ZdK president: Do not rest on the visions of Vatican II

The chairman of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), Irme Stetter-Karp, warns in light of The 60th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council to not rest on the laurels of recent decades. You cannot do without making the church suitable for the future, she said ZdK President Tuesday. “The world keeps turning, and a church that does not feel it can no longer keep up. Today, equal rights for women, the acceptance of gender diversity in society and the demand for a sharing of power and authority in decision-making processes. in the church is urgent”, stressed the ZdK president. If the church does not change on these points, it will lose more and more members and will also be socially marginalized, at least in Europe.

At the council the signs of the times were interpreted. Stetter-Karp recognized the innovations found in theological thinking at the time. That included it relation to other religionsthe liturgical reform and a new way of thinking about the relationship between church and people as well as a new culture of participation from which ZdK emerged in its current form be. It is all the more regrettable that the current, global approaches to the renewal of the Church in the Vatican met with sometimes irritating resistance, continued the ZdK president: “Synodal paths are viewed critically everywhere. The synodal path that we in Germany are on along with has given to the bishops has recently come under particularly strong criticism in Rome.” Still be it Offers of talks from the synod presidium in Rome were not accepted been

KDFB calls for more equality

The Catholic German Women’s Federation (KDFB) also related the council to the synodal path. The Council is still having an effect and not all resources have yet been raised. “Since the Council, women’s social and political participation has progressed. Unfortunately, the Church has not followed this development,” she lamented KDFB chairman Maria Flachsbarth on Tuesday. The council itself demanded it in its decree on the lay apostolate, in which it is described as “of great importance” that women “also take an increasing part in the various areas of the church’s apostolate”. “We therefore appeal to the bishops to seize the opportunity of the synodal path and energetically continue the reform process that courageously began 60 years ago,” continued Flachsbarth. The goal must be a church where women and men can follow their calling and take responsibility for a sustainable church and a strongly believing community on an equal footing.

Retired Innsbruck dogmatist Roman Siebenrock does not see all of Vatican II’s “homework” as done. In an interview with the Vorarlberger Kirchenblatt, he described calls for a new council as premature. “There can be a new council only if women are allowed to vote fully and if this can lead to significant ecumenical unity and if our church does not become even more divided than it already is,” the theologian said. But it is possible that the one proposed by Pope Francis worldwide synodal process could represent a first step towards a future council. However, the Church in Europe must be aware that with the Second Vatican Council the Church has become a truly universal Church. It will also influence further councils and will require a radical rethinking from the West: “It means that we Europeans will no longer play first violin, but that the churches in the South will play a key role in decision-making. This means very specifically, and this awareness is in the German synodal process that other cultures will also have an influence in the area of ​​normative sexuality and way of life, for example,” continued the dogmatist.

The Second Vatican Council was on October 11, 1962 by Pope John XXIII. opened to renew the church pastorally and ecumenically. Until the last session in 1965, the council fathers discussed resolutions and declarations that are still of fundamental importance today. To the most important thing Council documents include the pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes on the church in the modern world and the dogmatic constitution on the church Lumen Gentium. (eg)

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