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Cardinal Reinhard MarxFranco Origlia / Getty Images

May 10, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In a recent interview with far-left German magazine Publik-Forum, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich revealed more of his revolutionary agenda for the Church, showing openness to intercommunion with non-Catholic denominations, promoting “synodality,” “moving forward” and a “learning process” within the Church. He also demonstrated his annoyance with the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith’s recent responsum recalling that the Church cannot bless same-sex unions.

Choosing to open up about these opinions to Publik-Forum can be seen as a statement in itself. A spin-off of the former Catholic weekly created in the wake of Vatican II, Publik, the media was relaunched in recent years by means of a reader forum and is now, under its new name, a self-designated “ecumenical” media with a readership that is 60 percent Catholic. It actively promotes modernist theology and has joined the move to collect signatures for the blessing of same-sex “marriage” on its website.

Cardinal Marx himself, a former president of the German Bishops’ Conference, is very close to Pope Francis, and a member of the latter’s special small council of cardinals for the reform of the Curia. Marx has been more and more open about his progressivist choices over the years, but this has not led to a reevaluation of his influential role at the very top of the Church.

Indeed, in his interview with journalists Alexander Schwabe and Michael Schrom, responding to the remark: “You belong to the Pope’s closest circle of advisers,” Reinhard Marx said: “In Rome I speak the same way as I am speaking to you here.”

The interview kicked off with a question about an “ecumenism of return [to the Catholic Church]” and Rome’s refusal to allow spouses of different denominations to receive communion together.

According to Cardinal Marx, “An ecumenism of return is completely impossible and was neither a goal of the ecumenical movement nor of the popes. What is clear is that we want to walk a common path. What a differentiated consensus means remains open. We do not have a clear model of unity to strive for. Mere mutual recognition is not enough. Together with Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, Chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, I put it like this: We need visible unity in reconciled diversity.”

Recognizing that the Eucharist has different meanings for Lutherans, the Reformed, and Catholics, he stated that “differences can and should remain.” At the same time, he rejected “identity politics” both in the Church and in society. He added that he would probably not simply suspend a theologian who invited Protestants to a Catholic Eucharist as he had done in 2006, in proper application of canon law.

“As the young bishop I was at the time, I wanted to stick closely to the rules. In ecumenism, moreover, many things have relaxed and changed. If someone goes to the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper of the other denomination after a decision of conscience, I will have to accept that. My longing at some point would be a ‘reciprocity,’ that we could communicate reciprocally at the services,” explained Cardinal Marx.

This brings to mind Pope Francis’ answer in 2015 to a Lutheran woman who wanted to go to Communion with her Catholic husband: “Talk to the Lord and then go forward. I don’t dare to say anything more.” Marx is taking this a step further.

Cardinal Marx also expanded on the “Synodal Path,” which he launched and promoted as head of the German Bishops’ Conference, as an answer to the sexual abuse crisis, but in fact with a much larger scope. “Things can’t just go on like before,” he said, making clear that “the decision was finally made in favor of the Synodal Path, together, and in a binding way together, with the Central Committee of German Catholics. That was a step that I thought would help us move forward.”

The Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) has a long history of dissent from Church teachings, blaming the condemnation of homosexual acts for the sex-abuse crisis, and campaigning for the liturgical blessing of same-sex couples. Several members of the ZdK founded a counseling agency providing women with a certificate that would allow them to obtain abortions.

Publik-Forum pressed the point, noting that Rome “obviously has different views” on the “Synodal Path” in Germany.

“Right from the start I have been working to dispel fears in Rome. There were and are strong reservations. The question is: Are you drifting into a national church? Are the bishops still in a position to steer the process? I can only say: I very much hope that it is not just the bishops, but above all the Holy Spirit.”

For Publik-Forum, this was not enough: Is the Synodal Way “only a sedative for committed Catholics,” the magazine asked.

“We want to position the Church for the future. Expectations that we will ordain women priests straight away are unrealistic. But it is also unrealistic to expect that the traditional power structures will not be changed at all. It’s all about differentiating well and moving forward together. The Synodal Path is a middle way, because in a synod extreme positions never prevail,” answered Cardinal Marx.

The idea is clearly to “move forward,” but not too quickly, in order to avoid confrontation, but with an objective in mind.

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The head of the U.S. Bishops' Pro-Life office, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, is under attack for consistently calling out Joe Biden for the serious sin of publicly promoting abortion.

A petition has been launched against Archbishop Naumann because he continues to preach the truth that "Catholic" politicians who promote abortion are endangering their souls and causing grave scandal to the faithful.

We must now come to Archbishop Naumann's defense.

Please SIGN and SHARE WIDELY this petition which urges the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops not to demote or remove Archbishop Naumann from head of the Pro-Life Committee, but rather, to follow his lead in urging Joe Biden to repent of the terrible sin of promoting the murder the unborn human beings.

Archbishop Naumann has come under fire, from people who plainly know or care little about Catholic moral teaching, for stating the obvious in a recent interview with LifeSiteNews:

It is the responsibility of the Bishops of the United States to defend the most fundamental of all human rights, the right to life, and to protect the integrity of Catholic moral teaching. We cannot abdicate either of these responsibilities, even as we are eager to work with everyone to promote the common good...

We must continue to speak to President Biden, as well as all Catholics, and even all Americans, about the truth of what abortion is. Abortion is not something to be celebrated, and it is not healthcare. It is the intentional killing of a child. To participate in abortion or to promote abortion is a grave evil.

And, in an even more pointed statement made in an interview with Catholic World Report, Archbishop Naumann defended the Holy Eucharist against Biden's attack on human life, suggesting that Biden should not present himself for Holy Communion:

When Catholics receive the Eucharist, they are acknowledging the Real Presence of Jesus, and also belief in the teachings of the Church. President Biden doesn’t believe in the Church’s teachings on the Sanctity of Human Life, and he should not put the priest in the situation where he has to decide whether or not to allow him to receive the Eucharist. He should know that after 78 years as a Catholic.

But, again, by calling out Joe Biden for his public promotion of abortion, Archbishop Naumann is not doing anything out-of-the-ordinary.

He is only saying what the bishops should have all been saying, with a unified voice, since Biden won the nomination during the election campaign.

Indeed, in an open letter published on inauguration day, Archbishop José Gomez, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), warned that Biden’s pledge to pursue anti-life and anti-family policies would advance “moral evils” in the areas of “abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender."

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops not to demote or replace Archbishop Naumann as head of the Pro-Life Committee, but rather, to follow his lead in urging Joe Biden to repent of the horrific sin of promoting the murder of the preborn.

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'EXCLUSIVE: Bishop Naumann – US bishops must address scandal of ‘Catholic’ Biden championing abortion' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/exclusive-bishop-naumann-us-bishops-must-address-scandal-of-catholic-biden-championing-abortion

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Cardinal Marx went on to criticize the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s (CDF) recent reminder of Church doctrine regarding the sinfulness of homosexual acts.

He stated, “The way of communication has to be fundamentally different. It is very irritating. You are informed shortly beforehand that a letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prohibiting the blessing of homosexual couples will be published. That is not how it should be done. We bishops are not merely the extended arm of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, we should also be heard. But it is clear to us: The guarantor of unity is the Pope. And the universal Church is more than a Roman authority.”

This may suggest that under appearances of submitting to the Pope, Marx was conveying that the CDF’s veto on the blessing of same-sex couples is just an injunction from a “Roman authority,” and may well change — and may at the same time be challenged by local bishops.

This infiltration of democracy into the Church is upheld by Marx in Rome, he told Publik-Forum. About the Pope’s idea of a “synodal Church”, Marx said:

“He … takes a line I can support … But we still need to understand what synodal Church really means. I told him that, too. You need institutional frameworks and certainties to achieve good results. It is not enough to act with emotions or supposed certainties, which are then apodictically thrown at the other person. That is not synodality. Self-righteousness from right and left, top-down and bottom-up, also endangers a democratic culture. And also the Church. It is clear that it is a laborious process to argue. But we are not running after a zeitgeist when we talk more openly about power or sexuality in the Church.”

Cardinal Marx then suggested that theologians and speakers at congresses are chosen in Rome insofar as they are “in line.” “There must be free thought — within the framework of that which is Catholic,” he said.

On priestly celibacy, he accepted that it should be talked about.

“We have to ask: Can this form of life, which is a precarious one, be lived in such a way that it enriches people and is a testimony to the kingdom of God? And with regard to priestly formation and the image of the priest, we must ask whether we are attracting men who have dealt with this adequately. But if, for example, it is said that every celibate is a potential abuser, I do not accept that. Celibacy does exist that is lived convincingly,” said Cardinal Marx.

He concluded — still on the theme of sexual abuse within the Church:

“Many have lost faith and/or trust in the Church as a result. That is shattering. You can’t repair that. The space of the Church was not always and for everyone only the space of experience with the liberating message of Jesus. Nevertheless, I believe that it is very worthwhile to continue to work for Project Jesus. It’s bigger than the Church, but I also can’t imagine a future of Christianity without the Church. And to be fair, it must be said that today the whole issue is dealt with differently. This learning process is not only in the Church, but throughout society.”

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