Catholic Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz has called on the church not to close its mind to new scientific findings. "If faith wants to be reasonable, it must not avoid the conversation with the sciences today," he said.
"When in the past months, weeks and days we in the Bishops' Conference have thought about topics such as 'priestly way of life', 'power and restriction of power' as well as 'sexual morality', some have also felt that we cannot avoid the results of modern science when we are looking for answers," Kohlgraf said on Sunday at a church service in Mainz.
Faith does not mean "having a dead body of belief that sits in a vault untouched by new knowledge and is passed down from generation to generation.". Otherwise, faith "belonged in the museum". A faith without movement is ideology. Kohlgraf commemorated at the service his predecessor, Cardinal Karl Lehmann, who died about a year ago on 11. March 2018 had died. Lehmann stands for a cosmopolitan and philanthropic theology that does not close its mind to new insights, she said.
Church in "deep night"
Faith can also contain "stretches of fear". At the moment, the church is experiencing "a great uncanny fear, a deep night," Kohlgraf stressed, referring to the abuse scandal. "We in the church have made talking about a loving God so implausible by our behavior." Perhaps that is why the church must "endure a time of apparent remoteness from God". At the moment, the church is not spared "to tremble anew before God, his claim, his presence in the darkness".
"God is not harmless," Kohlgraf stressed. "He is love, but not 'dear' in our colloquial sense."That is why it is not harmless to speak of God. But if talking about God serves to secure one's own power, this is "one of the worst and most dangerous forms of atheism". God then becomes an instrument.