VATICAN CITY —Cardinal George Pell has said in an interview that the situation of the Church in Germany appears “ominous,” underlining that the German bishops must fulfill their duty to uphold the teachings of Scripture.
“I think that there is a percentage of the German Church that seems to be resolutely heading in the wrong direction,” Cardinal Pell said in an interview with Colm Flynn that aired on EWTN April 27.
“By that, I mean it is quite clear that a liberalized Christianity, whether it is a liberalized Catholicism or Protestantism, in a generation or so merges into agnosticism. … If you adopt the policies of the world and just go along so that they approve, nobody is going to be interested in that.”
Cardinal Pell’s comments come as members of the Church in Germany are planning on May 10 to hold a day of blessings for same-sex partners, despite the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s declaration that the Church does not have the power to bless same-sex unions.
Record numbers of Catholics have left the Church in Germany in recent years with 272,771 people formally leaving in 2019.
Cardinal Pell said: “The duty of the German bishops is to uphold the teachings of Scripture, to uphold the teachings of the Church. We stand under those teachings. They’ve got no power to change them — none of us do.”
“What is important is what is in the Word of God, what is in the apostolic tradition. And I don’t think that when push comes to shove they’ll — and I cross my metaphors — cross the Rubicon.”
The cardinal followed the situation of the Church in Germany through news articles during his imprisonment in Australia, something he notes in his latest book, Prison Journal, Volume 2: The State Court Rejects the Appeal, published by Ignatius Press.
During his 404 days in prison before he was ultimately acquitted, Cardinal Pell said he kept the diary as a “historical record of a strange time.”
The cardinal was imprisoned in 2019, the year in which the German bishops launched their controversial “Synodal Way.”
The “Synodal Way” is a process bringing together German lay people and bishops to discuss four major topics: the way power is exercised in the Church; sexual morality; the priesthood; and the role of women.
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