Card. Koch: German Synod (“spazieren gehen zusammen”) is doing what some Christians did along with Nazism in order to change the Church’s teaching

It seems that Swiss Card. Koch has raised his concerns about the Germans “Synodal (“walking together”) Way”.  In doing so, he has incurred the wrath of German bishops and others who have sent him, and the organizers of an event where he was to speak, threatening messages.

This is reported by LifeSite.  They picked up an interview in German in Die Tagespost, on the occasion of the annual Schülerkreise started by Pope Benedict with some of his alumni.

Let’s see what there is and then consider the real issue.

From LifeSite:

Cardinal Kurt Koch received the threatening communications after comparing the Synodal Way of the German bishops to Protestantism during the Nazi era in a recent interview with the German newspaper Die Tagespost.


In addition to Koch receiving hate mail and threats of violence, host organization Schönblick reportedly also received threatening messages.

The cardinal, who is also the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in the Roman Curia, complained that the Synodal Way takes up the idea of “new sources of revelation,” including secularist ideas and new scientific insights into human sexuality in order to change the Church’s long-standing teaching on matters regarding homosexuality, for example.


We should usually avoid giving people the chance to invoke Godwin’s Law, or fall into a trap of the reductio ad Hitlerum.  However, that is exactly what happened in the time of Nazi Germany … “new sources of revelation” as Card. Koch describes.   And nota bene: “in order to change the Church’s long-standing teaching on matters regarding homosexuality”.

That’s it.  If Koch and other got “threatening” message, put your money on those who promote the homosexualist agenda.  That’s how they fight: dirty.

Koch didn’t say that the German SynodalWeg (“spazieren gehen zusammen”) was trying to produce what the Christians with the Nazis were trying to produce, about “race” etc.  But they are using the same technique that Christians and Nazis used: use the “zeitgeist”, modern trends, etc. to bend Christian teaching to express something that it has never expressed and is, in fact, contrary to Christianity.


“It irritates me,” Koch stated, “that besides the sources of Revelation – Holy Scripture and Tradition – new sources are still being accepted; and it frightens me that this happens, again, in Germany.”

“For this phenomenon has already occurred during the National Socialist dictatorship, when the so-called ‘German Christians’ saw God’s new revelation in blood and soil and in the rise of Hitler,” Koch added.

By his comments, the Swiss cardinal intended to show that both today and during the Nazi era, some Christians tried to promote new sources of revelation, in accordance with the zeitgeist, in order to change traditional Church teaching.

However, his statement caused outrage among the German Catholic hierarchy, including the head of the German bishops’ conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing, who threatened to complain to Pope Francis, should Koch not issue an apology.


Meanwhile, poor Bätzing is not satisfied with Koch’s self-defense.


From Die Tagespost:

It irritates me that new sources are accepted in addition to the sources of revelation from Scripture and tradition; and it frightens me that this is happening – again – in Germany. Because this phenomenon already existed during the National Socialist dictatorship, when the so-called “German Christians” saw God’s new revelation in blood and soil and in the rise of Hitler. The Confessing Church protested against this with its Theological Declaration of Barmen in 1934, the first thesis of which reads: “We reject the false doctrine that the Church can and must as a source of proclamation apart from and in addition to this one Word of God also other events and powers , forms and truths as God’s revelation.”

The Christian faith must always be interpreted in a manner that is both true to its origins and contemporary. The church is therefore certainly obliged to take careful note of the signs of the times and take them seriously. But they are not new sources of revelation. In the three steps of believing knowledge – seeing, judging and acting – the signs of the times belong to seeing and by no means to judging alongside the sources of revelation. I miss this necessary distinction in the orientation text of the “Synodal Path”.

Es irritiert mich, dass neben den Offenbarungsquellen von Schrift und Tradition noch neue Quellen angenommen werden; und es erschreckt mich, dass dies – wieder – in Deutschland geschieht. Denn diese Erscheinung hat es bereits während der nationalsozialistischen Diktatur gegeben, als die so genannten „Deutschen Christen“ Gottes neue Offenbarung in Blut und Boden und im Aufstieg Hitlers gesehen haben. Dagegen hat die Bekennende Kirche mit ihrer Barmer Theologischen Erklärung im Jahre 1934 protestiert, deren erste These heißt: „Wir verwerfen die falsche Lehre, als könne und müsse die Kirche als Quelle der Verkündigung außer und neben diesem einen Worte Gottes auch noch andere Ereignisse und Mächte, Gestalten und Wahrheiten als Gottes Offenbarung anerkennen.“

Der christliche Glaube muss stets ursprungsgetreu und zeitgemäß zugleich ausgelegt werden. Die Kirche ist deshalb gewiss verpflichtet, die Zeichen der Zeit aufmerksam zur Kenntnis und ernst zu nehmen. Sie sind aber nicht neue Offenbarungsquellen. Im Dreischritt der gläubigen Erkenntnis – Sehen, Urteilen und Handeln – gehören die Zeichen der Zeit zum Sehen und keineswegs zum Urteilen neben den Quellen der Offenbarung. Diese notwendige Unterscheidung vermisse ich im Orientierungstext des „Synodalen Weges“.

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  1. TheCavalierHatherly says:

    Threats? I’m assuming they were along the lines of “I’ll give you SUCH a pinch!” considering the source.

    “who threatened to complain to Pope Francis, should Koch not issue an apology.”

    Tattle-tale behavior is obnoxious in a six year old child. But a sixty year old child?

  2. teomatteo says:

    This verbal exchange leads me to a couple of thoughts. One, this is a result of a pontif not doing his Go_ given duty and secondly what me late father would say, “I believe this converstation has deteriorated”

  3. monstrance says:

    It’s somewhat reassuring to see at least one person in the Vatican exhibits clear thinking.

  4. Chrisc says:

    Good manners are there to protect morals which incarnate values. When one’s interlocutors no longer share the foundations, manners are often weaponized as distractions.
    Are the cardinal’s words true, Bishop? If not, refute them. If so, amend your ways.
    But this involves the hard work of analyzing whether you are acting like Nazis. That’s so much more difficult than tattling to the media about it.

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