In a move which has shocked the Catholic world, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, the Vice President of the German Bishops’ Conference, announced today the inauguration of a new body, the German National Catholic Church (DNKK).
Said Bode: ‘The new church is established on the principle that the Spirit of the German People (Volksgeist) and the Spirit of Vatican II (Heiligegeist) are one and the same. The DNKK will maintain its contacts with the rest of the Catholic Church through the Pope, who is designated ex-officio Chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference. All pronouncements and encyclicals of the Holy See will be subject, as a matter of course, to redaction by majority decision of the Conference.’
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who has worked tirelessly for the establishment of the DNKK, spoke about the ethical dimension which will characterise the new church. ‘Pastors will be encouraged in daring accompaniment of parishioners on their moral pilgrimage. Consensus will grow naturally from case-by-case assessment, under the guidelines set out by my colleague, Cardinal Kasper. We are confident that the DNKK will rapidly become known as the Church of Barmherzigheit.’
The official journal of the DNKK will be a German language version of The Tablet, published simultaneously in London, Chicago and Cologne.