According to the report on the abuses: the end of celibacy and the male economy

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FROM: Marek is writing


Leaving the church in the midst of reports of abuses bring despair to Christian volunteers in the Munich District. It’s high time to act, says the parish priest and the parish association.

district – Next Thursday, another meeting of the synodal road, which wants to start the process of the Catholic Church, will be held. It is also about reforming the episcopal balance of power – in order to democratize and modernize the church structure.

In support of Pastor Martin Ringhof and other responsible church members in the Four Wells, they have written a statement (see box) that is supported by the vast majority of volunteers in the association. Signatories hope to get a two-thirds majority and thus to make efforts successful.

According to the report on the abuse: Much was known internally for a long time

Many believers in the Four Springs parish association have been hit hard by the results of the new report on the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Pastor Martin Ringhof: “We’ve known this for twelve years, and some things that surprised the audience were unfortunately known internally for a long time.”

The signatories miss the shock that passes through the church and heralds the time of action. The nets of Jesus’ fisherman are tearing, and while parish priests grapple with bureaucracy, parishioners lose faith. You don’t have time for long conversations, says Martin Ringhof. Otherwise, the church will shrink and all those who have come spiritually in the 21st century will eventually no longer belong.

Volunteers of the parish association “Four Fountains” stand on the side of Pastor Martin Ringhof and count on the renovation of the church. © Marc Write

According to reports of abuses: Don’t put off reform anymore

In his eyes, the problem is that the Church attaches too much importance to unity. As a result, a small, very loud minority hampers any reform efforts. The pastor pleads for progress in the sense: “We will not wait for the last person to understand that it is not five past twelve, but later.” For him, there is nothing wrong with the church reflecting a certain variety. They already exist in the present. In Africa, the ancestors should be mentioned in the liturgy, but in Germany such a practice is not common.

Celibacy, for example, is not part of the core of faith, so why shouldn’t it be discussed in Germany? He believes it is a myth that all Catholics outside Europe are committed to the 19th century model of the Church. According to him, for example, in South America, in some villages the fair is held only once a year.

Pastor Demands Celibacy Abolished: “If the pool of clergymen were increased, many would be happy”

“If the clergy pool were enlarged, many would be happy.” But Ringhof also knows that many traditionalists will refrain from reforming, Ringhof: “But that’s the way it is. If the Israelites in Egypt had waited until everyone agreed before leaving, she would still be there. “

In parish offices, the answering machine now refers to clinics that have longer opening hours. Despite this, people are leaving in large numbers. Not only young professionals who want to see the paycheck and save money, but also the elderly who are no longer able to reconcile the activities of the church with their conscience.

Statement of the Parish Association

“The report published in Munich on February 20, 2022 regarding the practices of sexual violence in the Catholic Archdiocese of Munich and Freising once again caused great terror among us personally, among our parishioners and practicing Christians, and presumably in all parishes and parish associations in our Archdiocese of shame, indignation and deep disappointment.

As can be read in the report, The use of sexual violence, especially the abuse of power. This systemic abuse of power in the context of the Catholic Church is fostered by hierarchical-authoritarian clericalism and the resulting lack of separation of powers. These systemic complaints have been known since the first study in 2010.

It is now necessary to develop and implement structures of governance in the Catholic Church that prevent the use of sexual and spiritual violence and erroneous decisions by Church officials, and enable transparent decisions to be made in the service of the people.

Therefore, we demand a binding timetable for the implementation of fundamental reforms, despite the unanimous consent of the German bishops and the Vatican, and we fully support the proposals for reforming the synodal path in all four thematic areas, i.e. power and power sharing in the Church, participation and participation in mission, priestly existence today, Depart from the promise of celibacy, equal participation of women in church services and offices. Living in successful relationships, adjusting church labor laws, reassessing conjugal love and homosexuality, introducing a blessing ceremony for loving couples.

We want the necessary steps to be taken at the third plenary assembly of the Synodal Way, which will be held in Frankfurt on February 3-5 in Frankfurt. reform the church’s power structures “ to be resolute in the sense of a synodal church. We are committed to reforming the Catholic Church into a coalition of willing people in which the gospel of Jesus Christ can be felt at all levels and in the concrete life of our parishes, caring for the affected and all people ”.

The time has come for the president of the parish council, Johanna Feldmeier, to say: This cannot go on. In the past decade, she would have wished a bolder approach within the Archdiocese of Munich to dealing with an abuse scandal.

After the fraud scandal: the parish association wants to lead by example

The consequences are devastating. Trust is destroyed in a society shaped by Christian values. “Legal texts are based on the Ten Commandments and we ourselves trample them.” If morality is preached in the church, then everyone should stick to it.

Johanna Feldmeier still believes that there is a God for people. However, the church is not necessarily a gift from God, but what man has fashioned out of his religion. Evil roads are not only practiced in the Christian faith, the Prophet Muhammad certainly did not want fanaticism in Islam.

However, it is important for Feldmeier to admit mistakes and act consistently. So the parish association wants to set an example, shock people and address the bishops with the message: “The eyes have been closed for the last twelve years, now something has to change. We are not underage in the Middle Ages, the Church today has different tasks and values ​​”. They would have to be handed over again.

Report after abuse: Lots of efforts in the parishes on the spot

The parish councils in Four Wells and elsewhere are desperate to keep their community alive. They work tirelessly for God and the message. “That’s when expertise comes in and destroys the years of work,” says Feldmeier.

The Church bears full responsibility. Everything is done on the spot to ensure that such cases of abuse are impossible. There are also a number of good guidelines for prevention from the archdiocese. But you also need to look back and appreciate the victims, creating a framework for talking about it. “Having to be silent is the hardest part.”

You can read more news from the Munich district here. By the way: everything from the region is also available in our regular Munich District newsletter.

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