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German cardinal sees 'Francis effect' as passing trend

August 27, 2014

German Cardinal Walter Brandmüller has told a German magazine that the "Pope Francis effect" is a popular phenomenon rather than a spiritual revival.

"Were this a religious movement, the churches would be full," said Cardinal Brandmüller, the retired president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, told Zeit Geschichte ("History") magazine.

The 85-year-old cardinal said that the greatest challenge to the Church today is the rise of individualism, coupled with the decline of faith. "Pragmatism and utilitarianism are the great heresies of our time," he said.


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  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Aug. 28, 2014 9:07 AM ET USA

    "Rome was not built in a day", and revitalization of the Church likewise. The Holy Spirit works, despite man's resistance to holiness.

  • Posted by: lak321 - Aug. 27, 2014 6:07 PM ET USA

    i personally see increasing numbers at sunday and daily mass

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Aug. 27, 2014 4:56 PM ET USA

    Cardinal Brandmuller is quite right. For all the flurry we've seen in the papers, nothing fundamental has changed; we are faced with the same problems and the same declining numbers almost everywhere.