Bishop Stefan Oster © Harald Oppitz (KNA)
Bishop Stefan Oster of Passau fears that the Catholic Church could lose its "inner core" and religious identity as it adapts to modern society. It needs a return to central contents of faith.
The return to the "unchangeable core of the Christian image of man" is also necessary, writes Oster in a guest article for the Freiburg magazine "Herder Korrespondenz".
Adapting church teachings to modern society?
Bishop asks if behind discussions on celibacy, ordination of women or sexual morality is not a desire to adapt church teachings to modern society. This is the wrong way to go, says Oster. What is decisive is a "move into a gathering inward, into a strengthening of renewed Christian identity".
It is a matter of "relevance to salvation"
According to Oster's observation, the church and faith today are only convincing and alive "where people gather anew, where they pray seriously and openly and deeply with one another, where they expressly also wrestle with the content of their faith.". According to Oster, the church should not be concerned with social relevance, but with "relevance to salvation.".