Overall, the top German Bishop calls it a “fundamental breakdown in trust toward the church.” In addition to the ban on the blessing LGBTQ couples, he noted the Churches non participation in abuse allegations and legal actions; the Church refusal to cancel Easter services, when even Christian parties were part of the call.
The president of the German Bishops' Conference, Georg Bätzing, has admitted a “fundamental breakdown in trust towards the Church.”
In a strikingly self-critical address to about 200 guests from the Church, politics and society at the annual reception of the Catholic Office in Berlin, Bätzing said on Monday that the abuse scandal had led to a profound loss of trust.
“Withheld testimonies and reluctance to step in reinforce this development and lead to long waiting times for people wanting to leave,” the bishop said.
Bätzing was alluding to Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, who withheld an expert opinion on how to deal with abuse allegations due of legal concerns.
Bätzing said that the Vatican's recent renewed ban on the blessing of same sex couples had also caused “indignation and head-shaking.” Open resistance to the directive from Rome had been the result, illustrating the “inner turmoil of the Catholic Church” for all to see.
As in so many areas of society, the coronavirus crisis had poured oil on the flames and accelerated developments, he said.
The Church's loss of status had become openly apparent during the pandemic, Bätzing said, citing the fact that even Christian parties had joined calls for the Church to cancel Easter services last spring.
The already noticeable decline in church tax revenues would be compounded by knock-on effects of the pandemic, which will necessitate painful cost-cutting measures.