Saturday, November 21, 2015


The German Church is the Church of Bling, not just one of her bishops! Pope Francis knows this although he made the bishop of bling an example to the entire German episcopacy.

And thus no one made any comment about which pope had said some strong words to German Bishops. What I printed made it look like Pope Benedict was saying it but no, indeed, it was Pope Francis sounding a lot like Pope Benedict in his chastisement of the worldliness of the German Church and her rich bishops.

Unlike Former PI, Pope Francis does not have his head buried in the sand as it concerns the causation of the deleterious effects the 1960's "spirit" of Vatican II had on the Church. The Holy Father hits the nail on the head in comparing the pre-Vatican II Church and her vibrancy in Germany to the German Church's decline and fall since that time. In pre-Vatican II times almost all Catholics went to Mass the Pope says, whereas today not even 10% go! And the same for Confession. The Holy Father says that the proper celebrations of both the Mass and Confession are necessary to recover the pre-Vatican vibrancy of the Church in Germany! 

This is Edward Pentin's of the National Catholic Register reporting on this stunning message of chastisement of the German Church and her bishops by Pope Francis. He calls them Pelagians:

Pope Warns of Erosion of Faith in Germany, Worldliness in the Church

Wikimedia commons
Cologne Cathedral
– Wikimedia commons
Pope Francis' address today to German bishops on their ad limina visit was not the only message for the country's episcopate. It seems his morning homily was, too.
In his address at the end of the German bishops' ad limina this week, the Holy Father said “one can truly speak of an erosion of the Catholic faith in Germany”.
“Whereas in the 1960’s the faithful almost everywhere attended Mass every Sunday," he noted, "today it is often less than 10 percent."

He called on the bishops to use the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy to revive the Church through rediscovering “the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist” in the face of a collapse in sacramental participation in the country.

But in his morning homily, too, the Pope appeared to speak to the German hierarchy, warning against the temptation to ecclesiastical “worldliness”, and urging those present not to become "dominated by money and power."

This is an underlying problem frequently attributed to the German church, most notably by Benedict XVI in his “enweltlichung” speech during his visit to Germany in 2011.

The reasons for its worldliness are complex but are essentially rooted in the nation’s Kirchensteuer (Church tax) that has helped make it one of the wealthiest churches in the world and the nation’s second largest employer. The Church is therefore rich in structures and generous in humanitarian aid, but its dependence on the state has smothered its missionary spirit. Mass attendance has collapsed and the hierarchy has been criticized for compromising on Church teaching in the face of strong secularism.

In his speech to the bishops, Pope Francis therefore directly appealed to them not to “put trust in administrative structures, in perfect organizations”. He called such a tendency “a sort of new Pelagianism” — a term reminiscent of his critique of the Italian church last week.

Noting the sacraments are approached “less often” (a survey released earlier this year showed 54% of Germany’s priests go to Confession just once a year or less), and that vocations have “significantly diminished”, the Pope said the solution depends upon overcoming “paralyzing resignation”.
It cannot be based upon an attempt to “rebuild from the wrecks of ‘the good old days’ in the past,” he said, but rather inspired by the life of the early Christians.

He told the bishops to highlight the importance of Confession during the Year of Mercy, which can help “reform the Church”, and to stress the “intimate connection” between the Eucharist and the priesthood. The “precious collaboration” of the laity cannot be a “surrogate” for the priesthood. “If there is not priest, there is no Eucharist,” the Pope said.

On the theme of evangelization, he said it is "essential" that the bishop "conscientiously perceives his task as teacher of the faith, of the traditional and lived faith in the living community of the universal Church." The Pope also stressed that "fidelity to the Church and to the Magisterium does not contradict academic freedom, but it requires an attitude of willingness to serve in relation to the gifts of God."

The Pope further reminded the bishops that the Church must “never get tired of being the advocate of life, and should never step back from proclaiming that human life must be protected unconditionally from conception to natural death.”

Any compromise on this issue, he added, “makes one guilty of being part of a ‘throwaway culture,’” in a society where the suffering of the weakest and most defenseless — the unborn, the elderly, and the sick — have left their wounds. “All of us in the end will suffer the painful consequences,” he said.
The Pope thanked the German Church for helping refugees through providing shelter and humanitarian aid.

In his homily this morning, the Pope referred to the day’s readings: the reconsecration of the Holy Temple in the book of Maccabees after it had been destroyed by pagans and those obsessed by worldliness; and Jesus’ driving of the merchants from the temple (Luke 19:45-48).

The Pope noted that at the time of the Maccabees, worldly desire “displaced the Living God”. In Jesus’ time, the chief priests and scribes had “dishonored the Temple”, the symbol of the Church.

When the Church enters “such a state of decline, the end is bad. Very bad indeed,” he said.
Corruption is always a danger within the Church, the Pope said, and instead of devotion to the faith, she becomes “dominated by money and power.” The chief priests, he said, “did not know how to worship the Lord because they were too distracted by money and power, and by a form of worldliness”. The Church must not worship “holy bribery”, the Pope said, but turn to Jesus’ love where there is “no room for worldliness” or corruption.

“We must never seek comfort in another master,” the Pope said, but pray that we may “never fall into the trap of worldliness where we will be obsessed only by money and power.”


JBS said...

Were the Maccabees fighting against money and power, or against false worship?

DJR said...

Are these examples of what is labeled "Right Wing" Catholicism?

TJM said...

In the face of all of the destruction these double-knit dinosaurs will still wax nostagically about the "glories" of Vatican II and its "reforms." The more like the world the Church becomes, the less effective she is. It was the countercultural aspects of the Church which made it vibrant, something the progressives never understood. Instead of Vatican II influencing the world, the world influenced the Church.

Mark Thomas said...

I am sorry, but in regard to His Holiness Pope Francis's comments in question, we have heard the same thing for decades from our Vatican II Era Pontiffs.

Alongside the party line that the liturgical revolution, ecumenism and interreligious "dialogue" have produced tremendous successes...we're supposedly in the midst of a liturgical and spiritual "renewal"...we also have received the "Church is in shambles" addresses from our Popes.

But the situation never changes in regard to Vatican II Era crisis. On second thought, the situation changes...the crisis grows broader and deeper by the day.

In regard to Popes who have read the riot act to Germany's bishops...sorry, been there, done that.


"...united Germany has not become more Protestant - as was initially thought - but simply less Christian.

"The fundamental consensus on Christian values as the basis of society seems to be crumbling.

"The Church must ask herself about her own role in a society where references to God are becoming increasingly rare, because in many areas there is no more room for him."

The collapse of the Church in Germany has only worsened since 1999 A.D., when Pope Saint John Paul II uttered the above remarks."

Is anybody confident that the German episcopate will reverse the horrific collapse of the Church in Germany?

I believe that in Germany, it will remain full steam ahead in regard to Novus Ordoism, ecumenism (particularly the determination to "celebrate" in 2017 A.D. the Protestant Reformation (Revolt), interreligious "dialogue", and the continued Islamization of the country.

German Churchmen will continue to embrace failed policies...and work diligently to thwart the restoration of the TLM and Holy Tradition.


Mark Thomas

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Good Father - Inasmuch as you failed to see the lesbianism and the cannibalism in "Fried Green Tomatoes," it is not surprising that you see "causation" in the Holy Father's remarks. You see what you want to see.

Unless there is more to the Holy Father's words published elsewhere, I don't see him drawing in lines that link the situation in Germany (and beyond) to the changes implemented by and after Vatican II.

I do note that he warns against traditionalist nostalgia (my terms). "It cannot be based upon an attempt to “rebuild from the wrecks of ‘the good old days’ in the past,” he said, but rather inspired by the life of the early Christians."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Certainly we see in the Holy Father's crystal clear linear remarks a sort of conversion, a metanoia if you will, as it concerns the vibrancy of the pre-
Vatican II Church compared to the decline and fall of the post-Vatican II Church spurred on by the spirit of Vatican II and the hermeneutic of rupture that has plaqued Europe so horribly. The Holy Father's metanoia at the age of 79 should give you hope that one day, you too, can experience the same and understand the causation.

Anonymous said...

Benedict was going to rationalize and correct the mistakes committed in the name of the second vatican council. His untimely retirement prevented the completion the necessary reform of the reform. It will await a new orthodox Holy Father like perhaps Cardinal Sara to reignite the fire of final and total purification.


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Yes, there was "vibrancy" in those times and, yes, that vibrancy is now lacking. But I don't see a causal link being offered by the Holy Father to the reforms of Vatican II.

I do see something else. Wealth. Worldliness. A world dominated by money and power. "This is an underlying problem frequently attributed to the German church,..."

We who are wealthy - we have all our material needs met, and then some - have a much more difficult time understanding our need for God. We fill our needs - in many cases, our wants - with the passing things of this world while neglecting the things that last.

In this regard, I often think of the words spoken by John Winthrop on the Arabella in 1630, as he and his band of merry Puritans were preparing to disembark.

"For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as one man. We must entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of others’ necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other; make others’ conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace."

As far as Europe being "plaqued," I am sure a good dentist could take care of that with a simple cleaning.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Former PI, just as you now admit that it is possible to get a disease from the common chalice you now admit that the pre-Vatican II Church in Germany (and of course by logical extension to every place in the world) was more vibrant. You correctly state:
"Yes, there was "vibrancy" in those times and, yes, that vibrancy is now lacking." This is powerful! I give thanks to God for your conversion, you metanoia in this regard just has you have had the same as it concerns the transmission of deadly diseases especially to those which immune deficiencies, via the common chalice.

God the almighty Dentist has removed the plaque from your brain with a simply cleaning of grace so you won't be plagued by cobwebbed thinking. This is a miracle of God's grace indeed.

Now simply allow the Almighty Dentist to do some drilling, maybe a brain root canal, to allow you to see the actual causation of post-Vatican II spirit of Vatican II nonsense in the liturgy, in the hierarchy to include ordinary priests like you and in religious life and catechesis that has led to a nearly dead Church in Germany and other parts of the world and alarmingly taking place in America once the most religious country in the world. Post Vatican II Catholicism cannot stand up to anti-Catholic secular forces as pre-Vatican II Catholicism did with it vibrancy in face of great oppression.

Gene said...

Plaque lives matter.

JBS said...

I agree with Father Kavanaugh's assessment of money and power. Now is the time for us to turn to our poor brethren in Africa, allowing the likes of Cardinal Sarah and Cardinal Arinze to guide us. Germans should not tell us too much what we have to do.

Anonymous said...

Look I have heard all of this before for years and years nothing will happen of course, the German bishops could care less if the the Chruch in Germany dies or not and guess what? The Roman Catholic Church died along time ago in Germany and in Europe for that matter. Right now as we speak the Europenan continent if being invaded by the millions and say millions of MUSLIMS, and the Pope is worried about the German Church?? Years ago I was in Germany for Easter, in particular Bavaria and the Rhineland both bastions of Roman Catholicism, well let me tell you each city and town I went to the Catholic and yes even the Lutheran churches were for the most part EMPTY. On the other hand the Turkish mosques whether real ones or just storefront mosques were packed and I said to myself my God is this Germany or Turkey?? My friends listen to the great politian and speaker from Holland Geert Wilders, who in his speeches will has stated ISLAM IS ISLAM their is no moderate form of that faith it is ISLAM and it will destroy Europe by the year 2050 if it is not stopped. The only hope for the German and European Church is the complete return of THE TLM and once and for all boot the Novus Ordo is has destroyed the Church.

Anonymous said...

Look at the Dutch Church prior to the Second Vatican Council talk about "vibrant" the Roman Catholic Churches in Holland were packed and the seminaries overflowing, 1960's did something to the Holy Church much more than one can imagine. All of this can be for a reason the Holy Ghost has in-store for us we may not know yet, it very well can be a CLEANSING of the Church and the restoration of the Traditional Latin Mass and sacraments. But in the meantime the Islamic invasion of Europe continues at full speed, Cardinal Sarah has warned the world about the evil of Islam and what is going to happen if it is not put to an end!!! Yet Barack Hussein Obama still want's more and more Syrian Muslims to come into the United States, folks, remember that Obama because of patronage in the eyes of Islam is a Muslim, his father and stepfather were both Muslims and Obama attended Islamic schools in Indonesia and he can recite the Quran in FLUENT ARABIC.

Anonymous said...

Indeed this is all by design, our way of life in America is coming to an end, this man who sits in the White House with help from the likes of George Soros and other communists is flooding this country with peoples from the third world bent on destroying the Juedo-Christian and yes European make-up of the United States and Obama is succeeding at an alarming rate and not one person is trying to stop him. My friends the Liberals make fun of our past when we could say Merry Christmas, harmless shows such as I Love Lucy, ladies wore dresses, we shared a common culture, the Liberals hated that time in American history and it appears we will never see those day's again. Many of us here knew what Obama was all about, people such as Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, Andrew Brietbart, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer all warned us about this man and yet he won two elections and look at our once great nation and the world!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sharia is coming to America, it has already taken root in once Christian Europe, there is no such thing as "moderate" Islam.

Anonymous said...

"Not one person is trying to stop him (Obama)".

Anonymous, how do you propose to "stop him?" He was elected twice in Electoral College landslides---won every state in the Northeast each time, along with big states elsewhere like California and Illinois. Won about half of the Catholic vote too. Even carried Bibb County (Macon)---though maybe not the pastor residing at 830 Poplar Street!

You really miss the "good ol days" of say the 1930s-1950s in America? Like segregated schools, the Klan running rampant in the South, no air conditioning, slow two-lane highways to get around (no interstates)..polio epidemics? Threat of nuclear war? There has never been an idyllic time in American history. If everything is so bad, why do people want to keep coming here? I don't see a huge influx into North Korea. You sound like the "gloom and doom" Republican presidential candidates we have today, unlike Reagan in the 1980s.

As for the Muslims, there are over a billion of them...what do you propose to do about that? As I recall, they also help fight the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s---should we have sided with the Soviets instead? Islam is decentralized and made up of many factions---more secular in Turkey for instance.

Oh, and the Constitution provides for "no religious test" for office. WE might keep that in mind as Catholics were banned in Georgia when the colony was settled by James Oglethorpe in 1733, or in the Puritan Northeast.

Flavius Hesychius said...

more secular in Turkey for instance.

This is a joke (or insult, if you're Greek) to anyone who knows how Orthodox Christians are treated by the Turkish government.

Gene said...

Anonymous, the fact is that we were better off in the 50's as a nation of laws and as a nation that was more homogenous and cohesive, in spite of the issues of race and such. I would gladly go back to two lane roads and no interstates, and I lived without AC until I was sixteen years old right here in Middle Georgia, the Klan was not "running rampant," and we had the polio vaccine in the 50's. The threat of nuclear war is always there, but the world was safer during the so-called Cold War because the two super powers were at least civilized and shared many cultural and religious values. The decline of this country began when we integrated a huge, culturally foreign underclass with no preparation and no effort at assimilating them but, instead, lowered standards on every front to try to smooth the transition. It has not has served only to drag everyone down to the lowest common denominator. This is not racist, it is the truth. Now, we have worse race relations in this country than when the Klan, as you say, was "running rampant." Blacks are being used by every Leftist faction in an effort to destroy the Republic, resentment is growing among whites, and the Leftist government is complicating the problem by trying to admit other clashing races and beliefs. In the 50's, there would have been no black gang shootings all over the country because blacks were rightly scared of the law and white men. The white male has disappeared in a cloud of Calvin Klein apparel, Seinfeld type sit coms, androgynous Hollywood males, and narcissistic "reality shows." There was nothing wrong with the primarily caucasian, Western European, Christian culture of the 50's. Homogenous cultures are good, they function well, and are easily governed with minimal government. We were all better off (perhaps even blacks, according to some) and what we have now can in no way be called "better." Those of you who are not old enough to remember cannot understand.

Anonymous 2 said...


“Homogenous cultures are good, they function well, and are easily governed with minimal government.”

You may be correct that homogenous cultures function well with minimal government. But is this why Protestant America was so anti-Catholic even up through the 1980s (and in some parts still is)? I guess it was a big mistake letting us “Papists” in. Naughty thought: How much of the anti-immigrant sentiment today is due to a latent (or not so latent) lingering anti-Catholicism? I genuinely don’t know but perhaps the question is worth asking.

As for the Soviet Union being “civilized” and “shar[ing] many . . . religious values,” I am sure the Christian churches would have liked to know this during the many persecutions they had to suffer during the Cold War. More generally, I went behind the Iron Curtain three times, to East Berlin, and that was the “showcase” city! Drab and dreary doesn’t begin to describe it. And then there was the chilling “killing field” between East Berlin. No thanks.

Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. That should have been “And then there was the “killing field” between East and West Berlin." Somehow West Berlin got erased. I am sure the Soviets would be pleased.