COLOGNE, Germany (CNS): Pope John Paul II has written to German cardinals to express concern about erroneous developments in the Church, while praising many aspects of the cardinals’ work.
The letter praised the German Church for its “solid organisation “and its efforts for those in need and said the cardinals have worked tirelessly to fulfil their pastoral duties.
But, said the Pope, although the Church in Germany faces many of the same problems as the Church in other countries, there are “local characteristics” that concern him.
The Pope singled out four areas in which he said he considers that the German Church needs to improve: The attitude to marriage and the family; ecumenism; the doctrinal orthodoxy of theological schools; and problems with the relationship between priests and laity in community life.
In general terms he warned of an increasing secularisation and a loss of faith “which threatens to hollow out the Church from within, so that, while it may appear strong, it is internally weak and losing credibility”.