Feb 15, 2011 / 23:31 pm
Increasing numbers of European theologians have signed onto a set of proposals they say will “renew” the struggling German Church. But while the German bishops say they are willing to hold discussions, they have indicated that the proposal re-treads old ground and contradicts important Catholic convictions.
As of Feb. 15, 227 theologians from three German-speaking countries had signed their names to a letter entitled “The Church in 2011: A necessary departure,” which was first endorsed by 143 signatories on Feb. 3.
Issues of sexuality, authority, and cultural adaptation dominated the statement, which used revelations of sexual abuse at Berlin's Canisius school – revealed in early 2010, approximately three decades after they occurred – as the jumping-off point for a series of wide-ranging proposals.
“The deep crisis of our Church,” the theologians wrote, “demands that we address even those problems which, at first glance, do not have anything directly to do with the abuse scandal and its decades-long cover-up.” Many German Catholics, they said, have come to believe that “deep-reaching reforms are necessary.”