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German bishops' report: laity want change in Church teaching; many priests do not pray regularly

April 23, 2015

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The German Catholic bishops’ conference has made public a report on a survey of the faithful in preparation for the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops, finding a “gap between the lived reality of families and our communities” and the teachings of the Church.

The report complains of an “idealization of marriage and family” in Church teaching, and calls for the approval of new pastoral initiatives to help families that fall short. The bishops “expectations among the faithful are very high” that the Church will approve new policies. And the bishops recall the decision of their own episcopal conference to endorse a policy allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

In a separate report, the German bishops’ conference has released the results of a survey that found more than half (54%) of the country’s Catholic priests go to confession no more than once a year, and only 58% of German priests report that they pray every day.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Apr. 25, 2015 1:56 PM ET USA

    Why is any of this surprising? Any Church that feeds off the government tax system should be expected to incorporate the values of that government into its internal governance. Look at the record of Catholic Charities USA, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the closing of Catholic charitable institutions by the oppressive federal government. If you dance with the devil, you should expect to get burned.

  • Posted by: LCRich - Apr. 24, 2015 8:24 PM ET USA

    Once more, this is evidence that where there is a lack of good shepherds (i.e.; teaching and living the fullness of the Truth) the flocks scatter and go astray. I pray the lies they are seeking to implement will not be allowed by the Vatican...that would not be merciful!

  • Posted by: mark8813 - Apr. 23, 2015 11:45 PM ET USA

    The German Catholic Church is in a very dark place right now. May God have mercy and show them that our teachings are not idealized. Only the last 50 years or so has seen such a dramatic loss of faith that leads to ideas such as attempting to change church teaching to match society instead of calling society to holiness and a refocus of our lives where we first seek the kingdom of God. We are eternal beings and need to focus more on that fact. Seek first the kingdom of God.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Apr. 23, 2015 10:34 PM ET USA

    Note to German bishops: that "gap between the lived reality of families and of our communities" and the teachings of the Church is called disobedience.

  • Posted by: Catholic in Seattle - Apr. 23, 2015 6:38 PM ET USA

    Well, knowing that more than half the clergy in Germany are not praying daily we can now be sure that we know the origin of what is wrong with the Church in Germany.

  • Posted by: polish.pinecone4371 - Apr. 23, 2015 6:28 PM ET USA

    And yet, they expect us to bend to their demands. How arrogant of them.