GERMANY, August 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The German bishops have just released more evidence to show why the Catholic Church should ignore their calls for liberalizing reforms.
According to figures from the German bishops conference, vocations to the Catholic priesthood in Germany have reached an all-time low. Just 58 men were ordained to the priesthood last year.
The number of Catholic priests in the country is rapidly plummeting as older priests die or leave ministry and they aren’t replaced by newly ordained ones. Since 1990, the number of priests in Germany has dropped from 20,000 to 14,000.
Influential members of the German episcopate, including Cardinal Walter Kasper and Cardinal Reinhard Marx, were high-profile advocates of the liberal agenda at the recent Synod on the Family.
Kasper has for years lobbied the Church to contradict its moral teaching by loosening its approach toward Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried. In April, he claimed victory and said Pope Francis’ exhortation Amoris Laetitia opened the door to the practice in some circumstances.
Other German prelates have echoed Kasper’s statement.
In 2015, the German bishops decided to allow their employees to publicly defy Church teaching, such as by “remarrying” civilly after divorce or entering a homosexual union.
Earlier this year, a study authorized by the country’s bishops revealed that only 54 percent of German priests had gone to the Sacrament of Confession in the past year. Going to Confession at least once a year is one of the precepts of the Catholic Church.
Nevertheless, Kasper and other Germans have insisted that their opinions alone be considered rather than those of bishops from Africa, where the Catholic Church is thriving despite threats from radical Islam and pressure from the West.