Communio veritatis, a group of priests from the Archdiocese of Paderborn, published a statement today accusing the prelate of “abusing your spiritual office by obviously considering the Church’s Sacraments as your personal property which you sacrifice at your own whims on the altar of the Zeitgeist.”
The first sentence of the statement, as published today on the Austrian Catholic website Kath.net, refers to a recent claim made by Marx, namely, that he does not like the term “Christian West” because it is too “exclusive.” In response the German priests say: “We call upon you to renounce the presidency of the German Bishops’ Conference because this notion is exclusive of your own fellow bishops!”
The Communio veritatis group had formed itself in light of the 2018 debate in Germany about giving Holy Communion to some Protestant spouses of Catholics. Communio veritatis strongly opposes this idea and had published a statement opposing their own archbishop in Paderborn, Hans-Josef Becker.
In their new 14 January statement, the priests accuse Cardinal Marx of syncretism and relativism: “You stand with your sociological viewpoint on the grounds of syncretism and relativism.” In reality, they say, Christ has revealed Himself to us, and with it the Truth. “We reject the instrumentalization of our religion!” the priests call out and criticize Cardinal Marx for using the Catholic religion “in a falsifying secularization in order to spread the left-liberal political ideology of the mainstream.”
The group of priests further stated: “We remind you that the red of the cardinal does not refer to the flag of Neo-Marxism, but to the defense of the Catholic Faith, up to shedding one’s blood. Thereby, the Catechism is not the name of an island in the South Sea, but the reliable interpretation of the Church’s teaching.”
In reference to the fact that Cardinal Marx, when visiting the Temple Mount in Israel in 2016, had removed his pectoral cross so as not to “offend” his hosts, the priests say that “We will confess Jesus Christ as the only Redeemer and true Savior, while you yourself have laid down the Cross of the Lord in a scandalous manner.”
Cardinal Marx had also received much criticism in 2018 for distancing himself from Markus Söder, the Bavarian governor who had ordered the public display of crosses in state administrative buildings. Cardinal Marx at the time claimed that he was “quite sad and ashamed” of this decision. Furthermore, the prelate then said publicly that Söder was causing “division, unrest and animosity” with his own plan, and that Söder was even “expropriating the cross in the name of the state.”
The Paderborn priestly group is, however, of another opinion: “We pray that our western world will return to the Faith in the Triune God, in Whom alone is to be found life and salvation.”