My good friend of many years, Msgr. Hans Feichtinger, has an excellent piece today at Crisis. He puts his finger directly on the problems flowing from Germany and on the whole environment that spawned the Amazon Synod (“walking together”).
Many of the problems we face today have their tendrils back into the notions of Karl Rahner, SJ.
Here is a salient slice:
The paradigm of adapting faith and the language of faith to conform with the ways in which people already speak, think, and live can easily become misleading. It is true that we need to speak the language that people speak “where they are”; otherwise, there cannot be any communication at all. But as the process of evangelization unfolds, it must be turned around—which is another aspect of “conversion”: we need to change and adapt our lives and language to the Faith, and not vice versa.
As a theoretical distinction this may seem obvious. In reality, however, this distinction has not been maintained. Rahner left us a theology with internal tensions that often cannot be reconciled, and with a fundamental ambivalence when it comes to how the faith relates to modernity. The “balance of Rahner’s vision,” as Patrick Burke notes, has not been maintained by his heirs and followers. As a consequence, the Church in Germany today is in adaptation mode. Its bishops are convinced that, in order to be “relevant,” they need to reform her doctrines and practices so that they are less removed from “the reality of people’s lives”. Many theological discussions today are deceptive: they pretend to be about language, whereas they are about content. They claim to call for development, whereas they demand a revolution.
This is exactly right. They pretend it’s about language, but in reality it’s about content.
You can also see the immediate results of this in our sacred liturgical worship since the Council and the disastrous reforms perpetrated under the Rahnerian “spirit” of the Council.
You must read the whole thing.