OXFORD, England – The German Bishops’ conference has called for “urgent further clarification” on the “highly binding” Church teachings that over 140 theologians have called into question.
More than 140 Catholic theologians from universities in Austria, Germany and Switzerland called for the Church to take serious steps to address the problems of the priest shortage by allowing married and women priests and allowing laypeople to help select Bishops and pastors, among other changes.
Journalist Peter Seewald, whose in-depth interview with Pope Benedict XVI became the book Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Times, dismissed the public protest by German-speaking theologians as “a rebellion in the nursing home.”
Seewald told the Kath.net news agency that the highly-publicised statement of dissent – signed by one-third of the theology professors at Catholic universities in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland – should not be interpreted as a popular uprising against Church teaching.
Rather, he said, it is a protest by the same people who have caused a crisis in Catholic teaching.
The dissident theologians, Seewald charged, are seeking to remodel the Church in their own image, adapting Catholic teachings to popular standards.
Their approach, he said, is to measure Church doctrines by the standards of popular opinion, putting themselves in the role of “chief priests of the Zeitgeist.”
In his remarks on the theologians’ public statement, Seewald referred to St Paul’s words (2 Tim 4:3): “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachings to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.” [Source]