(LifeSiteNews) — A Swiss cardinal has reportedly received hate mail and threats of violence following statements he made criticizing the heterodox German Synodal Way.
Cardinal Kurt Koch received the threatening communications after comparing the Synodal Way of the German bishops to Protestantism during the Nazi era in a recent interview with the German newspaper Die Tagespost.
Koch had been slated to celebrate a Mass and give a lecture at the Christian guest center Schönblick in the German city of Gmünd this past weekend, but pulled out after the violent threats were made against him.
When asked, the prelate said it did not make sense to speak in Gmünd now and that the date for the lecture should therefore be postponed. Koch declined to comment on an ongoing dispute with the head of the German Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing; however, he said that Bätzing knew “from previous encounters that I am always ready to have conversations.”
In addition to Koch receiving hate mail and threats of violence, host organization Schönblick reportedly also received threatening messages.
The cardinal, who is also the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in the Roman Curia, complained that the Synodal Way takes up the idea of “new sources of revelation,” including secularist ideas and new scientific insights into human sexuality in order to change the Church’s long-standing teaching on matters regarding homosexuality, for example.
“It irritates me,” Koch stated, “that besides the sources of Revelation – Holy Scripture and Tradition – new sources are still being accepted; and it frightens me that this happens, again, in Germany.”
“For this phenomenon has already occurred during the National Socialist dictatorship, when the so-called ‘German Christians’ saw God’s new revelation in blood and soil and in the rise of Hitler,” Koch added.
By his comments, the Swiss cardinal intended to show that both today and during the Nazi era, some Christians tried to promote new sources of revelation, in accordance with the zeitgeist, in order to change traditional Church teaching.
However, his statement caused outrage among the German Catholic hierarchy, including the head of the German bishops’ conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing, who threatened to complain to Pope Francis, should Koch not issue an apology.
Koch has since apologized for any hurt feelings he may have caused, but has not retracted his statement since he did not compare the Syondal Way to Nazi ideology, but rather compared the principle of adopting new sources of revelation according to currently popular political ideas, the Swiss cardinal said.
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the visible church, to which the world gives the name of Catholic Church and of which it considers Bergoglio as Pope, is no longer Church...
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Bishop Joseph Strickland, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Fr. James Altman, and two dozen more faithful Catholic priests & scholars are publicly calling out Pope Francis for his outrageous, dangerous, and heretical teaching concerning reception of Holy Communion.
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*However, if a Catholic is unable to attend Confession but has a grave reason for receiving the Eucharist (such as a priest who may be required to celebrate Mass at a given time but who is unable to go to Confession), such a person must be confident to the best of his ability that he have perfect contrition for any mortal sins that he may have committed before receiving Holy Communion in an exceptional situation.
Koch stressed that he made the comments out of “theological concern for the future of the church in Germany.” He continued by writing that he wanted to address “the much more fundamental question of what is to be understood by ‘revelation,’” and that he does not “see this question sufficiently clarified in the texts of the Synodal Way.”
Bätzing indicated discontent with Koch’s apology, stating that he “cannot accept the answer to [his] publicly expressed criticism as satisfactory, since Cardinal Koch, in essence, does not apologize for the indefensible statements, but – on the contrary – exacerbates them.”