Between tradition and modernity

Between tradition and modernity

After the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. there are numerous wishes for reforms and new impulses: an overview of the most frequently mentioned areas of discussion.

Reform of the Curia: Bishops, cardinals and Catholic politicians call for modernization of the Curia. The pope's most important collaborators should meet regularly, similar to national governments, and discuss important problems. Stronger service provider and less directive body for the universal church, according to another request to the Curia. After the resignation of Benedict XVI.
was said that in the face of globalization and rapid communication, a single person could no longer shoulder the destiny of a universal church. That's why cardinals should also meet and exchange ideas more often. After the scandals of recent years – sexual abuse, "Vatileaks," Vatican Bank – there is also a demand for more transparency in the Curia.

collegiality: Despite numerous synods of bishops, to which Benedict XVI. and his predecessor John Paul II. As the new pope invited the bishops to the papal council, many church representatives want the new pope to promote collegiality among the bishops in the governance of the universal church. According to critics, the synods of bishops were organized too rigidly; they prevented a genuine exchange of arguments. Criticized for interfering directly in the problems of local churches without listening to the bishops on the spot.

Decentralization: How much unity is necessary and how much diversity is possible? Curia Cardinal Walter Kasper argues that in the face of a world that is growing together but is culturally very diverse, the local or continental churches should be given "a certain amount of leeway". This also means a shift in perspective: Europe is no longer the center of the Church; Catholics in Asia, Africa and Latin America claim more say and less centralism.

Church and legal security: After controversial bishop appointments, there are repeated calls for the faithful and the local church to have more say in the selection of bishops. Critics also complain that theologians reprimanded by the Vatican do not receive a fair trial and cannot defend themselves.

Position of the laity: Especially in Germany, in the face of an increasing shortage of priests, there are repeated calls for more say and responsibility for the laity. Catholics who live in a democratic society also want to have a say in the Church and in their local parishes. In Latin America and Asia, there are already models in which lay people largely lead large congregations and orGanize church life. They can refer to a statement by Benedict XVI., that lay people should no longer be seen merely as collaborators with the clergy, but as "truly co-responsible for the being and action of the Church".

New Evangelization: One of the focal points of Benedict XVI's tenure has been. On the new evangelization placed. So he founded his own papal council for this purpose and proclaimed a "Year of Faith". A new pope is expected to be able to communicate the message of the Gospel to the modern, increasingly pluralistic world.

World Religions: Relations with Judaism and Islam during Benedict XVI's tenure have been. not free of disruptions; however, they proved to be consolidated on the whole. Nevertheless, the latitude of Catholics in Islamic and anti-religious countries such as China and Vietnam has not increased. Given the growing importance of religion in many hot spots around the world, the new pope will have an important global political role to play.

Ecumenism: Benedict XVI. saw working to restore Christian unity as one of his most important tasks. With the signing of the Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification in 1999, which he decisively promoted, a line was drawn under 500 years of doctrinal condemnations between the Catholic and Lutheran churches. On the other hand, the Catholic Church unswervingly held to Roman Catholic positions on the Lord's Supper and understanding of the church, earning fierce criticism. Protestant Christians are not the only ones to express the expectation that progress will be made under the new pope on controversial ecumenical ies such as the admittance to the Lord's Supper.

On the Orthodox side, the expectations of Benedict XVI were very high. high, since the latter, with its theology standing in the tradition of the church fathers of the first centuries, has much in common with Orthodoxy. However, it remained rather atmospheric improvements and regular contacts. It remains to be seen to what extent a new pope from Africa, Asia or Latin America will have a deeper understanding of the interests of the Orthodox churches.

Sexual morality: Even in Catholic countries such as Ireland, Spain and Poland, the majority of Catholics in surveys reject the church's sexual morals. Observers hope that the church will start to think again about how it can convey a positive value orientation instead of predominantly formulating bans. With reference to the uncontrolled population growth in the Third World and the catastrophic effects of AIDS, many are demanding that the church revise its "no" to the pill and condoms.

Position of women in the church: Almost no one expects women to be ordained priests in the foreseeable future. At least in Germany, the tendency is to give women more responsibility in pastoral care, in science and in the presence of the church on the ground. The proposal formulated by Cardinal Kasper of the Curia to consider a separate office for women deacons is also being discussed. It should, however, be distinguished from the priestly ordination.

Compulsory celibacy: In view of declining numbers of priests in Europe, but also many congregations without clergy in South America, there are many calls for the abolition of compulsory celibacy for priests.
Also the admission of "proven" married men, the so-called viri probati, is again and again in the discussion. It is very uncertain whether a new pope will be able to decide on such far-reaching reforms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.