Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx considers humility and freedom two core virtues of bishops. Both attitudes are especially important in “unclear situations,” Marx said in Trier.
Humility includes “the power of patience, openness to other opinions, the willingness to seek the truth and not simply claim it for oneself in an autocratic manner”. Freedom is characterized by the courage to differ from majority opinions and to follow one's own convictions, Marx told the German episcopate on Tuesday at a service for the spring plenary meeting of the German bishops.
Bishops discuss faith meeting in Cologne
At their spring plenary meeting in Trier, Germany, the Catholic bishops will discuss the Eucharistic Congress on Tuesday. Faith meeting to be held in Cologne in June. Expected to be around 60.000 participants. Other topics to be discussed at the bishops' meeting include the future course of the so-called morning-after pill, the further processing of the sexual abuse scandal and the role of women in the church.
Large majority of Germans in favor of church reforms
Meanwhile, a majority of Germans would like to see reforms in the Catholic Church. 88 percent are in favor of abolishing celibacy, 83 percent are in favor of women in the priesthood, according to a ZDF Politbarometer-Extra published on Tuesday.
There are hardly any differences between Catholics and the population as a whole. However, there are narrow majorities against a strict age limit for popes. By far the majority of Germans would welcome reforms in the Catholic Church on the ies of celibacy, women in the priesthood and remarriage of divorced people. For example, 88 percent of all respondents and 84 percent of Catholics believe Catholic priests should be allowed to marry. Only eight percent disapprove, compared with 12 percent of Catholics.
83 percent would like to see the priesthood opened up to women, while 13 percent are against it. Here, too, the attitude of Catholics does not differ significantly from the total; 75 percent are in favor, 22 percent against. Approval is similarly high when it comes to church marriage for divorcees.
81 percent are in favor (Catholics: 79 percent), only 13 percent (Catholics: 16 percent) think divorced people should not be allowed to remarry in church. In addition, a majority demands that the Catholic Church should orient itself more strongly to the wishes of the grassroots. In the case of controversial ies, 79 percent of all respondents and 74 percent of Catholics believe that the wishes of church members should serve as a guideline; only 11 percent (Catholics: 15 percent) are of the opinion that the church should follow its traditional principles – in case of doubt, even against the will of many of its members.
After the announced resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. there is also discussion about whether there should be an age limit for popes in the future. 43 percent would like it if a pope had to leave office when he reaches a certain age, 46 percent are against it. Of Catholics, 41 percent are in favor of such an age limit, 52 percent are against it.