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Priests rebel to include remarried divorcees
Zollitsch. Photo: DPA

Priests rebel to include remarried divorcees

Published: 18 Jun 2012 14:36 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Jun 2012 14:36 GMT+02:00

German priests are rebelling over accepting remarried divorcees into their churches, forcing a confrontation between their bishop and Catholic authorities.

The campaign of disobedience is centred on the “Freiburg Declaration” – a statement signed by around 200 active priests and deacons calling for remarried divorcees to be given communion even though it is against Catholic law.

“We want to end a decades-old stalemate,” said Freiburg pastor Hansjörg Rasch.

“The commandment of brotherly love must also apply to those who have failed in their first marriage and are trying again,” said Konrad Irslinger, a priest from nearby.

Many churches give communion to remarried divorcees on the quiet, a practice that is tolerated, even though strictly it should not be allowed.

The “Freiburg Declaration” is calling for changes to the Catholic law which bars all remarried divorcees from communion – as well as from holding any church office, such as a seat in the parish council.

Freiburg’s bishop Robert Zollitsch is being put in a tricky situation by the rebellion in his diocese – he is chairman of the German Catholic bishops and last year came up against fierce resistance from the Vatican after speaking of a possible change in the law.

Catholic authorities refer to the sanctity of marriage as a demonstration of dedication to God – something that can never be broken.

Since then he has been silent on the subject in the hope of avoiding a confrontation, and has called for all priests to either not sign the declaration – and to withdraw their support if they have already done so.

He is due to meet members from the initiative for talks on Thursday.

The church reform movement “We are the Church” has called for the bishops to follow the declaration, and hope the rebellion, which already has a considerable following in the neighbouring diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, will gather strength and provoke a change.

DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:30 June 18, 2012 by twisted
Religion means zip to me but for those of you who believe in God and are Catholic, and who are being told by the church you can¦#39;t do this and you can¦#39;t do that, why stay as a Catholic? Move to another church or religion. The Catholic Church in my opinion is about 100 years behind society in general. Gays and Lesbians are not welcome, divorce is only proper through the church, priests cannot marry, women are controlled by the church in their anti-abortion stand, sexual scandals abound…need I go on? Tell the pope and the CC to take a hike….and you can save on your taxes.
17:02 June 18, 2012 by XFYRCHIEF
"Catholic authorities refer to the sanctity of marriage as a demonstration of dedication to God ­ something that can never be broken." Unless, of course, you pay off the church to have the marriage "annulled". As long as the church gets its share of the money, it can't be done.
19:18 June 18, 2012 by Nina Williams
@XFYRCHIEF...I assume that you are referring to that Kennedy fiasco...well said!!!
20:15 June 18, 2012 by romber58
I am a former Seminarian who was ironically rescued from this religious brainwashing, partly due to the good all round education that i received there. It encouraged me at least to think for myself and to eventually cast aside the "mind-forged manacles" of the catholic church and any other religion which tells anyone who wants to hear that it is in posession of THE TRUTH.

As TWISTED said,"Religion means zip to me".

I must admit though that i follow with glee any new scandal and embarrassment that these elderly virgins in the Vatican bring on themselves.
22:47 June 18, 2012 by wood artist
The Catholic church may have been founded upon the principles expounded by Jesus, but those were forgotten long ago. Ever since then it's been all about power, and Germany, sitting in the middle of Europe should know that more than any other nation. Heck, until the period between WWI and WWII, the Pope still claimed that he alone had the power to actually "accept" national rulers...be they hereditary or elected! That old phrase "divine right of kings" came from...Rome!

This argument is just more of the same. Jesus hung around with some really shady characters, and taught that all people had value and that we should love all of them, not just some. "Love the sinner but hate the sin" was a part of that, but the Catholic bosses don't see it that way. Screw up once...i.e. marry the "wrong person" and you should either suck it up and make each other miserable for the rest of your lives...and probably mess up your kids in the process, or divorce...and go straight to hell forever. Yeah, that sounds exactly like something Jesus would say, right?

In any church decision, just ask yourself "Does this somehow increase their power?" I'm betting the answer will always be yes.

wa
10:51 June 19, 2012 by Bigfoot76
"elderly virgins" You mean diddling with the alter boys does not count? :D

"Love the sinner but hate the sin" This is exactly how is it supposed to be.
20:05 June 20, 2012 by romber58
There is no such thing as sin, Bigfoot76,unless one is caught up in the religious way of thinking.
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