The German church has essentially become a welfare bum. They just sit around and get fat while waiting for the government money to arrive. Not all of them but way too many. What is worse is the institution has taken on a political character and has lost it's focus on God. They are Martha's and not Mary's. They have forgotten the one thing that is essential. All of German society really has but it is most striking in the church.
Freiburg, Germany - A call from Pope Benedict XVI for the Catholic Church to massively change by getting rid of its worldly wealth has shaken German clergy, who say this is not the reform they had in mind.
Even a long-time critic of the German-born pope, theologian Hans Kueng, was incredulous a day after the call, contending that it was just a dodge by Benedict, 84, who dropped the bombshell on Sunday, the last day of a four-day trip to Germany.
In a first response, the head of the Catholic Church in Germany, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, later insisted the pope was not criticizing the German church's revenue streams, which include levies on registered Catholics, administered by government tax authorities.
But the church establishment may have difficulty pushing this genie back into the bottle after Benedict's statement.
The pope's answer? Get poor. That is how to get worldliness out of your system. It is the money that is corrupting you. Get rid of it. Go cold turkey. That will force you to turn to God for help.
Kueng, 83, contended the pope was like a 'doddery old doctor handing out spiritual fruit juice' instead of the proper medical treatment.
I see some irony in that last statement of the article. Kueng's spiritual fruit juice is married priests, female priests, contraception, etc. Pope Benedict is actually suggesting taking out a tumor that has sapped the life our of the German church for a long time. Other churches have tried the path Kueng suggests. They have not been revitalized. Quite the opposite. Pope Benedict's idea is scary. If God is not real it will kill the church. The church needs to die. Then it needs to rise again. But how can a leadership that has lost it's faith choose that path?