It was announced today by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, in the Frauenkische in Munich, that the entire German Conference of Bishops will be on strike indefinitely from May 23.
This strike, in favour of the ordination of women to the priesthood, will see a cessation of all episcopal activity throughout Germany. It will be catastrophic for the life of the Church. There will be no more ‘initiatives’ on matters of social concern, no more unilateral assertions of regional autonomy.
Individual bishops are expressing their solidarity with the movement in different ways. Cardinal Marx will go on hunger strike in his cathedral. Cardinal Walter Kasper will follow a hallowed German tradition by burning his own books in Nuremburg. Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück is to swim naked in the Rhine, accompanied by a posse of young ‘Rheintöchter’.
Said a spokesperson for the bishops’ Conference: ‘Germans have for too long put up with the negative and dictatorial attitudes of Rome and the Curia. This Pope is open-minded. Together we can bring about the changes Germany demands – women priests, gay marriage, censure-free adultery.’
For the duration of the protest bishops will set aside their traditional dress and wear lederhosen throughout. The Kirchensteuer will not be affected.