Good news

File:Ackermann, Stephan, Weihbischof Trier 2009-03-28.jpgBishop 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.

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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.

11 thoughts on “Good news

  1. You have to wonder if any of this is orchestrated. The Vatican probably has a 100 year plan for reversing it’s untenable stance on contraception and homosexuality in a way that the faithful flock won’t actually notice too much. We’re clearly in the initial ‘shock’ phase: leaks and horror.

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    • Mmm. Do you think he said these things? There were those spurious quotes from Francis recently about Vatican III recently. I think there are saner voices in the Catholic church, but after thirty years of insanely conservative Popes, they aren’t bishops. Hans Kung was silenced by the church, and these statements are far more liberal- and, as incaelo points out, contrary to long established Catholic doctrine: “sacrament” and “nature” not just divorce and orientation.

      And if he didn’t, how could it be any use in a plan to turn to sanity?

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      • “I think there are saner voices in the Catholic church” To be honest, from the lurking I’ve been doing round some Catholic blogs, I’m coming to the conclusion that there is no sanity in Catholicism. And I find the posts and comments so sadly disturbed that I don’t even want to do Lurking posts on them. Imagine. I don’t think they’ll ever be sane, but I think they have to move with common standards of rights and wrongs, even if they’re trailing by several decades.

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        • You won’t like everything Another Liberal Catholic says (and s/he says very little of it) but not all will have you tearing your hair out. This person stays in the church despite disagreeing with it. Because of my particular interest I had of course heard before of New Ways Ministry but the other two were first page google results from “wordpress liberal catholic”. There is the inconvenient belief in God aspect, of course, but the politics are less unpleasant. Remember that Editor of Catholic Voices blog is angry and unhappy at the state of her church, as are most of her commenters.

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          • Oh, it’s not just the crazies down at Catholic Voice. I realise they’re not even normal by Catholic standards. But I’ll check out the ones you give links for to see if I can spot any redeeming features. 🙂

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          • I just followed Another Liberal Catholic and left a nice message, then realised there’s only been one post in the last year. Maybe it’ll jolt them out of hibernation. New Ways Ministry looks more frequent, we’ll see if it can restore any hope to my view on Catholicism.

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  2. Peoples’ capacity for hyperbole and ignorant over-excitement led to the Salem Witch Trials, lynchings and all kinds of historical craziness. Honestly, only a few search for the truth … the rest just want to ride with the gang and be cool. I seem rather cynical today, don’t I? Hmm. And I’m not even in France!

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