Support for bishops

In response to the reform paper by more than 200 Catholic theology professors, some 250 priests and lay people have published a counter-memorandum entitled "Petition pro Ecclesia" (Petition for the Church). In it they criticize the theologians who have done great harm to the Church and have deceived and unsettled the faithful.

At the same time, they want to "clearly and audibly stand by our bishops and express our unity with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI"., profess".

The petition is signed, among others, by the Dusseldorf historian Michael Hesemann, the Spiegel journalist Matthias Matussek, the journalist Gabriele Kuby and the former CDU member of the Bundestag Alois Graf von Waldburg-Zeil. They appeal to the bishops to publicly counter the "distorted image of the church" painted by theologians and to defend traditional beliefs and the Christian image of marriage and the family.

Not an old-fashioned discontinued model
In addition, the signatories of the petition appeal to the bishops to set a clear sign for the preservation of celibacy. It is "not an old-fashioned discontinued model, but the form of life appropriate to the priest". At the same time, the "shepherds" should ensure that research and teaching at theological faculties and institutes "is done in accordance with the teaching of the Church". At the same time, the bishops must ensure that "liturgical experiments" are stopped in their dioceses, he said. "We the faithful have a right to a liturgy as set forth in the rites of the Church."

In their memorandum, more than 200 theology professors had called for, among other things, greater participation of the faithful in the appointment of ministers, the ordination of married persons to the priesthood, an improved ecclesiastical legal culture, and more respect for personal life decisions. People who lived love and fidelity in same-sex unions or as remarried divorcees should not be excluded from the sacraments.

Meanwhile, the Catholic German Women's Federation (KDFB) welcomed the memorandum of the professors of theology and the open dialogue in the church called for in it. The open communication is an "important contribution to strengthen the credibility of the church and to build new trust," according to the statement published in Cologne. The church in Germany needs a new departure, he said.

A group of students has written an appeal for prayer for the unity of the church in Germany and in a special way for the signatories of the memorandum.

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