By Michael J. Matt

As a German American whose grandparents were born not far from here, I welcome this opportunity to speak to the situation in the GermanCatholicChurch which is beyond desperate and which has caused considerable concern among many American Catholics.

The German Bishops’ “synodal path” appears to be an effort to create a church according to the image and likeness of the German Bishops, who apparently believe they can define doctrine and establish their own national Church—a sort of elitist nationalism that flies in the face of the universal Catholic Church, with one faith, one sacramental system, and one discipline throughout the whole world.

Statutes drafted in cooperation with the Central Committee of German Catholics threaten to posit the ordination of women and the abolition of priestly celibacy as countermeasures to the clerical sexual abuse crisis. But, surely, the German Bishops realize that the ordination of women is a direct violation of God’s law, authoritatively reinforced in 1994 by Pope John Paul’s Ordinatio Sacerdotalis: “The Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”

What part of “the Church has no authority to break God’s law” do the German bishops fail to comprehend? Any push to ordain women would be an act of rebellion against the Bride of Christ worthy of Martin Luther, which is why we have no alternative but to resist the synodal process in Germany which, if allowed to continue, will set dangerous precedents for the entire Church.


The German Bishops would have us believe that abolishing clerical celibacy would also reduce clerical sexual abuse. But this is not only demonstrably false, it’s dangerous in that it places liberal ideology above the protection of future abuse victims. Those called to the vocation of the single life—the consecrated Virgins and celibate clergy—are not sexually repressed. They’ve made celibacy a gift which they willingly choose to give to their God. To even suggest that they require marriage in order to quiet the temptation of child molestation amounts to satanic effrontery to the very idea of religious vocation. It also recklessly fails to consider the millions of children abused by one or both of their own married parents.

Furthermore, since clerical sexual abuse most often involves priests preying on postpubescent males, i.e., high-school students and seminarians, to suggest that abolishing celibacy will reduce the same-sex attraction involved in the majority of cases is, again, to reveal profound ignorance of both homosexuality and the nature of the abuse crisis.

Finally, are the German Bishops seriously suggesting that the health of the Catholic Church—already plagued by a massive priest shortage—is going to be improved when the few remaining priests find themselves married and with a houseful of babies to raise? Only a celibate male who knows nothing about marriage would suggest such an absurdity.


I thus add my voice to those calling upon the German people to act in the spirit of von Stauffenberg, Sophie Scholl and Cardinal von Faulhaber, to resist the new regime in the German Catholic Church, to refuse to pay the ecclesiastical tax, and to pledge fidelity to the immutable teachings of the Church.

What our world drowning in sex and sewage needs today is the restoration of the moral authority of the Catholic Church, based on the law of God and the law of nature, defended by the self-sacrificing example of celibate priests willing to deny themselves in order to bring the Lumen Christi into a world of darkness.

Even the Vatican’s head of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, sent the German bishops a letter warning them not to take a course which might bring them out of union with Church doctrine. His letter made clear that Rome is taking the situation seriously

As a German American Catholic, I beg the German bishops not to do this, I plead with the German people to resist, and I call on the pope to condemn this with the full weight of his office.

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