German Synod (“walking together”) wants to debate whether priests are needed in the Catholic Church

From Ed Pentin…

One might turn the sock inside out.

Priests ask, are Germans still needed in the Church?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Admiraldr says:

    Yes. We are still needed. Because we do not have all the same opinion as many of this silly „debating club“.

  2. Chrisc says:

    Don’t worry. This is absolutely the same faith as St Ambrose who wrote De Officiis. How do we know? Apostolic succ—–. Well, because we said so.

  3. Adelle Cecilia says:

    I agree. They need to investigate the question… and the person who asked such a thing.

  4. aflusche says:

    This BS is going on in Germany, and yet it’s the Mass of the Ages that Francis has decided needs squashing.

  5. Ms. M-S says:

    Well, this shouldn’t cause much of a stir among any of the woke, who don’t see the need of a man and a woman to make a family, a man to impregnate a woman, a family to raise and educate children, basic observable scientific facts to guide our speech and actions, or for that matter God as first cause and last resort in the universe.

  6. I have a modern copy of the “Fasciculus Sacrarum Orationum et Litaniarum ad usum quotidianum Christiani hominis, ex sanctis Scripturis et Patribus collectus” (English: “A Small Collection of Sacred Prayers and Litanies for the Daily Use of Christians, Collected from Holy Scripture and the (Church) Fathers”). It is a prayer book containing various devotions and litanies. The book was assembled by Guiliemus Bauariae, Dux, or in English, William V, Duke of Bavaria, (29 September 1548 – 7 February 1626). He retired to a monastery in 1597 where, I believe, he put together the book. The edition is dated 1618.

    I mention it because it has a very timely item, “Litanaie pro Germaina”. Its form is that of the Litany of the Saints, but it invokes a long list of illustrious German saints. Some of the petions at the end are very much on target. “A vantite et caecitate mendis, Libera nos Domine.” Perhaps it should be posted somewhere.

  7. Sorry “mendis” -> mentis.

  8. IaninEngland says:

    It was Martin Luther (he was German, too) who said “Tolle Missam, tolle ecclesiam” – “If I destroy the Mass, I shall destroy the Church”, and, of course, if there are no priests there will be no Mass. Job done!
    It would appear that the certain German churchmen are working for someone other than the Church.
    … and being aided and abetted by the Vatican, no less.
    Come, Lord Jesus!

  9. Ariseyedead says:

    To all the German priests and bishops who voted for this debate, your resignations are accepted. Please leave everything tidy on your way out.

  10. Rob83 says:

    Stay tuned for the next German synod, “Does the Church need Catholics?”

    There will not be one questioning whether their excellencies or their conference staff are needed.

  11. Charles E Flynn says:

    “Walking together…” off a cliff.

  12. tzabiega says:

    This is great! If they decide there is no need for priests, then these heretics will make their leaving the Church official. Maybe there will be a movement which the liberal bishops and priests will join and resign because priests are unnecessary. Then the small remnant of the Catholic Church in Germany will remain and rebuild from the ashes and the toxic atmosphere that the Germans have on the rest of the Universal Church will stop.

  13. TonyO says:

    As delightful as it might be for the current German bishops to decide they are not needed and resign, it seems impossibly stupid even for them to forget that if they vote themselves out of a job, the gravy train of money, prestige, and power stops. Even venal, mean, and materialistic men can figure THAT out. So, whatever the “working” committee says, I suspect the bishops will say “we’re staying”.

    Which can still be fun to watch: maybe they will get mad at each other and have some heated exchanges, all while “walking together” off a cliff? Either way, they are making themselves irrelevant. Even if a pope doesn’t excommunicate them, eventually Catholics will stop paying any attention to them. (Nearly there now – less than 10% go to church. They are not preaching to the choir, they are preaching to an empty church.)

  14. mpa says:

    These German bishops are saying out loud what many of the bishops elsewhere are thinking.

    I expect they will not be considering whether *bishops* are needed.

  15. mpa says:

    TonyO: I don’t think this is stupidity. The unique *Kirchensteuer* arrangement gives the German bishops considerable indepedence from the opinions of their flocks, which is one reason why you hear these sorts of crazy things from Germany. They collected something like $12 billion in 2019 alone, even with such abysmal attendance.

    To such people, I suppose priests must seem like a uniquely vexing HR burden with little or no return — a relic of past ages which now serves little purpose. What they would prefer are professional property managers, museum managers, and community organizers. Maybe keep a few (non-celibate) priests around for reenactments and such.

  16. JabbaPapa says:

    The UK group ACTA wanted exactly all of these same reforms as in this German “synodal path”, but a group of us, mainly Catholic lay persons (though there were a couple of non-Catholics and non-laity) through efforts both overt and covert managed to expose them early enough to help nip their efforts in the bud.

    ACTA’s end goal (we managed somehow to get our hands on their internal goals and strategy document) was basically the destruction of the Catholic Church — no more priests, no more churches, just lay people gathering in each other’s homes and “following” Christianity any which way they please.

    The document also detailed a plan to get young men indoctrinated by their ideology into seminaries, and so infiltrate the Church hierarchy from within through getting such men made Bishops and/or posted to Rome.

    Oh, they were also a pretty unpleasant bunch on social media.

    Some of us managed to get our findings into the hands of the right sort of Bishops, which led to ACTA being forbidden to speak in Church premises in many English dioceses, and a combination of this with the fact that most of its membership seemed to be baby boomer happy-clappy “spirit of the Council” types of a certain age led via demographics to them pretty much falling apart.

    What I see in Germany is what our own little group helped stop happening in England. These ideologies are quite radically contrary to the Catholicity of Holy Church.

  17. ordovirginum says:

    One way of doing away with priests is to make all of them bishops, so we’ll have only bishops and deacons, as in the very early Church. Parishes will become dioceses, and bishops conferences will disappear.

  18. pscruz says:

    1965-66 I start first grade at a Catholic school. Many nuns, all dressed like Mother Angelica. About half a dozen priests, at least four distribute Communion at Sunday Mass.

    1969-70. Fifth grade at the same school. Many nuns have left, omly one of the remaining ones continues to dress like Mother Angelica. Fewer priests, we no longer use the rail, During a Mass, a new priest makes us use the “peace” sign being used by the hippies. Our teacher tells us to pray we are not here when the world ends because it will be the worst time ever.

    2021- I pray daily to God for Him to stop the pope from harming an order of priests similar to the ones I knew fifty years earler.

  19. Uniaux says:

    I don’t know which is more likely to happen: Pope Francis straightening out the German bishops, or a singular bishop in the entirety of the world going full Bp. Jude Noble.
    It would almost seem that any bishop considering the Jude Noble route would be paralyzed from the consideration of being dealt with by the vatican in the same way that the German bishops won’t be.

    But if the Germans don’t think the priesthood is necessary, at least they won’t be forming them heterodoxically, for they won’t be forming them at all.

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  21. Gaetano says:

    The nation that produced Luther, Marx & Hitler should be focused more on penance than changing Catholic theology.

  22. summorumpontificum777 says:

    Anyone who didn’t figure out a long time ago that the abolition of the priesthood was the ultimate end-game hasn’t been paying attention. That’s why they lose no sleep over the dearth of vocations. It’s a feature, not a bug.

    It’s hard to really guess how this all plays out in the near term, though. The Holy Father has indicated that he wants to tap the brakes on the German while at the same time expressing his belief that their hearts are in the right place. At some point, though, it’s either schism or Rome’s acceptance of the Teutonic revolution, de jure or de facto. And if it’s the latter, then Rome will have taken sides against the not insignificant portion of the Catholic world that isn’t on board with the revolution.

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  24. robtbrown says:


    Actually, there were priests in the Early Church. The Letter of James mentions sending a presbyter to anoint someone who is sick. Some think that this merely refers to OT elders. In fact, anointing in the OT is reserved to priests. So
    the use of presbyter in the Letter indicates more than an OT meaning.

    In the Middle Ages many thought that in Luke Jesus sending of the seventy(-two) referred to presbyters (in the Christian sense). St Thomas refers to this.

  25. JabbaPapa says:

    ordovirginum is indeed wrong, as the Epistles to Timothy make clear.

    Paul mentions explicitly that Timothy has received the priesthood from laying on of hands, and advises him about how deacons and bishops should be chosen. And it’s clear the word doesn’t mean “elder”, given that Paul explicitly refers to Timothy’s youth.

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