You can read the whole dismal report here. Suffice it to say that there is more than a problem but a growing crisis within the Roman Catholic in Germany today. You can read an English translation of the report here.
Far from showing the German Church as one struggling with problems, this report gives the bleakest view to the health, life, and future of Roman Catholicism in Germany. Before any Protestants point fingers, it is pretty much the same dark and depressing state among the Protestant Churches of Germany.
There is the regular drumbeat of those who insist that the future of Christianity lies in adapting the church to the prevailing views and opinions of the "faithful." The truth is the opposite. In every case when the churches have succumbed to the mood of the people for doctrine and practice, the church has become the very victim of its modernity. This is a warning shot across the bow of American Christianity and other places where secularization has moved more slower and where the churches have to one degree or another retained their integrity with the Scripture and the catholic doctrine and practice of the past. This loss of faith has moved by degrees with the people of the faith left pointing fingers at each other and scurrying after the illusive goal of relevance while lukewarm Christianity continues to cool. There is no time left for the luxury of blame or the constant reinvention of the church. We must rediscover our anchor in Christ, the Scripture, and the catholic tradition before we drift so far into destruction that there is nothing left to reform.
"Before any Protestants point fingers, it is pretty much the same dark and depressing state among the Protestant Churches of Germany."
Don't worry. The Germans will slap an extra coat of whitewash over everything in time for the quincentennial celebrations (and tourist spending) spread out over the next two years. And the leaders of the various Lutheran (and Lufauxran) church bodies throughout the world will attend multiple events, make nice with each other, and pontificate their Reformation proclamations.
A number of years ago (1988), I attended a service at a German Lutheran Church (Drei Koenigs Kirke) (my spelling may be a bit off!). It was a huge building, probably about to seat 500 or more, but there were about 30 people present, scattered through this huge space. The organist was superb; he was a well paid, state employee. The pastor (another state employee) was bored with his job, could not wait to be finished with the morning service, and soundly resented visitors who wanted to talk. It was very clear to me at that time that this part of the Church was completely dead.
I do not have any reason at all to doubt the findings of the report that Pastor Peters has cited. He is absolutely correct in saying that accommodation to modernity will spell death for American faith as well.
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