Aggiornamento of Cardinal Marx

February 19, 2015
Source: District of the USA

Read the heterodox opinions on matters of faith and morals of Cardinal Marx.

In a related interview with the Jesuit magazine America, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, one of Pope Francis’ advisors, and the leader of the “liberal” German Bishops' Conference, comments on people in homosexual partnerships who want a “lifelong” relationship. And he says much more! Here are some extracts:

About the Church:

Francis uses a strong image: 'I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets,' rather than a church that is very clean and has the truth and everything necessary. The latter Church does not help the people. The Gospel is not new, but Francis is expressing it in a new way and is inspiring a lot of people, all over the world, who are saying, 'Yes, that is the Church.' It is a great gift for us. It’s very important.

I told the pope, 'A centralized institution is not a strong institution. It is a weak institution.' The Second Vatican Council began to establish a new balance between center and the local church, because they saw, 50 years ago, the beginning of the universal Church. It is not achieved, however. We must make it happen for the first time.

Now 50 years later, we see what it might be to be a Church in a globalized world, a universal, globalized church. We have not yet organized it in a sufficient way. That is the great task for this century. The temptation is to centralize, but it will not function."

About marriage:

I have the impression that we have a lot of work to do in the theological field, not only related to the question of divorce, but also the theology of marriage. I am astonished that some can say, “Everything is clear” on this topic. Things are not clear. It is not about Church doctrine being determined by modern times. It is a question of aggiornamento, to say it in a way that the people can understand, and to always adapt our doctrine to the Gospel, to theology, in order to find in a new way the sense of what Jesus said, the meaning of the tradition of the Church and of theology and so on."

About the synod of the bishops and its "spirit:"

One question is: What can we do when a person marries, divorces and later finds a new partner? There are different positions. Some bishops at the synod said, 'They are living in sin.' But others said, 'You cannot say that somebody is in sin every day. That is not possible.'

It is very important that the synod does not have the spirit of 'all or nothing.' It is not a good way. The synod cannot have winners and losers. That is not the spirit of the synod. The spirit of the synod is to find a way together, not to say, 'How can I find a way to bring my position through?' Rather: 'How can I understand the other position, and how can we together find a new position?' That is the spirit of the synod."

About gay people:

I am astonished that most of our young people, and also Catholic homosexuals [sic] who are practicing, want a relationship that lasts forever... We must begin with the main points of the doctrine, to see the dream: the dream is to have a person say, a man and woman say, “You and you, forever. You and you, forever.” And we as Church say, “Yes, that’s absolutely OK. Your vision is right!

The Church says that a gay relationship is not on the same level as a relationship between a man and a woman. That is clear. But when they are faithful, when they are engaged for the poor, when they are working, it is not possible to say, “Everything you do, because you are a homosexual, is negative.” That must be said, and I have heard no critic. It is not possible to see a person from only one point of view, without seeing the whole situation of a person. That is very important for sexual ethics."

About Communion:

In the spirit of Evangelii Gaudium, we have to see how the Eucharist is medicine for the people, to help the people. We must look for ways for people to receive the Eucharist. It is not about finding ways to keep them out! We must find ways to welcome them. We have to use our imagination in asking, 'Can we do something?' Perhaps it is not possible in some situations. That is not the question. The focus must be on how to welcome people."

About the place of the women in the Church:

The de-clericalization of power is very important in the Roman Curia and the administrations of dioceses. We must look at canon law, and reflect theologically, to see what roles necessarily require priests; and then all the other roles, in the widest sense possible, must be open for lay people, men and women, but especially women.

I say it and repeat it also in my diocese: Please see what you can do to bring lay people, especially women, into positions of responsibility in diocesan administration. We have made a plan for the Catholic Church in Germany to have more leading positions in diocesan administrations to be fulfilled by women.

On this issue we must make a great effort for the future, not only to be modern or to imitate the world, but in realizing that this exclusion of women is not in the spirit of the Gospel.

The development in the world gives us signs, the signs of the time. John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council said we must interpret the signs of the time in light of the Gospel. One of these signs is the rights of women, the emancipation of women. John XXIII said it more than 50 years ago. We are always on the way to fulfilling it."