Cologne, Germany, Feb 19, 2019 / 16:38 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Noting the challenges facing the Church in Germany, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne told EWTN last week that amid dispute over the Church's “direction”, the bishops are called to preserve the faith.
“The current situation in Germany is indeed difficult. And there does seem to be a dispute about the overall direction [of the Church], which was certainly also triggered by the abuse scandal. There are now those voices who argue it is time to cast aside everything we have hitherto held onto. To abandon old times. I think that is a very dangerous concept,” Woelki told EWTN.TV's program director, Martin Rothweiler, Feb. 13.
“We are part of a great Tradition. The Church also stands for truths that transcend time. And it is not our task to now go and invent a new Church by ourselves. The Church is not just leverage that we have been handed to exercise [as we see fit]. Rather, it is our task as bishops to preserve the faith of the Church, as it has come down to us from the apostles, and to say and proclaim it afresh in our times, and also to preserve it for generations to come, and to express it for them in such a way that they too can encounter Christ as their salvation.”
Woelki commented that “one of the fundamental challenges” facing the Church in Germany “is to keep alive the question of God in our society as a whole. More and more people are convinced that they can live their lives rather well without God. Right there is where the Church has a very important task to play in making clear that God does exist, and that God is in fact the very origin of everything. The question of God to me therefore is one of the fundamental challenges we need to tackle.”
Woelki, 62, has been Archbishop of Cologne since 2014. He was ordained a priest of the archdiocese in 1984, and became its auxiliary bishop in 2003. He was Archbishop of Berlin from 2011 until his return to Cologne, during which time he was made a cardinal.