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Former Pope Benedict criticizes German Catholics

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Former Pope Benedict criticizes German Catholics

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI lashed out at the German Catholic Church in comments posted on Monday, perhaps signaling a new fight between the conservative and liberal wings of the church.

Pope Benedict, who resigned in 2013 and adheres closely to traditional Church philosophies, has at times criticized the Church in his native Germany, which tends to take a more liberal line.

For example, several German Catholic churches are breaking Vatican guidelines by blessing same-sex marriages.

This made him a controversial figure in Germany.

It also raised fears that in retirement Benedict would be pushed by conservative factions of the Church to counter the more liberal positions of the current Pope, Francis, even though he did not go as far as some German churches.

“As long as only the office, but not the heart and the spirit, will be expressed in the official texts of the church, the exodus from the world of faith will continue”, wrote Benedict XVI.

This was in the comments to be published in the next issue of the publication Herder Korrespondenz.

Born Joseph Ratzinger, the 94-year-old said he expected a true personal witness of faith from Church spokespersons.

The former pope said that the institutions of the church, from hospitals to schools or to the Caritas charity, that many people in key positions do not share the interior mission of the gospel church.

According to him, it was often necessary to conceal the testimony of this institution.

The Pope Emeritus argued that in the German Catholic Church, official texts were mostly written by people for whom faith was routine.

“In this sense, I must admit that for much of the official Church texts in Germany, the expression ‘church routine’ does apply.

Benedict also distanced himself from his choice of words in his famous “Friborg Speech” when he called on the Catholic Church to become non-worldly.

“History has shown that when the Church becomes less worldly, her missionary witness shines more brightly,” he said during the 2011 speech in Freiburg.

He said the Church should distance itself from its surroundings at the time, the message has been interpreted to mean that the Church should not adapt to the modern world.

Looking back, Benoît told the Herder Korrespondenz that he had not sufficiently expressed the positive aspects of his argument.

Benedict also said that the Church was made up of wheat and straw, good fish and bad fish.

It could not therefore be a question of separating good from evil, but it could be a question of separating the faithful from the infidels.

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