Bavarian Bishop Oster slams German Catholic lay organisation: This is no “longer biblical and attempts to instrumentalise Pope Francis”

The – by any objective standard – radical demands of the German Catholic lay organisation “ZdK” (Central Committee of Catholics) to change the definition of marriage and family, bless homosexual couples and “develop new forms of liturgy” I reported about so far have largely gone underreported and uncommented by German language media.

Let that sit for minute: The peak lay organization demands a change of Catholic doctrine. And no one bites.This is perhaps indicative of

  • a disinterest of the general public in the moral positions (let alone the claim to authority) of the Church;
  • an arguable irrelevance of the ZdK (which is not a democratically elected body) to the vast majority of Catholics and  broader society;
  • an impression that the already public and entrenched struggles ahead of the family synod are running their course.

For the record: I don’t necessarily think any of these points are true. But I do think they warrant further investigation.

2015-05-12 09_29_59-Bischof Stefan OsterIn any case, now the young bishop of Passau, Stefan Oster, has heavily criticised the resolution on his Facebook page and waded into the demands that the ZdK has unanimously voted for. He accuses the ZdK of basically forfeiting biblical teaching on humanity and revelation. It does not get much more serious than that. Actually, it does: He also accuses the organisation of attempting to instrumentalise Pope Francis.

I will keep an eye on this story and the wider issues ahead of the family synod over the next few days and weeks.