SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Anian Christoph Wimmer

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December 05, 2019
Following an intervention by the Vatican, Germany’s oldest diocese has put on hold plans to reduce its number of parishes from almost 900 to 35.   The planned reorganisation of the Diocese of Trier, the result of a local synodal process, was scheduled to begin on January 1, 2020.   On November 20, Bishop Stephan
September 19, 2019
A Vatican cardinal’s warning that plans for a binding synodal process in Germany appear to be “ecclesiologically invalid” and not in accordance with canon law has been met with outrage in Germany and dismissed in a terse rebuke by Cardinal Reinhard Marx. In a letter responding to Cardinal Marc Ouellet that was leaked by local
July 11, 2019
In March, Cardinal Reinhard Marx announced that the German bishops had agreed to embark on a “binding synodal process” that would address the abuse crisis, sexual morality and priestly celibacy. Now Pope Francis has intervened with a long letter to German Catholics. The letter has prompted much debate. Was the Pope endorsing the “synodal process”
May 09, 2019
God, at the end of prose, Somehow be our poem – When forebrainy consciousness goes. – Les Murray, “You Find You Can Leave It All”, in Conscious & Verbal (1999) The great poet is dead. Les Murray died on April 29, aged 80. His life and work of poetry is best described as a body
May 02, 2018
A cardinal opposes plans to hang crosses in Bavarian state buildings The decision by the government of Bavaria to require that every entrance to state buildings display a cross by June 1 has received global attention. At home, the move by Premier Markus Söder (pictured) and the governing Christian Social Union (CSU) has fuelled public
April 12, 2018
Just how serious is the rift that has opened up in the German episcopacy, and where will it lead? The rare, if not unprecedented, move by seven German bishops to write a letter to the Vatican, seeking clarification on the question of Protestant spouses of Catholics receiving Holy Communion, shows not only that there is
November 09, 2017
Austria's next Chancellor is the commentariat's new bête noire. But plenty of Christians are pleased by the 31-year-old's ascent
November 09, 2017
Is Austria rediscovering its Catholic roots? Or is the country moving further away from Christian values under its soon-to-be head of government, Sebastian Kurz? The 31-year-old Catholic’s recent landslide victory has caused considerable consternation across Europe’s commentariat, even among some Catholic observers. The German satirical magazine Titanic raised eyebrows by proclaiming on its front page:
August 10, 2017
The German Church is wealthy but in dramatic decline. Only a new 'Reformation' can save it
August 10, 2017
There is a paradox at the heart of German Catholicism today. On the one hand, the official figures paint a stark picture of continuing decline in terms of Church membership, Mass attendance and participation in the sacraments. On the other hand, the German Church is enormously wealthy and continues to wield significant influence both at
July 16, 2015
The German Church, defined by centuries of tension with Rome, is regarded as a bastion of liberalism. But Teutonic Catholicism is much more diverse than outsiders realise