National churches should stand up to almighty Vatican, says cardinal

11 March 2014 | by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

A senior German Cardinal has called on national churches to speak up more courageously in their dialogue with Rome, claiming that their lack of courage has made Rome “over-powerful”.

Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz, the former president of the German bishops’ conference, said in an interview with the Cologne-based daily Kölner Stadtanzeiger: “We need to be more courageous in dialogue within the Church. We complain that Rome is over-powerful but the reason why Rome is so strong is because we are too weak,” Lehmann.

He also cautioned against expecting all church renewal to come from the Pope. “I get very annoyed when we expect everything from the Pope as far as church renewal is concerned but do nothing towards renewal ourselves, or just remain silent.”

He urged Catholics to free themselves of “lethargy” and overcome the “lifeless complacency of a merely handed-down faith”.

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