Bishop says something sensible, shock! Unfortunately I can only find out about it from people who think this is bad news. They tell me Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier says it is no longer tenable to think sex before marriage a grave sin, or a new marriage after divorce a permanent mortal sin, or homosexuality unnatural, and if birth control by the rhythm method is OK then artificial contraception should be OK too.
My first source is in translation. It produces that irrelevant quote from Romans as if Romans was criticising gays, rather than those who fixate on the “sins” of others. Then fuckwits with names like in caelo et in terra (in Heaven and on Earth) or Suscipe domine (Have mercy on us O Lord) say how they disagree with the quoted comments, and it’s the end of the Church as God knew it.
Um. Googling only shows blogs commenting on these sayings, and Wikipedia calls the bishop a “vigorous” spokesman for the Roman church. His motto is in lumine tuo, Domine (In thy light, O Lord) and he seems unlikely to say anything so sensible. The oldest report in English is apparently The Eponymous Flower, a surely computer-generated translation of that German site.
In caelo says that the indissolubility of the sacrament of marriage is an eternal, central truth of his Faith; homosexuality is unnatural- blah, blah, blah. He too uses that German source.
You know, I started this post thinking the bishop had actually said those things, but if he had surely Die Zeit would have reported it. Free Republic– fruitcakes and eejits- calls for his excommunication on the slender evidence of The Eponymous Flower. Suscipe Domine, on the same evidence, says the Bishop is no longer Catholic. Other fuckwits say the world is ending.
From my Google (it might be different if I spoke German) the first article from a fact-checking reputable source is the Chicago Tribune, about another matter, from which one cannot judge the level of the bishop’s conservatism.
So, no good news: just the paranoid fears of a load of conservative Catholics. Their fear perhaps shows that they know they and their church cannot resist the truth indefinitely. And a terrible warning: however obvious it is that you should not believe all you read on the Net, people still do.
Added: actually, possibly he would say something so sane. Here is the Catholic Herald: Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier told the Trierischen Volksfreund daily that the sacraments offered a “chance for reconciliation and a new beginning.” He said the Church needed a “more intense and honest account of the concrete reality facing many couples and families”. Not all of it, though.
Oh wow. I have ego on my face. Here is Die Zeit. The bishop appears to be talking slightly more of presentation and of the gap between German Catholics’ beliefs and teaching, but he is saying sensible things. Faz.net (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) says the bishop calls for a change in substance. Thanks to Fr. Stephan Hippler.