Connect the dots

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Oct 17, 2017

This week brings the sad news that a Cistercian monastery in Germany, founded in 1134, will soon be closed. There aren’t enough monks to keep the venerable institution going.

And in other news, across the country in Ravensburg, as part of an ecumenical festival, a Catholic pastor has issued an invitation to Protestant neighbors to join in Communion.

Do you see any connection?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Oct. 23, 2017 9:29 PM ET USA

    Yet German cardinals are all the rage at the Vatican these days. It seems that presiding happily over the extinction of the Church in your native country demonstrates your strong qualifications to carry out the policies of the current papacy.

  • Posted by: brenda22890 - Oct. 18, 2017 3:22 PM ET USA

    Jesus wept.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Oct. 17, 2017 10:55 PM ET USA

    The Catholic theologian in the Ravensburg article referred to the Catholic Church as a denomination, rather than as the Church in which the true religion of Jesus Christ subsists. No Church that maintains the 4 marks of the true religion may be referred to as a "denomination." A denomination is one among many ecclesial bodies that aspires to the true religion, but can't quite make it because of a defect in integrity. Typically the most rigorous standard is origin in one of the twelve Apostles.