German Archbishop wants female deacons, and other changes

German Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, who is also the president of the German Bishops’ Conference, has held a diocesan conference with 300 representatives of the laity. Among the proposals to the archbishop were the following: Diaconate for women, admitting remarried divorced couples to the Sacraments and reform of the alleged “discrimination” of homosexuals.

Archbishop Zollitsch said he would tackle all of these things and was in favour of them.

The story can be found here, here and on the official portal of the Church in Germany. All in German, but Google should be able to translate them.

I assume that the diaconate Zollitsch is talking about is a non-sacramental one as in the Early Church, but the media all misrepresent this as a step to women priests.

I am against a diaconate (non-sacramental or otherwise) for women.

There is no need for it and it will not achieve anything. If anything, it might negatively affect the numbers of women considering a being a nun.

All that will happen, if they get their way, is that they will continue to bang on about women priests, saying “oh look, they are already deacons, why not priests?”.

The numbers of male deacons is increasing rapidly, and the trends of seminarian numbers are upwards, so no need for this imo.

As for the other things, regarding divorce and homosexuality, if these are conceded, they will simply be replaced with a new set of demands.

Methinks the lay people at this meeting have somehow mistaken themselves for the Roman Curia!

There are other types of Christianity which already offer all these things and more - if people want them, they should go there.

My thoughts exactly! There is no need for reform in terms of doctrine. There is a need for catechesis, people need to learn what Church teaching is and why! And those that don’t want to comply, must live with the consequences. It is the Church that makes the rules, and not our desires. To give in to demands of society is not the way to go. One will lead to another, as has been the case.

To be honest, I have no problem with abolishing all these committees and big lay conferences that have this amount of influence. They have not been given the depositum fidei, but the bishops have. I advocate a strong Roman Curia to maintain unity, and orthodoxy. That’s not to say the laity should just shut up and follow blindly, but they should not have this big amount of influence. The Church is not a democracy as then-Cardinal Ratzinger said.

Thank goodness it’s not because if it were, we probably would not believe Christ was divine!!! 70% of the worlds bishops and most of the laity succumbed to Arianism in the fourth century, even after the Council of Nicea. Only the Bishop of Rome and a handful of others remained strong. But orthodoxy won out in the end, like it always does, because the Holy Spirit doesn’t depend on the whims of human beings. God knew what He was doing in establishing a hierarchical Church.

Why we human beings keep thinking we know better than Him I’ll never understand. I fall into this a lot, but every time I do, I learn the hard way how stupid and short sided I am. It’s a relief for me to not have to be tossed to and fro by every wind of new teaching, but to be grounded on the rock. :thumbsup:

Indeed. I’d like to ask everyone outside Germany (which will be many) about the situation in their country: Is this “divorced and remarried and the Sacraments” discussion a rather German thing, or is it going on elsewhere too? I get the feeling that the German Catholics often believe themselves to be the centre of the world and that anybody would give a damn about what they decide in their meetings. (Sorry about the words, but this gets me going…)

I don’t get this. Those who are barred from receiving Holy Communion are barred not because they are divorced, but because they are committing adultery – it’s just like any other serious sin which remains unrepented. If the person agrees to abstain from all sexual activity in the new marriage, and go to confession, then he or she can receive Holy Communion.

If the archbishop wishes to change this, then would he object to others who commit mortal sin receiving Holy Communion without first receiving sacramental absolution? Presumably he would object to that … which makes his current proposal inconsistent.

Precisely! That’s why I’m struggling with understanding what the Archbishop meant. Everyone is shouting “Reform! Reform!” here, and the scandal-ridden Church feels she has to do something to appease the masses. I have a feeling the German bishops are all giving in to this pressure. Cardinal Marx, Cardinal Meisner, Abp. Zollitsch and a few others to be named.

Please tell me this is another case of the media not reporting accurately and not another example of a bishop falling away from the Faith.

What is a grave concern to me is that a bishop of the Catholic Church believes it in approprate to conduct a diocesan conference with the agenda of establishing a female Diaconate, admitting remarried divorced couples to the Sacraments and reform of the alleged “discrimination” of homosexuals. I do not understand how Archbishop Robert Zollitsch became an Archbishop never mind the president off the German Bishops’ Conference. Apparently Archbishop Zollitsch is an advocated of moral realativism and is in favor of “modernizing” our chuch.

It saddens me that there are indviduals who desire to remake our church in their own image as opposed to being a true image or reflection of Jesus Christ. What I don’t understand is if they have issues with the doctrines or teachings of the church why do they remain in the Catholic Church. They are doing themselves and the Catholic Church a great disservice.

It is intersting to not that the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin is orthodox in that the seminarians of the diocese learn to celebrate the Mass in both the Ordinary and Tridentine form. As a result there is no shortage of priests in the Diocese of Madison and their seminary it full. I have not desire to see our church participate in the race that is currently going on between the Anglican and Lutheran churches:knight1: on which one can become more modern.

I hear ya. That’s why I’m hoping this is another example of media reporting gone amuck. But then again, it could absolutely be true. :frowning:


I am hoping for exactly the same thing.

We in the US sometimes hear this, but I gather that it is indeed more common in your country. Apparently it’s based on a desire for compassion, which is a good motive. But those who support this particular idea need to be shown that it is illogical – if we really believe in the truths of sin and the nature of the sacraments themselves.

Well, the media is not reporting quite accurately on the female deacons issue. They are saying “The Church is considering ordaining female deacons.” That is false, since the Archbishop has made it clear this female diaconate is not connected to the Sacrament of Holy Orders. It is more like the historic deaconess, who was not ordained. MSM has no idea of the theology behind it and equates deaconess with ordained deacon.

However, the other two things are reported accurately. The German Bishops are quite unstable, it seems, at the moment. Politicians are demanding change, so is society and the media are too. There has been scandal concerning the “Morning-after-pill” recently, and the abuse scandal is still omnipresent here. The German Church is trying to get out of the crossfire, and resolve problems, but they are being pushed along and “directed” by the general public and are not as sovereign as they should be in their domain.

He’s turning 75 in August, which should take care of the position in accordance with Canon Law. I don’t think he believes in these things, but he is not in as strong a position as he should be. The call for “Transparency! Transparency!” and “Laity! Laity!” is pushing him much quicker than he can handle. That’s why I am in favour of Rome dropping a ton or two of bricks on these issues, and show people that the Church is her own ruler, and not the media or politicians.

Problem is, many actually believe the Church is no longer that reflection and they are advocating what Jesus really wanted… Think: “Jesus was tolerant! All His condemnations were due to the culture! Modernise! Modernise!”

Really? Wow! :slight_smile:

Indeed, good image to build on: Take the Catholic Church as the starting block both runners start from… :slight_smile:


Oh dear… I’ve just found an article on the official portal of the Church in Germany saying “The time has come for female deacons”. They state that the ZdK (Zentralkomitee der Katholiken — Central committee of Catholics in Germany) and other organisations are demanding ordination of female deacons, supposedly supported by historical evidence.

Here are some more quotes I found on the current situation.

“No Bishop can lead his diocese alone anymore”, says Ms Kastner, president of the diocesan committee.

The Bishop of Regensburg, Rudolf Voderholzer, has said “No” to female deacons on the basis of Church teaching on the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

Orthodoxy! :dancing:

I would like to see action regarding things like this as well. Perhaps Rome could add to your issues the scandalous issue of continuing to allow pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage Catholic politicians to receive Holy Communion.

It does seem as if there is enough of these sorts of things happening throughout the Church throughout the world that Rome itself needs to say/do something.

Why is all this wackiness happening lately?

As the wonderful American General Anthony Clement McAuliffe said to the Germans aT the Battle of Bastogne - NUTS!

Our Lady of Akita warned of this. Our Lady Has warned us numerous times of the falling away in the last days. Pray friends for strength and Grace to withstand the coming storm.

Let’s not be too quick to condemn the archbishop…as a sucessor of the Apostles, let’s give him the benefit of a doubt. I’m not saying that I agree with him, but there are two important things to remember:

  1. The office of deaconess was a vital part of the Church’s life for many centuries in various regions - and there is evidence that it dates back to apostolic times. The Archbishop is NOT advocating conferring holy orders upon women - the office of deaconess is a separate vocation. While the early Church did not distinguish between sacraments and sacramentals in the same formal sense that modern theology does, I think it would be safe to say that while the office of deacon is conferred by a sacrament, the office of deaconess was always conferred by a sacramental. (Remember that even today the installation of an abbess looks quite similar to an ordination in many external regards - but it is a sacramental rather than the sacrament of holy orders).

  2. While I don’t understand it myself, St. Basil the Great and other Fathers (I believe even Pope St. Gregory) did allow remarried couples to return to the sacraments after a number of years of penance. Can this ancient practice be reconciled with our current understanding of the sacrament of matrimony? Did these early Fathers since err on this particular point? I"m not sure to be honest. I trust the Church and will leave it in her hands.

Cardinal Marx? You sure about that one?

I don’t know much about Meisner and Zollitsch has some questionable aspects such as the morning after pill support (which I think is just from being misinformed than actually being against the Vatican), but Marx? Maybe replace him with Woelki? (Who surprisingly has made some unusual comments–unexpected. Maybe I misunderstand him??)

Plus, the official link doesn’t say anything about the Archbishop’s opinion.

*The Freiburg Diocesan Assembly has directed its reform and change proposals to Archbishop Robert Zollitsch on Saturday afternoon. Thus, the delegates expressed from across the Archdiocese from a strengthening of women in the church, an admission of divorced and remarried to the sacraments and celebrations blessing for same-sex couples. In addition, non-priests should be allowed to preach in Catholic services.

The recommendations have no legal force, but Archbishop Zollitsch has announced that it will examine all proposals and exactly “where possible” to implement. At the conclusion of the Diocesan Assembly, he wants to react on Sunday afternoon in a first opinion on the recommendations.

The reform thrusts were developed out of the 100 women and 200 men in small groups organized by topic and then presented to the plenary of the Assembly at the Freiburg Martin Church. A vote on the 33 individual claims did not take place, however, the delegates had the opportunity to signal by means of allocation of “points of agreement” their support or rejection. Some delegates expressed criticism of this method and complained the lack of a controversial debate in plenary and real polls.

Central components of the assembly were in addition to the substantive discussions and worship, prayer and spiritual impulses. The meeting ends on Sunday with a special service in the cathedral.

Than other proposals, the delegates expressed, for example, a more comprehensible language in the Church or opening to “contemporary cultures” from. Moreover, life in the pastoral care units must be spiritual site: “It is a central concern of the Archdiocese of Freiburg, spiritual experiences strengthened to enable the people,” was a requirement. Even the Catholics were called upon to do more for the sick, the disabled and people on the margins of society and to link the work of Caritas with the parishes close. (CBA)*

Show me where the Archbishop was supporting these “reforms”?

Please, let’s try not to jump to conclusions with our Bishops and Archbishops. They need all the help they can get from us right now in this age of modernism.

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