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Will the Amazon deliver for Francis?

There are two themes which emerge from the sixty-six pages of the Instrumentum Laboris: married priests and ‘indigenisation’. Both are dangerous, not because a strictly local  – and time limited – experiment of ordinaing viri probati would be a bad thing, or because the use of local imagery and practice is necessarily inimical to sound catholic doctrine and liturgy; but because both have powerful advocates among German theologians and bishops.

Let there be no mistake. Experimentation is intended by these people as a regular and permanent change, and by ‘indigenisation’ they mean, not a few minor adjustments, but a wholesale realignment with the mores of pre-Christian (and post-Christian) society..

Do not doubt that ‘indigenisation’ can have serious doctrinal consequences – consider the war between Franciscans and Jesuits in China over the naming of God. And recall the accusations levelled by Evangelical Christians at the undeniable syncretism of South American Catholicism. But if the underlying aim is – and I think it is – to ‘indigenise’ the teaching of the Catholic Church to the sexual mores of modern Germany, then something very serious is going on.

These men – German theologians and bishops – could easily achieve their aim by become Anglicans (and their layfolk would scarcely notice the difference). But instead, by devious and convoluted means, they are intent upon defacing the Church to which they belong.  

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