There can be few people on the planet less like Justin Welby than Reinhard Marx. And the difference is not merely measured in avoirdupois. Two things, however, unite them: autonomy and sex.

Cardinal Marx, it seems, is intent on giving the Catholic Church in Germany (which he insists on calling ‘the German Church’ – Lutherans and Reformed please note) freedom to legislate, independently of Rome, on matters concerning human sexuality. There he and the Archbishop of Wokechurch come together. Sex divides Welby’s soi-disant Communion, and Marx aspires to deploy sex in order to fracture the Catholic Church.

Cupiditatis Laetitiae is the pivotal text which brings them together; and it results, not in peace and love, but in rancour and division.

As Marx himself said: “A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of Provincial Autonomy”

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