Archive for December 20th, 2012

Abbot’s call for Church reform receives attention throughout Europe

Swiss Abbot Makes Fiery Appeal for Church Reform

A fiery appeal for church reform by an influential Swiss abbot has attracted widespread attention throughout Europe, and has, moreover, been welcomed by the future president of the Swiss bishops’ conference. Fifty-year-old Abbot Martin Werlen, leader of the Abbey of Einsiedeln and himself a member of the Swiss bishops’ conference, first voiced his appeal in a sermon on the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council …

Titled ‘Discovering the Embers Under the Ashes,’ it echoes remarks by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini in his last interview before his death Aug. 31. Referring to the state of the church today, Martini spoke of his sense of powerlessness and how Catholicism’s ’embers’ were ‘hidden under the ashes.’

Werlen said he is alarmed by the present state of the church. ‘The situation of the church is dramatic, not only in the German-speaking countries,’ he said. ‘It is dramatic not only because of the rapidly decreasing number of priests and religious or because of plummeting church attendance. The real problem is not a problem of numbers. What is missing is the fire! We must face the situation and find out what is behind it.’”

By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, National Catholic Reporter

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2013 approaches. Where is the Church heading?

Reconciling the Passions of the Members of the Church

The news is filled recently with stories of longtime, loyal Catholics being told the beliefs they have arrived at through experience and reflection are not good enough … If the church were to ban all its leaders — ordained and non-ordained — who didn’t follow all the teachings espoused by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and by all its local bishops, I wonder how many leaders would be left in a church that is already seeing declining ordained leadership? I wonder how many more followers would throw their hands up and realize this church doesn’t represent their beliefs?” By Mike Sweitzer-Beckman, National Catholic Reporter

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