statement, but then, remember, I was responding to Brian Miles comment, “These are men who want to destroy the Church, and they’re doing it.” (And he’s a moderator.)
So that’s the response’s origin. “These are men who want to destroy the Church, and they’re doing it.” I didn’t consider it from the angle of moral certitude, but rather from sort of a police procedural. It seems obvious. the clues lead in one direction. And therefore the follow-up thought: why are we in Communion with such? Can we not say men out to destroy the Church are clearly not in Communion with those wanting to preserve it?
Importantly, I’m certainly not thinking that “all the faithful must reach the same conclusion if they wish to be faithful to Christ”. Each person is unique, and each person has their own intelligence, powers of observation and cogitation, etc. Each must decide for himself. Most Catholics, “Magisterium” Catholics, are finally getting the sense that something is badly wrong, but their observations (and certainly their conclusions) are as yet inchoate. (But among such as Robert Royal and perhaps some in the EWTN crowd, certainly the long-time journalist Phil Lawler, they’re getting ever more “clear eyed” about what is happening.)
Final point: there’s a trajectory here, and its dynamic, like a missile launch. It’s rising ever higher and faster. That as time goes on, and the Progressives “progress” along their arc, they’re becoming so increasingly, incrementally, ever more obviously “not Catholic” that they’re really changing the whole Church paradigm – but yet that in itself isn’t problem – nor Bergoglio himself – but rather there’s no defense. We are silenced, we can do nothing. We’re neutered. Just watching the “slo-mo” train wreck. All we can do is just suffer; but honestly, how can anyone endure that for very long?
Nothing to be done about it all, or, apparently, even said, except suffer along. Oh, yes, pray. Work to support the TLM and educate and so on. But as Eric Sammons says in his Crisis article:
http://www.crisismagazine.com/2017/evangelization-vatican-ii-censorship, there’s one absolute taboo subject, and that’s “What will not be found in either of these interpretations is the view
that perhaps Vatican II itself has fundamental problems; problems of
ambiguity and perhaps even erroneous teachings.” We can’t, CANNOT talk about what is so obvious to our Church leaders. They refuse to hear it for any or all of the reasons Susan carefully details above in her post. Even the ones who seem in our camp don’t really do much about it. So I suppose my question is simply: how much longer do we endure this?
Note: not WHAT we’ll do then, but simply, given Brian’s comment I originally posted to, how can we endure this mess NOW?
Yes, indeed, why are we in communion with such people? That is one question to ask. Another question is whether the people who seek to destroy the Catholic Church are in communion with the teachings and the traditions of the Catholic faith/ Church? And if they are not, are faithful and devout Catholics required to be submissive and obedient and under their authority? And what is to be done about these things (if anything)?
On an institutional basis (i.e., the Cardinals and Bishops), very little has been done. They are mostly silent. On an individual basis (the laity), people are doing a variety of things: praying, making a consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, speaking out on the internet, leaving the NO churches and joining SSPX, FSSP, Institute of Christ the King, independent chapels and trying to awaken family and friends and fellow parishioners.
A few other questions might be asked, including: Is the modern Catholic Church still Catholic? Can an individual lay person discern what is Catholic teaching? As compared to what is not Catholic teaching? Can the Catholic Church, which is the pillar and foundation of truth, teach falsehood and heresy? Can the Catholic Church contradict prior teaching and tradition and the deposit of faith? And if it does these things, then what?
So this is my approach: Francis is the official elected pope of the modern Catholic Church; he holds an office and a title. Given Francis’ ever growing list of statements and teachings that contradict prior Catholic Church doctrine and dogma, I do not trust what he says and I do not trust my soul to him as I would trust my soul to St. Peter and to our Lord himself. Every now and then Francis says something that is actually Catholic. What to do …
For me, it is better to treat all of Francis’ words as that one poisoned M&M in the bag of M&Ms. I will not risk spiritual sickness and death by trying to eat the 9,999 M&Ms that are pure and untainted. Francis speaks, I don’t listen. I am not in communion with: “lies, I was deceived”, “sin boldly”, “in praise of Martin Luther and his 95 theses”, “Jesus became the devil,” “Jesus likes it when you sin”, and a whole laundry list of assorted heresies. Maybe others would take a different approach; this is what I believe is the safest route.
Based upon articles and postings on 1P5, I now understand that the 1994 Catechism contains a number of serious errors. I do not have the time, effort or energy to compare Father Hardon’s commentary and recommendations with the CCC itself. Nor do I have the seminary/ theological background to know what to toss and what to keep in the CCC. My solution so as not to fall into serious error: the 1994 CCC will sit untouched/ unopened on my shelf and I will rely entirely upon the Baltimore Catechism and the Catechism of Trent.
Also, thanks to the generous commentators, authors, professors/ theologians and articles here, I have come to question/ doubt the efficacy of the NO liturgy, the validity of the 1969 rite of ordination at the episcopal level — and hence the validity of the bishops, the priests and the consecration of the bread and wine — and the validity/ efficacy of the sacraments in general. I would never have known about nor begun to question any of these things but for this website. I am now awake, and despite the pain involved, I am grateful.
My solution: I will not attend a doubtful mass; I have begun to attend a small independent chapel that offers the traditional Latin mass. I have ordered a copy of a Latin to English Missal so I can follow along with the mass. As for sacraments: I am planning a general confession (because I am not certain previous ones were heard by a validly ordained priest) and I will have my confirmation re-done on a conditional basis (because I am not certain the bishop who confirmed me was ordained under a valid rite of ordination).
As for reading materials, I am going back in time to pre-Vatican II materials and spiritual writings. Currently I am delighting myself with Life of Christ by Archbishop Fulton Sheen and I have discovered Msgr. Knox’s translation of the Holy Bible. (I highly recommend both items.) I figure that if it was right and good and solidly Catholic before, then it is right and good and solidly Catholic now. So what does all of this make me? A faithful and devout Catholic? A practical sedevacantist? A traditionalist? A schematic? A modern-day Martin Luther?
Whatever it makes me, I am at peace with myself and with the Lord.
This is magnificent, actually, Susan. May I have permission to publish it at my blog? Or should I say, Steve, may I ask Susan here for permission to publish at my blog?
It’s not much of a blog; mainly various ruminations on modern Catholicism, the TLM, and Irish Catholicism, past and present. I don’t know what Steve’s policy about such a request is so I’ll no post a link to it or anything, till I hear one way or the other.
But honestly, Susan, this is magnificent. It hits on how we’re to try to survive these upside down times. Each of your points I think is valid, useful, clearly stated and very much to the point.
If I may add a couple of observations about the “mechanism” of our troubles: The system isn’t working, clearly, but what is it, the system, exactly?
Catholic Church’s “constitution” is a three-legged support system, as the U.S. Constitution is, curiously, except the U.S. Constitution stipulates the three supports of government are specifically design to counter-balance each other, to be a self-correcting mechanism, whereas the Church’s three supports: Holy Writ, Sacred Tradition, and the living Magisterium, are supposed to be MUTUALLY SUPPORTIVE.
Curiously enough, it is plain from the New Testament that the living Magisterium is the oldest of the three: what else is the Council of Jerusalem in Acts except the living Magisterium of that day meeting to decide an important issue? Then came Holy Scripture, written mostly by VIP’s in the initial Magisterium: two epistles by St. Peter, head of the Apostles and Christ’s Prime Minister of the New Israel (and one gospel by his secretary and amanuensis, John Mark, later bishop of the 2nd largest city of the empire, Alexandria), one by St. James, bishop and presider at the Jerusalem Council, and the lion’s share of the NT books are written by St. Paul, another VIP at the Council.
It always dumbfounds me – and I grew up among Protestants, mostly rural Methodists and Lutherans – that Protestants just don’t get this; apparently Baptists believe as a matter of essential Baptist dogma (haha, BAPTISTS having DOGMA? But they DO!) that the various attendees at the Council were just buddies and followers (or relatives) of the departed Jesus, and had no hierarchy in any sort of actual institutional “Church”. But whatever. I make this point because nothing the current pope and the Modernists do is so shocking to me (I mean, what would one EXPECT Modernists to do but such stuff, right?) as how Protestants can call themselves Bible Christians and NOT get this.)
Sacred Tradition came last, and is the “Constitutional Case Law) of the Magisterium living the Biblical teachings out over 2,000 years. The difference is, whereas the U.S. Supreme Court is not bound by case law (which is contrary to the original English law system ) the Magisterium IS bound by Sacred Tradition (and the Bible as understood via the decisions of past Magisteriums, i.e., Sacred Tradition).
The whole thing operates as a mutual support system. The living Magisterium has tons of “case law” to guide it and the pope has essential carte blanc authority to legislate and enforce to support the Bible and Tradition. But naturally, were he to depart from supporting the other two legs of support, then his authority evaporates: oh, he’s still “pope” sure, until some validly appoint Council removes him.
What we’re dealing with is that a specialized party (acting very much indeed like a political faction or party – and remember James Madison LOATHED such!) has been working assiduously for over 100 years now to overturn the entire system. And a series of weak popes simply didn’t understand what they were dealing with. Starting with poor John 23, who was honestly too old and not vigorous enough to manage a Council, then the “Weeping Pope Hamlet” Paul 6, who was trying to be a supporter of the Progs but ultimately horrified at where they wanted to go; then poor Albino Luciani, who might well have died of fright. Karol Wojtyla was an amazing Nazi-era survivor and hero against Communism, a wonderful evangelizer but who steadfastly held to Vat 2 principles, which were his downfall: they left him a very bad Church manager because he “didn’t get it”; i.e., he steadfastly
appointed Progs to important sees (can anyone say Cardinal Archbishop
Bergoglio?). The sex scandal, which grew on his watch, and finally the debacle of the Legionnaires of Christ, killed him. And finally the deeply intelligent and subtle theologian, Josef Ratzinger. I think the latter knew VERY well what was going on, but the Modernists’ long-term War of Position left him in a strategically bad place: when they went to an open War of Maneuver (and I firmly believe they did so with Obama’s help), they brought him down.
I pray that understanding this past and present background can, along with the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, help us to deal as effectively with this mess as Susan is doing for herself.
Raghn, I was not intending to write a practical how to survival guide, but I suppose that is what I have done. Have at it. You are welcome to copy/ quote my writing as long as you give proper attribution.
No, the system is not working and yes, the Catholic hierarchy, including Francis, is working to overthrow the entire system. Francis is using his authority to destroy his authority. Then what? We will all be Protestant. Francis’ authority has very much vanished because he no longer supports Scripture or Tradition. The idea is that the Church and the people follow Francis as he follows Christ. Is Francis following Christ? Externally — not internally — by words and actions?
The Protestants have turned individual conscience and private judgment into anarchy. The entire Protestant world is a religious tower of Babel. Scripture alone does not and cannot work. The three legs of the stool really are needed for stability and strength. When the magisterium fails, go back to Scripture and Tradition.
What is your blog name? I would like to visit. Susan
Hi Susan, sorry for the delay. Many thanks! I’ll definitely give proper attribution.
As Steve’s not said anything as of now and as this thread is far “downstream” now, my blog is: corvinescatholiccorner. As I say, it isn’t much, but let me know what you think.
And many thanks again, for this!
Steve, thank you. Please make this into an article! I found it very helpful, too much so to stay buried here qhere few will read it.
Brian, Three different times I heard 3 People tell me that ( they are burning ALL the old Books about the Most Blessed Virgin MARY and the Saints. ). This actually took place if Anyone Desires ALL of the Details. I will tell ALL of YOU about it. IT IS TRUE, IT DID TAKE PLACE. From—- Michael Emerson Long I DESIRE to place here my own E-mail—- [email protected]
While Catholicism in Germany is declining, young German-speaking men intent on remaining faithul to their vocation to the priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ still have the option of applying to the excellent Herz Jesu Seminary (SSPX) in Zaitzkofen (http://www.priesterseminar-herz-jesu.de). As for the lay faithful in and around Cologne seeking to follow and deepen their Catholic Faith, the SSPX chapel in Köln-Kalk is just a short U-Bahn ride away (http://fsspx.de/de/köln-–-kapelle-heilige-drei-könige).
Don’t leave out the FSSP:
The situation in Germany is very sad. In my graduate school I have become friends with a Catholic from Germany who is clearly a product of the secularizing initiative put forward by the German hierarchy. While my friend is against homosexuality, gay marriage, the Islamic invasion, etc, he is very secular in matters of faith. The usual “I don’t think people should spread their religion,” “I like Judaism because they don’t proselytize,” type stuff. It just seems to me like the Church in Germany has offered very little (from his standpoint – not objectively in terms of the sacraments) that would motivate him to truly believe the faith. Please pray for him, and pray for me that I may cooperate with God’s grace in showing him the beauty and richness of the authentic Catholic faith.
There is still hope for your friend. I know “Catholics” here under the age of 40 who are active in their parish but openly pro sodomite “marriage”, pro-invasion, pro-shacking up, you name it. The Church began at Vat II, see, and if you hold on to the past you are an intolerant homophobic bigot.
It’s like banging your head against a brick wall trying to open the eyes of these people.
Then why do you do it?
Didn’t Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself tell us to shake the dust off our sandals and move on to the next?
Aint the new Francis “mercy” grand? They’ll toss you for showing interest in Traditional Catholic liturgy but if you’re a flaming homosexual they’ll ordain you in a heartbeat. This is what the Church has come to. The ancient Mass of so many Catholic saints is now considered to be a sign of spiritual sickness while sympathy for sodomy is considered to be a sign of enlightenment.
The Church so needs to be purified and cleansed of this filth. It’s been overrun by unbelieving homoheretics who’ve completely disfigured its beauty. We so need some sort of schism or persecution which will blow away the chaff.
“…or persecution which will blow away the chaff.”
Don’t worry about that. It will come. It almost came.
Indeed. The Ordinaries of the three major German archdioceses of Berlin, Cologne and Munich (Koch, Woelki and Marx, respectively) have all, to a greater or lesser extent, come out of favour of sodomite unions.
Come Lord Jesus.
Do they deserve better than this?
We get the Priesthood we deserve.
Yes, we do. And it would serve every Catholic who cares about his or her faith to pick up the Baltimore Cathecism, learn the true faith in a very readable format and start working to change things in our own homes. Obviously there’s more rich material than the BC but since nearly none of us received an ounce of authentic Catholic teaching, the BC is a heck of place to start.
You say: “When we consider the words of Dr. Barth, we may find ourselves dismissively thinking, “Well, it’s Germany, what do you expect?” But don’t the German people need Holy Mass & the Sacraments? Don’t the German people need good priests?
And yes indeed, Germans do need these .
But it is right to say: Well it’s Germany what do you expect?
It’s like saying: Well we have Hitler, can you expect better?
The only thing we can really expect from corrupt leadership is corruption. What else?
At the same time, having acknowledged that that is what we can expect from apostate shepherds, we work with those who have not sold out to the evil one. We do what best we can do while imploring the help and guidance of ALMIGHTY God. And I capitalized that on purpose let’s we forget that He has the last say.
“Seminarians were being trained to think differently about the priesthood,”
Yes, they are being taught to think of the priesthood in Lutheran terms.
Greetings from apostate Germany. In the village where I live there is no longer a parish, but rather the previous parish was dissolved and merged with 9 other parishes. Today this conglomeration for 10 parishes is served by a mere three priests.
All three of these priests are from Poland.
Not a single German priest for 10 parishes. This is northern Germany, but in an somewhat Catholic enclave.
What I wonder about this article is why these faithful seminarians just don’t send their applications to the FSSP. Unless they are hoping to be the leaven for the future of the diocese.
Thanks for this. Polish priests! And Germany tried to level Poland into oblivion.
The levelling of clergy to equivalence with laity within the Neocatechumenate has always troubled me as Kingdoms are always hierachical but this democratising element flows through to their liturgical rite too. As in the German experience described, exposure to the Latin Mass reinforces the distinct other-worldly dimension of priesthood which is obviously seen as a threat to the new equality movement visible in the Church. So sad and irritating that persecution comes immediately to seminarians!
Flashback 8 November 1979.
It was in 1979 that Abp Lefebvre made clear that ‘fewer and fewer Masses are valid these days, as the faith of priests is destroyed and they possess no longer the intention to do what the Church does. The current formation of seminarians today does not prepare them to celebrate Mass validly. The propitiatory Sacrifice of the Mass is no longer considered the essential work of the priest. Nothing is sadder or more disappointing than to read the sermons or teachings of the Conciliar bishops on the subject of vocations, or on the occasion of a priestly ordination. They no longer know what a priest is.’ (Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre, Vol 2, Chpt XL).
All the more reason to support FSSP and SSPX.
The FSSP has to rely on the good will of diocesan bishops. The SSPX has bishops. That’s why Archbishop Lefebvre ordained 4 priests to become bishops. They ordain priests and administer Confirmation according to the traditional rites. That’s why the Archbishop called it “Operation Survival”. Had he not done so, the Latin Church would be in even worse shape today.
Monsignor, pray for your spiritual sons and daughters!
Nine ordinations in Cologne Archdiocese in one year? It may be a poor performance by historic Cologne standards. There were 19 ordinations for 22 dioceses in the whole of England and Wales in 2016. Plainly shrinkage to a tiny remnant of clergy is not far off, even though we import priests from Poland and elsewhere.
More Orwellian “welcoming” from the Pope Francis “Do As I Say, Not As I Do” brigade.
The worst is yet to come. Only six weeks until the bomb falls: the celebration of Wittenberg, in which Pope Francis, a scarcely veiled practicing Lutheran, will become absolutely “crazy on you” whenever Martin Luther and the Reformation are mentioned.
That’s what the Pentecostal Kenneth Copeland said soon after meeting Francis…we ain’t seen nothing yet. He meant in terms of bringing the Christian world into unity. I believe. Ecumenism on steroids.
Wittemberg’s anniversary is oct 31st.
Before Wittemberg we have the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima on oct 13th. Let’s hope that our Lady will trigger some natural or supernatural event that will occult Wittemberg forever.
“…A clumsily veiled practicing Lutheran.”
So aptly, aptly put.
A rich article with many points to ponder, and pray, over. This statement jumps out:
“The church is not a moral institution that goes around pointing its finger at people,” he said. “The church is a community of seekers and believers, and it would like to help people find happiness in life.”
This is the exact opposite of what the Church is. Start from thinking like this and it’s done. Poor Germany! I live in Canada which is just as bad, but duller and quieter so I must pray for my country too.
“The church is not a moral institution that goes around pointing its finger at people,” Woelki should have just stopped at “The church is not a moral institution.” And the German Church should certainly NOT be pointing fingers, considering—just as one example—that the Church still peddles novels such as “Fifty Shades of Grey” through their bookselling arm, ironically named “Weltbild.” (Their site is http://www.buecher.de)
The fact that faithful men refrain from taking orders in such a church is a positive sign—I would actually be very suspicious about those that do or have.
“Happiness in life” is the goal? Is that the imitation of Christ? Was Christ happy on the way to Calvary? Was he happy in Gethsemane? Was he happy hanging around with apostles who constantly doubted him and wanted signs? Did he enjoy dealing with the pharisees? Was it fun to stand before Pilate?
“Presider over the Eucharist”? Is that what it means to be In Persona Christi? Is that what Christ did in the upper room: preside over the Eucharist?
Why don’t these bishops and priests leave the Church and start a gigantic Tony Robbins-esque speaking company where they can go around affirming everybody and everything?
Ah but Brian W, they HAVE done EXACTLY that – they’re just careful to not change the name so we keep funding ’em.
Let Elton John fund ’em. See how far that gets ’em.
I believe something also needs to be changed in those of us who have been given the gift of finding the true faith of the apostles. When we speak with arrogance and contempt with, or about. those still struggling, this gift is wasted on us. We do harm to our faith and give ammunition to the opposition, either human or ‘spiritual’. Each of us will be held responsible for this.
For myself this temptation never ceases. Pride, fear of my own failures in the struggle with personal sins, seems to fuel these attitudes and behaviours. Criticizing and denigrating others can feel very cathartic. But at what cost? I am trying not to do either here, as angrily criticizing others is one of my own deeply imbedded sins. I just happen to feel this towards other faithful Catholics! I believe we can really help by seriously praying for each other to be worthy witnesses without watering down the truth – about ourselves as well.
With our prayers, they will fail in the long run.
A further example that demonstrates that the crisis in the Church is a crisis of the liturgy. Every orthodox Catholic knows that the priesthood is a unique institution that places the priest as the shepherd of the flock. By the very nature of his sacrament, he is apart from ordinary people. Charged with the Apostolic mission to administer the sacraments; to teach and confirm the faith. He is delegated to continue the apostolic mission of the local bishop. ( at a diocesan level) Only a priest can bring down from heaven, the very person of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. And would anyone really want to die without the Sacrament of Extreme Unction. There is not a member of the laity in existence that can help us with these sacraments; or for that matter can permanent deacons, and religious members. He, the priest alone, has these powers.
I woukld suggest that if a man with a vocation to the priesthood is being refused ordination because he is a traditional Catholic, he should contact the traditional orders that would be happy to have him.
“… he should contact the traditional orders that would be happy to have him.”
21 And Peter remembering, said to him: Rabbi, behold the fig tree, which thou didst curse, is withered away.
22 And Jesus answering, saith to them: Have the faith of God.
23 Amen I say to you, that whosoever shall say to this mountain, Be thou removed and be cast into the sea, and shall not stagger in his heart, but believe, that whatsoever he saith shall be done; it shall be done unto him.
24 Therefore I say unto you, all things, whatsoever you ask when ye pray, believe that you shall receive; and they shall come unto you.
Sadly, it appears like Satan handles these bishops like puppets. They are so proud of their intellect that they feel smarter than the Church, the saints, the apostles and Jesus Christ. They are destroying the Church and we try to hold on. It will survive and the Holy Ghost will influence her leaders once again but we must hold out to the end as the early christians were rejected by the Jewish leaders, we are rejected by these bishops. But our leader is Jesus Christ and guides and protects us if we trust in him. Our future is in the Church in heaven.
The weakening and destruction of the Earthly Church from within is what the French revolutionaries, the Masons, Bismarck, the Nazis, and the atheistic Communists atttempted to do. It is as if all these forces had diabolically blended together and were now in charge; the secularised ‘church’ where the Golden Calf is the totem of post-conciliar neo-modernism mechanically promoted by an ageing generation of faithless apparatchiks.
How can so many supposedly Catholic prelates look upon this wasteland and call it ‘good’. No wonder Satan is so old hat amongst them.
PetrusJacobus:I’m a newcomer at commenting, please bear with me; I have followed you for some time. I’ve been struck but what appears to be the ongoing rearrangement of the pews in a collapsing Church (okay, I’m new)… For months now we’ve been discussing what we can/should/can’t do to address the problem(s) of the barque of Peter. I have learned a lot. However, I see no substantial movement in the discussions. As I see it, we may be too close to the problem. If we step back 100yrs, we might see more clearly. Our Lady of Fatima offered us THE answer: The Consecration of Russia by the Pope and his bishops. If that were done, Russia would be converted, the Church would be restored, and the world will have peace. True, we have a “little” problem convincing an apostate hierarchy hanging on to their hope for a Marxist cum Masonic New World Order, but that’s where I think we need to put our money. Speaking of money, is anyone among you a canon lawyer or knowledgeable regarding canon law? I’m not. However, I’ve wondered whether the Laity might withhold a percentage of their offerings to convince the bishops and the pope that we really care if Our Lady’s will is obeyed or not. I have read the canons and found some (Canon 212, 216, 221) that appear to uphold the laity’s right to take certain initiatives, while Canon 222 instructs us to see that the Church has the resources to pursue its mission. It seems to me that there is ‘wiggle room’ here, but I don’t know if this possibility has ever been pursued. If it turns out to be ‘kosher’, perhaps we could develop an initiative that might withhold X % from our diocesan and papal offerings (not our parish offerings) and use the amount withheld to directly support appropriate local social/health care needs. Some funds might be allocated to inform the media of this initiative, and a short explanatory form could be created to be enclosed with the offerings. Just a thought, but sometimes money talks.
I too was shunned in my own Diocese. I was never Helped in my Desire to Enter a Religious Order. At one Franciscan Monastery I was actually pushed in a corner by the Superior and was told– ( I do not want anything extraordinary in this Monastery and that means you. ) I Here–by at my own Desire leave my own E-mail. PLEASE allow it at my own Request. Michael Emerson Long E-mail — [email protected]