Christianity is Rattling: “Lights Out” in Germany

The fall of German Christianity leaves an emptiness that seems likely to be filled by a more multicultural and Islamic society. Germany today houses Europe’s largest Muslim community. Christians in Germany, Die Welt reports, will become a minority in 20 years. The falling birth rate will remove a piece of Germany larger than the former communist East Germany. It will result in a demographic loss equivalent to the population of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne and Frankfurt combined. The German army just spent 428 million euros on various operations relating to migrants during the past year. It has been the costliest mission within German borders that the army of the Federal Republic of Germany has ever undertaken. In the decades after WWII, Germans have turned into hard-core pacifists, enjoying their role on the sidelines of global conflicts. The army was then turned into a humanitarian organization.”Contemporary historians … right now, have failed to find a single historical example of a society that became secularised and maintained its birth rate over subsequent centuries,” the former UK chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, recently argued.”Falling fertility has coincided so closely with massive secularization that we must at least ask whether the two phenomena are related, even if not in a neat one-to-one relationship”, the scholar Philip Jenkins also said.This is also true apparently for Germany.The Ratzinger-Schülerkreis is the circle made up of 41 former alumni of Pope Benedict XVI (born Joseph Ratzinger), who meet once a year with their former professor to discuss a specific topic. This year Pope Benedict has chosen the “spiritual crisis of Europe.” The guest of honor was the American jurist Joseph Weiler, who coined the expression “Christophobia” and defended the crucifix in Italian schools at the EU’s highest tribunal.As Pope, Benedict understood the cultural and religious crisis of Europe, and the former German professor sees his native country as a litmus test for the future of Europe’s Christianity.In Germany, where President Joachim Gauck was a Protestant pastor and Chancellor Angela Merkel is the daughter of a clergyman, in the country of liberal theologians — such as Hans Küng, Uta Ranke-Heinemann and Eugen Drewermann, who have fueled intense criticism of the Vatican hierarchy regarding ecclesiastical celibacy, birth control, the role of women, and sacraments for the divorced — Christianity is rattling.In 1963, there were 400 new priests ordained in Germany. In 1993, there were 238 new priests ordained. In 2013, the number fell to 98. In 2015, the number fell to a historic low of 58. This was revealed by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany’s largest national subscription daily newspaper, published in majority-Catholic Bavaria: “The Catholic Church in Germany is facing a dramatic shortage of priests. Never before as today have so few men in Germany become Catholic priests.”The German dioceses plan to respond to this crisis by merging parishes, closing churches and hiring priests from Africa. The Catholic Church in Germany has already closed 515 churches in the past decade, while the Evangelical Church closed 340. The number of parishes has decreased from 13,300 in 1995 to 10,800 in 2015.

Source: Christianity is Rattling: “Lights Out” in Germany

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