How bad is the state of the Catholic Faith in Germany?

One incident can’t tar a whole nation. However, the single incidents keep heaping up and up and up.

The last in just how nuts Germany is.

From LifeSite:

German archdiocese celebrates Corpus Christi with photos of monstrance in profane places
Photos showed the monstrance in a playground, on a trophy room shelf, and on a park bench.

MUNICH, Germany, June 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In a new publicity stunt for the feast of Corpus Christi (where Catholic celebrate the body of Christ in Holy Communion), the German Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, headed by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, is promoting photos of a monstrance with a non-consecrated host in profane places like a playground, a trophy room, and a park bench.

The photos are accompanied by short texts without any connection to the meaning of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

Taken by two lay ministers employed by the archdiocese, the pictures show a monstrance “in different places of everyday life,” outside of liturgical functions, for instance on a bench in the park, or in what appears to be a beauty salon.


“A whole series of successes. Some things were easy to achieve, for others I had to try really hard. It’s amazing what I’ve already done and accomplished,” the text stated. “And in the middle of it all, God. He hardly stands out. His message is also inconspicuous: You are good just the way you are. No matter what happens or what you do. I love you.”


The two lay ministers said their idea for putting a monstrance in profane places came about during a conference in 2019 that discussed “how to speak about God today in a modern and understandable way.”

They did not explain how their photos and texts are supposed to draw people to the Catholic faith, nor did they address the scandal the photos would cause among the faithful.

On Facebook, the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising made clear it was siding with the two lay ministers, after several users had criticized the publicity stunt.


Lay ministers, eh?

Where did they get the monstrance – okay, people can buy monstrances – WHERE DID THEY GET THE HOST?

If they took the Host without the priest’s knowledge, because they have keys to the church and access to the tabernacle, that’s a problem. The pastor’s first duty is care of the Eucharist. He is incompetent and they are sacrilegious thieves.

If the priest knew about this and supported it, then he is imcompetent and should be dealt with severly. The lay people should be instructed and then asked not to function again in what they do.

Any way you look at this… it’s sacrilege.

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  1. Thomas S says:

    It says it’s a NON-consecrated host. Thank God for small favors.

    That being said, the German Church is beyond tedious. Like a poorly behaved child who pulls the same stunts over and over again looking for attention.

  2. Fr. Reader says:

    The two lay ministers said their idea for putting a monstrance in profane places came about during a conference in 2019 that discussed “how to speak about God today in a modern and understandable way.”
    Oh yes, very, very, very understandable. …infinitus est numerus.

  3. Gab says:

    While reading this I had an image of Our Lord’s human body draped on a trophy shelf, in a park – I’ve even seen a picture of it on a pedestrian crossing. Small comfort to read it was a non-consecrated host, if that’s even true, still it leaves the door open for future sacrileges with the consecrated Host.
    Where’s the respect and reverence in any case?

  4. surritter says:

    Right, it was an unconsecrated host. But I’m also shocked that they used the masculine when referring to God! “He hardly stands out. His message is also inconspicuous.” Stupid, of course, but at least they didn’t pull the “she” stuff.

  5. RomualdMonk says:

    It is time for an Interdict.

  6. RomualdMonk says: It is time for an Interdict.

    We just had a world-wide interdict. This still happened. We haven’t learned anything.

  7. ourladysdressmaker says:

    Two German ministers (they were lay)
    Who wanted to celebrate the day
    Of old Corpus Christi
    With something quite pretty
    But failed immensely, so to say

    A monstrance and host in their grasp
    Their techniques did make everyone gasp
    Of putting the Most Holy*
    In situations so ninny
    I’m not sure if that counts as blasp(hemy)

    Ideas of processions and more
    Can be shown outside, out the door
    ‘Cause processions are outdated
    (don’t forget restrictions with COVID)
    That’s fine, just leave us all forlorn

    *No particles of the Holy of Holies were abused in the making of these photos. Except, maybe those trapped in the monstrance. Maybe the monstrance itself. At first I thought that a monstrance was being used like a garden gnome.

  8. Grumpy Beggar says:

    A piece of ordinary bread contained in a sacred vessel which was never conceived, nor crafted nor intended to contain an ordinary piece of bread ; (the one exception might be for the training of seminarians.)

    I see this stuff – still feeling despondent that some of our bishops had betrayed us at the outset of this COVID-19 phenomena. I see this stuff – this contortion of the purpose of the monstrance – the throne where we may adore our hidden Blessed Lord in His infinite humility. I see this stuff – and I’m desperately trying to think of a nice polite Catholic equivalent for the word “dunderhead “, but it is proving to be too great a challenge for me.

    If according to Canon 1378, it is such a grave sin for a person (“not promoted to the sacerdotal order”) to impersonate a priest – particularly by “attempting the liturgical action of the Eucharistic sacrifice” , doesn’t it follow that the action of impersonating or feigning Christ with a regular piece of bread in a monstrance would be tainted to a lesser degree but with a similar stench ? And they certainly are feigning the true presence of Christ : They want it to look like a consecrated Host. Period !

    Great forethought chancery and lay ministers of Munich and Freising – on how many people you might offend who would naturally assume the host was consecrated : Congratulations !

    BTW trophies signify man’s triumph over something . . .so now we triumph over God ? Yeah . . . the imagery is really understandable and modern – You guys are a veritable group of modern-day Michelangelos.

    I submit that a lot more good could have been accomplished and a lot less confusion conveyed if Cardinal Marx had led a real procession of the Blessed Sacrament to all or some of those locations.

    I want to say the word again (rhymes with “wonderbread”).

    LUKE 8:25

    And He said to them, “Where is your faith ?”

  9. Senor Quixana says:

    Since the host was un=conxecrated I do not understand the mention of tabernacle access. There is no desecration here.

    I’ll dare to defend the concept, though not the execution here. The whole affirmation of everyone in all things implied in the text is hogwash, but promoting the idea of the presence of God outside of church, in the profane and mundane places of everyday life, the idea of God as our ever-present companion is unobjectionable.

    In the grand scheme of bad things in the Catholic Church in Germany, this is a fourth tier complaint.

  10. Imrahil says:

    Frankly, I had seen the picture somewhere else (obviously) but missed the fact that the host was unconsecrated.

    My reaction was, you might say, a mixed one, because I then would have been able to really see where they came from. To sum it up I’d say that after the end of a potential lenthy debate, the result would be it is indeed a bad idea (but one we had at least debated). And to put the Holy of Holies into a soccer goal, having the post of goalkeeper and looking like about to be dishonored by a sharply shot ball in about a second a particularly bad subidea. But the one thing I actually was angry with is that they did such a controversial thing right in the middle of a state of emergency. Couldn’t they wait until peacetime?

    Buut… having an unconsecrated host in that actually makes this worse; a way lot worse. (I cannot see how people might feel the other way round.) I know people don’t bow down and worship photographs (nor should they), but still, putting an unconsecrated host into a monstrance, creating the obvious pretence that this was the Holy of Holies, photographing it and making the photographs public is in essence idolatrous.

  11. Mariana2 says:

    “Great forethought chancery and lay ministers of Munich and Freising – on how many people you might offend who would naturally assume the host was consecrated : Congratulations !”

    Exactly. Depressing. (Auf deutsch: Deprimierend.)

  12. Don Abbondio says:

    Can anyone here recall or find a source for the anecdote (related by Archbishop Lefebvre, if memory serves) according to which a German diocese (could well have been Munich-Freising) organised an ecumenical Corpus Christi procession c. 1980 without the Blessed Sacrament so as not to offend Protestants?

  13. JonPatrick says:

    Of course we get the Modernist mantra: “You are good just the way you are. No matter what happens or what you do. I love you.” Because there is no more the concept of sin; we do not need to change in response to God’s love for us.

  14. Rob in Maine says:

    Maybe it’s not a host. Maybe they cut a circle out of a tortilla with an open tuna fish can. I mean, why use wheat? It’s not like form and matter and oh, belief, is important…..

  15. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Don Abbondio – Circa 1980-1982, one Joseph Ratzinger was the archbishop of Munich-Freising. Let’s not paint all German bishops with such a broad brush.

  16. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I wasn’t able to find out anything about the incident that Don Abbondio mentioned. I was able to find out that Corpus Christi processions were a very big thing in Germany historically, and that they stubbornly continued even under severe government restrictions during the Kulturkampf and Nazi Germany.

    In many places, the procession is led or followed by lots of people on horseback, to the point that it is called a “ride” or the “horse procession.” There are also Corpus Christi processions on boats or ships, especially along canals or important rivers, or across lakes to islands. Many processions start with rifle or cannon salutes, or with the ringing of bells across the city. Some processions bring the little ring of altar hand bells along that are used during the Canon, or use them to announce the beginning of the procession. (Which makes sense, if you think about it.)

    There are lots of flower-decorated altars and flower pictures (blumenteppich), but also lots of flower-covered arches, under which the procession passes.

    In many places, houses along the route are decorated, or adorned with birch branches or other greenery, or with processional flags, or with red fabric hanging from windows. (In places that don’t have flower pictures in the street, sometimes there are geometric designs made from leaves instead. This looks pretty neat.)

    The procession is also associated with strewing all kinds of sweet-smelling flowers and leaves in front of the procession or on the street as a carpet, so that sweet smells will be released as it passes. Our local procession downtown is a little embarrassed about how it can’t possibly afford huge numbers of flower petals, and therefore uses dyed hamster cedar bedding to make pictures on the street. But since cedar is sweet-smelling and even has sacred and Christological associations, that means this US field expedient is actually pretty traditional!

    The other thing I learned is that Corpus Christi is a public holiday in lots of places in Europe, but the holiday was abolished in Italy in 1977, and in Spain in 1989.

    It seems that there are lots more devout and fun things that we could do here in the US, to honor Our Lord.

  17. Grumpy Beggar says:

    When it comes to viewing photos, commonly, the impression we get is instantaneous – an idea is formed in our mind way before reading any caption or any , as Lifesite put it “short texts without any connection to the meaning of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.”
    We are then obliged to attempt to connect the captions/texts to each image as an afterthought . . .well, that is, those of us who bother to read anyhow. And today we live in a very visually-oriented world where the majority prefer images over good ol’ reading : It requires less work; less effort.

    If the intention was indeed to “speak about God today in a modern and understandable way,” well whom exactly do they presume to be speaking to ? . . . Non-Catholics ? An ostensarium portrayed totally out of Context certainly isn’t going to make anything about our faith clearer to non-Catholics. Neither would it make it any clearer to practicing or fallen away Catholics alike because it basically belittles Adoration, and in particular Benediction.

    Perhaps some of the captions might find a partial niche in someone’s own personal reflections; some, but this one -” You are good just the way you are. No matter what happens or what you do. I love you,” is at best jumbled – a mixture of true and false:

    The words (evidently attributed to God),”No matter what happens or what you do , I love you,” are true. But think how much more effective they could have been as a caption if they had instead accompanied a photo of someone entering or leaving the confessional .

    The words, “You are good just the way you are” sells God’s love for us short. God loves us so much that He desires to raise us higher than our original state. It is a lofty calling. And frankly, if we “are good just the way we are,” then we don’t need the sacraments – do we ? . . . God would essentially be saying to us – just like COVID-19 is “Stay Home!” . . .instead of “Come home !”

  18. DeGaulle says:

    Am I correct in saying that, in Germany, if one chooses to boycott this kind of carry-on with one’s pocket, one will be effectively ejected from the Church?

  19. If it was not a consecrated host, I am greatly relieved and can dial my negative reaction way back.

    That said, I agree with Imrahil and say it remains a bad idea, and is a worse idea in some ways.

    This is just a “fail” from so many directions.

    I want to be generous: I get what they were trying to convey: Jesus belongs with you in your ordinary life, he wants to be there. Great point. And the fact that they put a cloth — a corporal, perhaps? — under the monstrance, and used an UNconsecrated host, signals some sense of caution about this whole enterprise, which is hopeful.

    But where’s the creativity? A little more thought and maybe…

    – Create artwork, whether drawings or modified photos, showing our Lord (in a dignified fashion, let us insist!) in all these ordinary settings. Photoshop!

    – Or, find a priest or deacon, and some people, who will literally bring the Blessed Sacrament, properly, into many (if not all) these settings? Assemble those photos!

  20. Public Savant says:

    That’s nothing.
    I was in a certain Irish seminary in the late 1990s. In my last year there our annual retreat was conducted by a priest and a sister from a retreat house. Every year the annual retreat concluded with a Holy Hour. They refused to allow this so negotiations opened … Finally they gave in and allowed us our Holy Hour on the condition that it was not held in the chapel … possibly thinking that we wouldn’t agree to that. The Holy hour was eventually held in the non-smoking TV room. The TV was removed from its perch and the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament was put in its place. Irish seminary TV rooms back then were nothing like their US counterparts. It was a hard floor and uncomfortable seating with harsh lights. We had our Holy Hour but it was the most unusual I’ve ever ever witnessed.

  21. Joy1985 says:

    God have mercy on us and on the whole world.

  22. Don Abbondio says:

    Thank you, Suburbanbanshee – yes, it is unlikely that it would have taken place in Munich-Freising in the years of Archbishop Ratzinger (1977-82). I’m still searching for the original anecdote…

  23. The Egyptian says:

    almost makes me ashamed to be German
    from my moldy old blog, they were over the top stupid way back in 2009, if not earlier

  24. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    “God. He hardly stands out. His message is also inconspicuous: You are good just the way you are. No matter what happens or what you do.”


  25. TonyO says:

    If the intention was indeed to “speak about God today in a modern and understandable way,” well whom exactly do they presume to be speaking to ?

    The problem here is that while a picture may be worth a thousand words, most pictures are not capable of anything like the degree of precision and depth that words are capable of. And these pictures, particularly, are lacking in specificity and depth. The “artists” are, therefore, trying to convey a message that is far less specific, determinate, and deep, than the Church’s actual understanding of Christ “in the world”. In fact, they are trying to muddle, muzzle, and water down the Church’s message, so that the Church ceases to mean any of the specific and determinate truths that can’t be conveyed in their ridiculous images.

    From another perspective: the images are utterly banal. The message, then, becomes something like “Christ in the world is a banal experience.”

    Real artists would have known what effect they were generating, Either they must admit they are crappy artists, or they admit that the effect they intended was the opposite of ennobling.

  26. ChesterFrank says:

    It’s a traditional monstrance, give them credit for that.

  27. Semper Gumby says:

    Interesting post and discussion.

    On a separate but related note:

    Controversial Lenin statue unveiled in Germany’s Gelsenkirchen

    “Lenin?stands for violence, repression, terrorism and horrific human suffering,” representatives from mainstream parties on the district council in Gelsenkirchen-West said in a resolution passed in early March, in an attempt to block its installation.

  28. JustaSinner says:

    Father, quick question. I think those behind this stunt are trying to say Christ is everywhere. True, but as believers that God is the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost…wouldn’t it be better to try to depict that God, the Holy Ghost (spirit) is everywhere? Just a sinner trying to wrap his meager intellect around God..

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