Warum fand die erste Bekenntnissynode der Bekennenden Kirche in Barmen statt? (German Edition)

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The parishioners of a congregation elected a presbytery and a congregants' representation German: Gemeindevertretung. A number of congregations formed a deanery German: Kirchenkreis , holding a deanery synod German: Kreissynode of synodals elected by the presbyteries. The deanery synodals elected the deanery synodal board German: Kreissynodalvorstand , in charge of the ecclesiastical supervision of the congregations in a deanery, which was chaired by a superintendent, appointed by the provincial church council German: Provinzialkirchenrat after a proposal of the general superintendent.

The consistory was the provincial administrative body, whose members were appointed by the Evangelical Supreme Church Council. The provincial synods and the provincial church councils elected from their midst the synodals of the general synod , the legislative body of the overall Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union. The general synod elected the church senate German: Kirchensenat , the governing board presided by the praeses of the general synod, elected by the synodals.

Johann Friedrich Winckler held the office of praeses from until The church senate appointed the members of the Evangelical Supreme Church Council , the supreme administrative entity, which again appointed the members of the consistories. The majority of parishioners stayed in a state of unease with the changes and many were skeptical towards the democracy of the Weimar Republic. Nationalist conservative groups dominated the general synods. The traditional affinity to the former princely holders of the summepiscopacy often continued. So when in the leftist parties successfully launched a plebiscite to the effect of the expropriation of the German former regnal houses without compensation, the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union called up for an abstention from the election, holding up the commandment Thou shalt not steal.

A problem was the spiritual vacuum, which emerged after the church stopped being a state church. Otto Dibelius , since general superintendent of Kurmark within the Ecclesiastical Province of the March of Brandenburg , published his book Das Jahrhundert der Kirche The century of the Church [34] , in which he declared the 20th century to be the era when the Evangelical Church may for the first time develop freely and gain the independence God would have wished for, without the burden and constraints of the state church function. In this respect Dibelius regarded himself as consciously anti-Jewish, explaining in a circular to the pastors in his general superintendency district of Kurmark , "that with all degenerating phenomena of modern civilisation Judaism plays a leading role".

While this new self-conception helped the activists within the church, the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union could not increase the number of its activists. In Berlin the number of activists made up maybe 60, to 80, persons of an overall number of parishioners of more than 3 millions within an overall of more than 4 million Berliners. In the early and mids the annual number of secessions amounted to about 80, In the field of church elections committed congregants formed new Kirchenparteien , which nominated candidates for the elections of the presbyteries and synods of different level.

In Christian socialists founded the Covenant of Religious Socialists. In the inter-war years the general synod convened five times. After the system of state churches had disappeared with the monarchies in the German states, the question arose, why the Protestant church bodies within Germany did not merge. Besides the smaller Protestant denominations of the Mennonites, Baptists or Methodists, which were organised crossing state borders along denominational lines, there were 29 later 28 church bodies organised along territorial borders of German states or Prussian provinces.

In fact, a merger was permanently under discussion, but never materialised due to strong regional self-confidence and traditions as well as the denominational fragmentation into Lutheran, Calvinist and United and uniting churches. Following the Schweizerischer Evangelischer Kirchenbund Swiss Federation of Protestant Churches of , the then 29 territorially defined German Protestant church bodies founded the Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchenbund German Federation of Protestant Churches in , which was no new merged church, but a loose confederacy of the existing independent church bodies.

Most clerics, representatives and parishioners welcomed the Nazi takeover. Most Protestants suggested that the mass arrests, following the abolition of central civic rights by Paul von Hindenburg on 28 February , hit the right persons. On 20 March Dachau concentration camp , the first official premise of its kind, was opened, while , hastily arrested inmates were held in hundreds of spontaneous so-called wild concentration camps, to be gradually evacuated into about new official camps to be opened until the end of On 21 March the newly elected Reichstag convened in the Evangelical Garrison Church of Potsdam , an event commemorated as the Day of Potsdam , and the locally competent Gen.

Dibelius preached. Even after this clearly anti-Semitic action he repeated in his circular to the pastors of Kurmark on the occasion of Easter 16 April his anti-Jewish attitude, giving the same words as in The Nazi Reich's government, aiming at streamlining the Protestant churches, recognised the German Christians as its means to do so.

On 4 and 5 April representatives of the German Christians convened in Berlin and demanded the dismissal of all members of the executive bodies of the 28 Protestant church bodies in Germany. Furthermore, the German Christians demanded to purify Protestantism of all Jewish patrimony. Judaism should no longer be regarded a religion, which can be adopted and given up, but a racial category which were genetic. Thus German Christians opposed proselytising among Jews. Protestantism should become a pagan kind heroic pseudo-Nordic religion.

Of course the Old Testament , which includes the Ten Commandments and the virtue of charity taken from the Torah , Book of Leviticus : "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. In a mood of an emergency through an impending Nazi takeover functionaries of the then officiating executive bodies of the 28 Protestant church bodies stole a march on the German Christians.

This caused the later confusion when the streamlined Reich church and the Confessing Church alike identified as being the legitimate church of that name. The plans were to dissolve the German Evangelical Church Confederation and the 28 church bodies and to replace them by a uniform Protestant church, to be called the German Evangelical Church German: Deutsche Evangelische Kirche.

Thus the Nazis, who were permanently breaking the law, stepped in, using the streamlined Prussian government, and declared the functionaries had exceeded their authority. Kapler resigned as president of the Evangelical Supreme Church Council , after he had applied for retirement on 3 June, and Gen. Wilhelm Haendler competent for Berlin's suburbia , then presiding the March of Brandenburg Consistory retired for age reasons. Then the German Christian Dr. Many pastors protested that and held instead services of penance bearing the violation of the church constitution in mind.

On 11 July German-Christian and intimidated non-such representatives of all the 28 Protestant church bodies in Germany declared the German Evangelical Church Confederation to be dissolved and the German Evangelical Church to be founded. On 14 July Hesse, Kapler and Marahrens presented the newly developed constitution of the German Evangelical Church , which the Nazi government declared to be valid. The new synods of the 28 Protestant churches were to declare their dissolution as separate church bodies.

Under the impression of the government's partiality the other existing lists of opposing candidates united to form the list Evangelical Church. The Gestapo est. The Gestapo confiscated the office and the printing-press there, in order to hinder any reprint. Thus the turnout in the elections was extraordinarily high, since most non-observant Protestants, who since long aligned with the Nazis, had voted. In Berlin e.

Gerhard Jacobi led the opposing provincial synodals. Other provincial synods demanded the Aryan paragraph too. By introducing the Nazi racist attitudes into the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union , the approving synodals betrayed the Christian sacrament of baptism , according to which this act makes a person a Christian, superseding any other faith, which oneself may have been observing before and knowing nothing about any racial affinity as a prerequisite of being a Christian, let alone one's grandparents' religious affiliation being an obstacle to being Christian.

Therefore unequal rights, due to national or racial arguments, are inacceptable as well as any segregation. The German Christians abused the general synod as a mere acclamation, like a Nazi party convention. Koch and his partisans left the synod. By enabling the dismissal of all Protestants of Jewish descent from jobs with the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union , the official church bodies accepted the Nazi racist doctrine of anti-Semitism.

This breach with Christian principles within the range of the church was unacceptable to many church members. Nevertheless, pursuing Martin Luther 's Doctrine of the two kingdoms God rules within the world: Directly within the church and in the state by means of the secular government many church members could not see any basis, how a Protestant church body could interfere with the anti-Semitism performed in the state sphere, since in its self-conception the church body was a religious, not a political organisation.

Among them were Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer , who demanded the church bodies to oppose the abolition of democracy and the unlawfulness in the general political sphere. In reaction to the anti-Semitic discriminations within the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union the church-aligned Breslauer Christliches Wochenblatt Breslau Christian Weekly published the following criticism in the October edition of Then Christ descends from the Crucifix of the altar and leaves the church.

On 11 September Gerhard Jacobi gathered c. In the Covenant counted 7, members, after the number sank to 4,, among them retired pastors, auxiliary preachers and candidates. First the pastors of Berlin, affiliated with the Covenant, met biweekly in Gerhard Jacobi's private apartment.

On 18 September Werner was appointed praeses of the old-Prussian general synod, thus becoming president of the church senate. Thus the Ecclesiastical Province of the March of Brandenburg , which included Berlin, had two bishops. Furthermore, the national synod usurped the power in the 28 Protestant church bodies and provided the new so-called bishops of the 28 Protestant church bodies with hierarchical supremacy over all clergy and laymen within their church organisation.

The national synod abolished future election for the synods of the 28 Protestant church bodies. Henceforth synodals had to replace two thirds of the outgoing synodals by co-optation, the remaining third was to be appointed by the respective bishop. The synods of 25 other Protestant church bodies decided the same until the end of This made also the Evangelical Lutheran State Church of Hanover one of the few Protestant churches in Germany using the title of bishop already since the s, thus prior to the Nazi era , with State Bishop August Marahrens , change its mind.

But the Evangelical Lutheran State Church of Hanover hesitated to openly confront the Nazi Reich's government, still searching for an understanding even after A wave of protest flooded over the German Christians , which ultimately initiated the decline of that movement. On 25 November the complete Bavarian section of the German Christians declared its secession.

Many presbyters of German Christian alignment retired, tired from disputing. The verdict would have major consequences for the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union. In a series of provincial synods the opposition assumed shape. Martin Albertz, elected its first provincial brethren council , comprising Supt.

The Gestapo shut down one office of the provincial brethren council after the other. John's Church, Berlin- Moabit. The Gestapo summoned her more than 40 times and tried to intimidate her, confronting her with the fact that she, being partly of Jewish descent, would have to realise the worst possible treatment in jail. Some functionaries and laymen in the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union opposed the unification of the 28 Protestant church bodies, but many more agreed, but they wanted it under the preservation of the true Protestant faith, not imposed by Nazi partisans.

In reaction to the convention and claims of the German Christians non-Nazi Protestants met in Barmen from 29 to 31 May The participants declared this basis to be binding for any Protestant Church deserving that name and confessed their allegiance to this basis see Barmen Theological Declaration. Henceforth the movement of all Protestant denominations, opposing Nazi adulteration of Protestantism and Nazi intrusion into Protestant church affairs, was called the Confessing Church German: Bekennende Kirche , BK , their partisans Confessing Christians , as opposed to German Christians.

Later this convention in Barmen used to be called the first Reich's Synod of Confession German: erste Reichsbekenntnissynode. Presbyteries with German Christian majorities often banned Confessing Christians from using church property and even entering the church buildings. Many church employees, who opposed, were dismissed. While the German Christians , holding the majority in most official church bodies, lost many supporters, the Confessing Christians , comprising many authentical persuasive activists, still remained a minority but increased their number.

As compared to the vast majority of indifferent, non-observing Protestants, both movements were marginal. One pre tradition of non-ecclesiastical influence within church structures had made it into the new constitution of the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union of Many of the churches, which had been founded before the 19th century, had a patron holding the ius patronatus , meaning that either the owner of a manor estate in the countryside or a political municipality or city was in charge of maintaining the church buildings and paying the pastor.

No pastor could be appointed without the consent of the patron advowson. This became a curse and a blessing during the Nazi period. While all political entities were Nazi-streamlined they abused the patronage to appoint Nazi-submissive pastors on the occasion of a vacancy. Also estate owners sometimes sided with the Nazis. But more estate owners were conservative and thus rather backed the opposition in the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union. So the congregations under their patronage could often keep or appoint anew a pastor of the intra-church opposition.

On 9 August the Second National Synod , with all synodals again admitted by the Spiritual Ministerium , severed the uniformation of the formerly independent Protestant church bodies, disenfranchising their respective synods to decide in internal church matters. These pretensions increased the criticism among church members within the streamlined church bodies. Thus the Nazi Reich's government saw, that the German Christians aroused more and more unrest among Protestants, rather driving people into opposition to the government, than domesticating Protestantism as useful beadle for the Nazi reign.

A breakthrough was the verdict of 20 November But the prior dismissals of opponents and impositions of loyal German Christians in many church functions were not reversed. Werner regained his authority as president of the Evangelical Supreme Church Council. In autumn the Gestapo ordered the closure of the existing free preachers' seminaries, whose attendance formed part of the obligatory theological education of a pastor. These activities completely depended on donations.

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In the Gestapo closed the seminaries in the east. Iwand, on whom in the Gestapo had inflicted the nationwide prohibition to speak in the public, reopened a seminary in Dortmund in January This earned him an imprisonment of four month in the same year. Among their examiners were originally professors of the Frederick William University of Berlin , who refrained from examining after their employer, the Nazi government, threatened to dismiss them in The Gestapo forbade the opening ceremony in Dahlem, thus Supt.

Albertz spontaneously celebrated it in St. On 4 December, the Gestapo closed the KiHo altogether, thus the teaching and learning continued underground at changing locations. Among the teachers were Supt. The synodals elected by all confessing congregations and the congregations of the intact churches decided to found an independent German Evangelical Church.

Since the confessing congregations would have to contravene the laws as interpreted by the official church bodies, the synod developed an emergency law of its own. The Confessing congregations of each deanery formed a Confessing deanery synod German: Kreis-Bekenntnissynode , electing a deanery brethren council German: Kreis-Bruderrat. If the superintendent of a deanery clung to the Confessing Church , he was accepted, otherwise a deanery pastor German: Kreispfarrer was elected from the midst of the Confessing pastors in the deanery.

Confessing congregants elected synodals for a Confessing provincial synod as well as Confessing State synod German: Provinzial-, resp. Landes-Bekenntnissynode , who again elected a provincial brethren council or the state brethren council of the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union colloquially old-Prussian brethren council , and a council of the Confessing ecclesiastical province German: Rat der Bekennenden Kirche of the respective ecclesiastical province or the council of the Confessing Church of the old-Prussian Union , the respective administrative bodies.

Any obedience to the official bodies of the destroyed church of the old-Prussian Union was to be rejected. The synodals elected a Reich's Brethren Council , which elected from its midst the executive Council of the German Evangelical Church , consisting of six. In Berlin Confessing Christians celebrated the constitution of their church on the occasion of the Reformation Day 31 October The Gestapo forbade them any public event, thus the festivities had to take place in closed rooms with bidden guests only.

All the participants had to carry a so-called red card , identifying them as proponents of the Confessing Church. On 7 December the Gestapo forbade the Confessing Church to rent any location, in order to prevent future events like that. The Nazi government then forbade any mentioning of the Kirchenkampf in which media whatsoever. Hitler was informed about the proceedings in Dahlem and invited the leaders of the three Lutheran intact churches , Marahrens, Meiser and Wurm.

He recognised them as legitimate leaders, but expressed that he would not accept the Reich's Brethren Council. The executive was meant to only represent the Reich's Brethren Council to the outside. The synodals decided that the Confessing Church of the old-Prussian Union should unite with the destroyed official Church of the old-Prussian Union. The synodals further adopted a declaration about the Nazi racist doctrine. The same month the declaration was read in all confessing congregations, that the Nazi racist doctrine, claiming there were a Jewish and an Aryan race, was pure mysticism.

In reaction to that the Nazi government arrested pastors, who had read this declaration from their pulpits. The official church ordered to read a declaration demanding the parishioners' obedience to the Nazi government. From then on every Tuesday the brethren councils issued updated lists with the names of the imprisoned. Since the 28 Protestant church bodies in Germany levied contributions from their parishioners by a surcharge on the income tax , collected and then transferred by the state tax offices, the official church bodies denied the confessing congregations their share in the contributions.

Each congregation had its own budget and the official church authorities transferred the respective share in the revenues to the legitimate presbytery of each congregations, be it governed by German Christians or Confessing Christians. The Nazi Reich's government now intended to drain this financial influx by a new decree with the euphemising title Law on the Wealth Formation within the Evangelical Church Bodies 11 March All budgets and remittances were to be confirmed by state comptrollers. On 11 April an ordinance ordered that salaries were only to be remitted to orderly appointed employees and all future appointments of whomsoever, would only take effect with the consent of the financial departments.

He turned out to ignore the rules and to largely use his scope of discretion. Thus Confessing congregations outside of Berlin built up a new network of escrow accounts. Confessing Christians of laity and Covenant pastors, still undisputedly receiving a full salary from the official church, agreed to substantial contributions to maintain the Confessing Church. On 4 to 6 June , two weeks after the Nuremberg Laws had been decreed, the synodals of the Confessing Church convened in Augsburg for the third Reich's Synod of Confession.

Barth, refusing to sign the newly introduced oath of all professors to Hitler, had been dismissed from his chair at the Rhenish Frederick William's University of Bonn and remigrated to Switzerland, where he was appointed professor at the University of Basel. But the synodals did not adopt a declaration, prepared by Supt. Albertz, condemning the Nuremberg Laws. Wurm was elected speaker of the Confessing Church. Right after this synod the Nazi Reich's government intensified its fight against the Confessing Church. Since the orderly courts often approved litigations against German Christian measurements, because they usually lacked any legal basis, on 26 June the Nazi government passed a law, which would ban all suits about church questions from being decided by orderly jurisdiction.

Thus the Nazi government cut off the Confessing Church from appealing to courts. Orderly courts could not overrule its decisions. In fact the Decision-Taking Office only acted up after the compromises failed in In the following years of compromising Hermann Ehlers became a legal advisor of the old-Prussian brethren council , until he was arrested from June to July , which made him quit his collaboration.

On 16 July Hanns Kerrl was appointed Reich's minister for ecclesiastical affairs, a newly created department. Therefore, he dropped the extreme German Christians and tried to win moderate Confessing Christians and respected neutrals. On 24 September , a new law empowered Kerrl to legislate by way of ordinances within the Protestant church bodies, circumventing any synodal autonomy. On 10 September the old-Prussian brethren council convened preparing the upcoming third old-Prussian Synod of Confession also Steglitz Synod. Albertz urged the brethren council to discuss the terrible situation of Jewish Germans and Gentile Germans of Jewish descent, as it turned by the Nuremberg Laws and all the other anti-Semitic discriminations.

While Supt. This was completely denied by the German Christians since , reserving Christianity as a religion exclusively for Gentiles, but also some Confessing Christians refused the baptism of Jews. Kerrl managed to gain the very respected Wilhelm Zoellner a Lutheran, until general superintendent of Westphalia to form the Reich's Ecclesiastical Committee German: Reichskirchenausschuss , RKA on 3 October , combining neutral, moderate Confessing Christians and moderate German Christians to reconcile the disputing church parties. In the course of November state ecclesiastical committees and provincial ecclesiastical committees were to be formed.

Wilhelm Ewald Schmidt Oberhausen und Supt. In November Kerrl decreed the parallel institutions of the Confessing Church to be dissolved, which was protested and ignored by the brethren councils. On 19 December Kerrl issued a decree which forbade all kinds of Confessing Church activities, namely appointments of pastors, education, examinations, ordinations, ecclesiastical visitations, announcements and declarations from the pulpit, separate financial structures and convening Synods of Confession; further the decree established provincial ecclesiastical committees.

The Confessing Church in the Rhenish and Westphalian ecclesiastical provinces blocked in fact the formation of provincial ecclesiastical committees until 14 February The March of Brandenburg provincial ecclesiastical committee est. On 6 January, the members elected Zimmermann their president. On 10 January the Reich's ecclesiastical committee empowered by ordinance the provincial ecclesiastical committees to form ecclesiastical committees on the level of the deaneries, if assumed necessary.

This was the case in the deanery of Berlin-Spandau. As a gesture of reconciliation the state ecclesiastical committee for the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union legitimised all ordinations and examinations of the Confessing Church retroactively for the time from 1 January to 30 November Nevertheless, the Confessing Church refused to accept the new examination office of the state ecclesiastical committee. Thus Kerrl successfully wedged the Confessing Church. On 4 December the March of Brandenburg provincial Synod of Confession agreed to split in two provincial subsections, one for Greater Berlin and one comprising the political Province of Brandenburg with two provincial brethren councils, led by Gerhard Jacobi Berlin, resigned in , but quarrels between the moderate and the Dahlemites continued and by Scharf Brandenburg , who followed the Dahlemite guidelines.

The first Preliminary Church Executive resigned, since its members, representing intact churches , wanted to co-operate with the committees, while its members from destroyed churches , especially the Dahlemites did not. Also the different provincial brethren councils within the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union were dissented. While most brethren councillors of Berlin wanted to co-operate, the brethren council of Brandenburg without Berlin , of the Rhineland and the overall old-Prussian brethren council strictly opposed any compromises.

Albertz, Bernhard Heinrich Forck St. On 18 March the three Lutheran intact churches announced the foundation of the Council of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Germany German: Rat der Evangelisch-Lutherischen Kirche Deutschlands , colloquially Lutherrat , Luther council as their own umbrella organisation. However, the state brethren councils of the destroyed churches met occasionally in conferences.

Under the impression of more foreign visitors in Germany, starting with the Winter Olympics the year of was a relatively peaceful period. Kerrl let the committees do, as they liked. Also the anti-Semitic agitation was softened. However, the Sinti and Roma in Berlin realised the first mass internments, in order to present Berlin zigeunerfrei for the Summer Olympics.

But the less visible phenomena of the police state, like house searches, seizures of pamphlets and printed matters as well as the suppression of Confessing Church press continued.


At Pentecost 31 May the second preliminary church executive issued a memorandum to Hitler, also read from the pulpits, condemning anti-Semitism, concentration camps , the state terrorism. A preliminary version had been published in foreign media earlier. If the Aryan human is glorified, so it is God's word, which testifies the sinfulness of all human beings. On the next day until the 18th the fourth old-Prussian Synod of Confession also Breslau Synod convened in Breslau, discussing the work of the ecclesiastical committees and how to continue the education and ordinations in the scope of the Confessing Church.

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Meanwhile, the Olympic close hunting season had ended. The Gestapo increased its suppression, undermining the readiness for compromises among the Confessing Church. Zoellner concluded that this made his reconciliatory work impossible and criticised the Gestapo activities. He resigned on 2 February , paralysing the Reich's ecclesiastical committee, which thus lost all recognition among the opposition. The open gap in governance of the official Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union was filled by the still existing Evangelical Supreme Church Council under Werner and by the consistories on the provincial level.

Werner now systematically drained the financial sources of the Confessing Church. Werner became the man of Kerrl. However, Kerrl's ministerial bureaucracy also knew what to do without him. From now on the ministry of church affairs subjected also the other Protestant church bodies, which in amounted after mergers to 23, to state controlled financial committees. Any attempt to impose a union upon all Protestant church bodies was given up. The government now preferred to fight individual opponents by prohibitions to publish, to hold public speeches, by domiciliary arrest, banishments from certain regions, and imprisonment.

Since 9 June collections of money were subject to strict state confirmation, regularly denied to the Confessing Church. In the period of the committee policy, unapproved collections were tolerated but now Confessing pastors were systematically imprisoned, who were denounced for having collected money. On 10—13 May synodals convened in Halle upon Saale to discuss denominational questions of the Reformed, Lutheran and united congregations within the old-Prussian Confessing Church.

The fifth old-Prussian Synod of Confession also Lippstadt Synod convened its synodals in Lippstadt on 21—27 August debating financial matters. In autumn the Gestapo further suppressed the underground theological education KiHo and systematically fought any examinations within the Confessing Church. On 10 December the ministry of church affairs appointed Werner as president of the Evangelical Supreme Church Council.

Werner then restaffed the March of Brandenburg consistory, newly appointing Johannes Heinrich as consistorial president after almost a year of vacancy and three further members of German Christian affiliation: Siegfried Nobiling, Fritz Loerzer formerly also Provost of Kurmark and Pastor Karl Themel Luisenstadt Congregation, Berlin. For Hitler's birthday 20 April Werner developed a special gift. All pastors of the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union should swear an oath of allegiance to Hitler. In May the seventh Synod of Confession of the Rhenish ecclesiastical province refused to comply, since it was not the state, which demanded the oath.

The sixth old-Prussian Synod of Confession convened twice in Berlin, once in the Nikolassee Church 11—13 June and a second time in the parish hall of the Steglitz Congregation 31 July. At the second meeting in Steglitz a majority of synodals complied to Werner's demand. However, the consistories demanded the oath, but in the Rhenish ecclesiastical province only out pastors refused to swear.

Kerrl failed again. The ever-growing discrimination of Jewish Germans including the special category of Geltungsjuden and Gentile Germans of Jewish descent drove them ever deeper into impoverishment. The project was in a tailspin since the oecumenical partners in the US demanded to exclude persons of Jewish faith, before it definitely failed because the Nazi government expelled Siegmund-Schultze from Germany. Thus that new association had lost its most prominent leaders and faded, having become an organisation of so-called Mischlinge of Nazi terminology.

She joined the office of Spiero. The Bureau was mainly busy with supporting the re-education in other vocations, not yet prohibited for Jewish Germans and Gentile Germans of Jewish descent, and with finding nations of exile, who would grant immigration visa. As long as the Nazis' decision, to murder all persons they considered as Jews, had not yet been taken, the Bureau gained some government recognition as an agency, promoting the emigration of the concerned persons.

In the night of 9 November the Nazi government organised the November Pogrom , often euphemised as Kristallnacht. The well-organised Nazi squads killed several hundreds, set nine out of 12 major synagogues in Berlin on fire 1, synagogues all over Germany , 1, Jewish Berliners were deported to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The Nazis only released the arrested inmates, if they would immediately emigrate. Thus getting visa became the main target and problem. While Bishop George Bell tried and managed to rescue many of the imprisoned pastors, successfully persuading the Church of England to provide them through the British government with British visa, the official Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union did not even try to intervene in favour of its imprisoned clergy.

Thus none of the Protestant pastors of Jewish descent remained in or returned to office. Paul Heinitz, moved into the new location. A welfare department under Richard Kobrak supported the often impoverished victims of persecution and Margarete Draeger organised the Kindertransporte. Erwin Reisner served the victims as chaplain. From 1 March the Nazi Reich's government commissioned the Reichsvertretung der Deutschen Juden to levy a new tax from Jewish emigrants German: Auswandererabgabe , charging wealthier emigrants in order to finance the emigration of the poorer.

The due was also used to finance the different recognised associations organising emigration. Minister Rust had banned all pupils of Jewish descent from attending public schools from 15 November on. By autumn a new degree of persecution loomed. On 27 February the Gestapo arrested and deported him by end of May to Dachau concentration camp , where he was murdered in August The Family school was ordered to close by the end of June Draeger dived into the underground by the end of , hiding in Berlin and surviving through some undaunted helpers, but was caught later and deported to Auschwitz in August , where she perished.

Persons hiding from deportation used to call themselves submarine German: U-Boot. In three quarters of the fostered survivors were unemployed and poor. In the night between 9 and 10 November the Nazis organised the November Pogrom. The pastors were recommended the following text: "Administer to the needs of all the Jews in our midst, who are losing for the sake of their blood their honour as humans and the opportunity to live.

Help that nobody will act vengefully against them. Especially do not let disrupt the bond of love to those, who are standing with us in the same true belief and who are through Him like us Thy children. Holding Synods of Confession had been forbidden since , but now after the Olympic close hunting season had ended the authorities effectively fought the preparations and holding of the synods. Thus synods had to be prepared in secret, therefore they were not referred to by the name of their venue any more, keeping the venue as long as possible in secret.

On 18 and 20 March Werner, the president of Evangelical Supreme Church Council , severed the dismissal of opposing pastors by new ordinances, which empowered him to redeploy pastors against their will. Walter Grundmann. With the beginning of the war 1 September Kerrl decreed the separation of the ecclesiastical and the administrative governance within the official Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union.

Werner remained administrative chief executive president of the Evangelical Supreme Church Council , an ecclesiastical executive was still to be found. From on the Nazis had tested the reaction of the general public to the murder of incurably sick people by films, articles, books and reports covering the subject.

The murder of the handicapped and the incurably sick was euphemised as Euthanasia. However, the so-called mercy killing of the sick did not become popular in the general public. Nevertheless, the Nazi Reich's government started to implement the murder. On 1 September , the day Germany waged war on Poland, Hitler decreed the murder of the handicapped, living in sanatories, to be carried out by ruthless doctors.

Their language floats up to us from presuppositions, memories, attitudes, resentments, confidences, conspiracy theories utterly foreign to us. Have we any common ground at all? I think we do. Few things can be more encouraging than to trace such painful unlearning, in his case prompted by Barth and the young Bonhoeffer.

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Perhaps we are not centaurs! New York, Victoria Barnett, a leading authority, has stressed quite rightly that historical rigour is absolutely imperative, if we are to confront the shameful and horrific realities. Faced by such extreme material, we need more than the usual historical analysis. The relative success of Christian protests, both Catholic and Protestant, against the so-called Euthanasia programme, the systematic extermination of those adjudged chronically ill, shows that courageous resistance, was possible.

It was felt by Goebbels to be counter-productive to war morale to proceed, given the depth of outrage. They admired the foreign policy gains. Jewish issues did not interest them. Hitler himself was not held responsible for any 39 abuses, an almost universal view. Matheson, Third Reich, 84— Yet it was of course unimaginably hard to resist the collective hysteria, and the totalitarian pressures. It required a cool courage, which embraced the possibility of death, not unlike the code of soldierly honour. Within Lutheranism, moreover, there was a genuine belief that it was no business of the Church to intervene in the affairs of the State; the two realms of church and state had to be held apart; the nineteenth century Kulturkampf against Bismarck had led Catholic bishops to similar conclusions.

Given NS totalitarianism this silo mentality was a particularly inappropriate and unrealistic stance. God meant it to be like that. Then there is the issue of a conventional piety. How evaluate these dark times, finstere Zeiten, Bertholt Brecht , when anyone with any sense conformed or retreated into a private world? Apologetics and scapegoating seem equally out of place. Many within the German churches chose, however, to focus on issues of personal, often sexual morality, and on individual spirituality. It was less important that in countless German cities the Judengasse no longer had a synagogue.

Perhaps the failure of the churches to register the moral enormity of the Final Solution points to the urgency of what we today call Public Theology, where today, in many ways, the German churches are among the leaders in the field. What is our responsibility as historians or as theologians? What could one expect of ordinary church-goers when their leaders were silent? What does it say about the febrility of our moral imagination that we find almost no one speaking up on behalf of the Jews unless they had Jewish relatives, or like Schmitz, close friends, like Dr Martha Kassel, whose mental agony invaded her own domestic world?

What is responsible church leadership in such impossible situations? What is the responsibility, coram Deo, of pope, bishop, synod, congregation? To whom are they primarily accountable: to the institution and its members, or to the stranger outside the gate? What role should prudential consideration take? When does prayerful and pastoral compassion for the individual victim become an evasion of the need to confront the systemic issues?

Meyer, Elisabeth Schmitz, Yet silence, as Rowan Williams pointed out in his Gifford Lectures, is not the opposite to language. It flows out of it, like the momentary hush before the applause for a concert. It signals the hinterland which is beyond language. In September , the members and consultors of the Preparatory Theological Commission PTC were sent a packet of material that included brief outlines of four texts that it was likely the commission would prepare for Vatican II. Observations on the material were solicited, and so Yves Congar, a consultor, wrote the following paper in which he set out rather a different agenda than the one presupposed in the outlines.

Congar sent it not only to the secretariat of the PTC but to all of the members as well. He was told that in the future he should communicate only with the secretariat. As far as I know, this text of Congar has not been made public anywhere else. Joseph Komonchak In accord with the invitation extended to me CT of For churchmen, this interest and this hope constitute a great Christian responsibility before the world. What world? A world in which one person in four is Chinese. A world in which one person in three lives under a Communist regime. A world in which Christians are divided, but where there is also ecumenical hope.

A world of practical atheism in an immense number of people; a world of technology and of an almost general conviction among the young that human beings have the power, thanks to this technology, to organise human life rationally and successfully, by themselves. A world which denounces colonialism and any sort of paternalism. A world in which women are advancing.

To my mind, all the work of the Council should be undertaken as if under the eyes of this very world, as if it were watching us, and with consideration of the realities I have just too briefly evoked. Unless the remote finality of the service of Christian unity is merely verbal, the work of the Council should also be undertaken as if under the eyes of other Christians and without ever losing sight of the duty to serve, from afar, but effectively, the cause of Unity.

This purpose does not appear in the summary of the Quaestiones Commissioni Theologicae Positae [Questions posed to the Theological Commission]. For the questions seem to be posed there almost as they might have been at the First Vatican Council, in The notion of biblical inspiration, as it must be maintained by all Catholics, has been sufficiently specified by the Encyclicals Providentissimus, Spiritus Paraclitus, and Divino Afflante; it seems that what has not yet been determined is a matter for properly theological work.

But to illumine several questions, it would be very important to specify the content of Revelation, its formal object quod, which is also the content of the Faith and the. This content primo et per se is the religious and salvific relationship. Under the Old Testament, rather little about the nature of God in itself, but much about his sovereignty, about his purpose of grace or covenant; under the New Testament, since the religious relationship must be much more intimate—a relationship of a son and a temple of God—God revealed himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Fathers and scholastic doctors say that the revelation of the Holy Trinity is proper to the New Testament. If this content quod of Revelation is well marked out, it will be much easier to follow the line indicated by Vatican I concerning theology, its elaboration, and its teaching:. They and the faithful need to see the synthesis, the organic unity of all doctrine.

The motives that inspire me to make these remarks are: - a This question of the true content quod of Revelation is at the basis of the contemporary discussions of the sic dicta! I believe that a good notion of the content of revelation would remedy this regrettable break. Faith is a very rich and complex reality, which has two principal aspects: a noetic aspect, responding to revelation as teaching; an aspect of life-commitment, responding to the saving initiative of the God who reveals and offers his Covenant Faith, the basis of justification.

The Catholic Magisterium knows both aspects, but it has insisted above all on the first, in opposition either to the fides fiducialis [trusting faith] of Protestants, or to rationalism the sufficiency of human reason , or to modernism. This aspect certainly should not be minimised; more than ever, one must teach! But one must better explain and stress the aspect according to which Faith is that absolute trust which I open to God so that he may reign sovereignly over my life.

It is necessary: a because it is biblical; b because it would be very effective pastorally. The religious affirmations have never reached the level of conscience where are formed the responses that must be made to the calls of God. It is rare for priests to propose a fully biblical notion of Faith. My conviction, as a priest who has preached dozens of Lents, Advents, priestly retreats or days of recollection, etc, is that beaucoup de mieux would depend on the notion of Faith that we have and propose.

For we have often noted the ambiguities caused by the fact that Catholic authors speak of Faith in the noetic sense, while Protestants remain on the level of life-commitment. Here as elsewhere, we need only to be fully Catholic! The link between an integral notion of Faith, which is also its biblical notion, and the content of Revelation, is easy to perceive. This is a very important point. In fact, today, a very large number of people would be ready to accept God and the Gospel, but are uneasy before.

This attitude, of course, derives from the carnal man. But still it has a lesson for us. Unhealthy in itself, it is, however, a warning to us that is all the more important because it has not stopped being addressed to the Church since the beginning of the twelfth century by a not negligible series of protestations. It is the question of the primacy of the authority of God of His Word over the authority—real, very important—of the Church: an authority which flows from apostolic institution and mandate.

In no way is this an attack by me on the authority of the encyclicals, the principal expression of the Ordinary Magisterium of the Head of the Church. I have read and cited them more than many theologians. I am speaking in the name of apostolic or pastoral experience. Each time a teaching is presented as an immediate echo of the Word of God whose demands one is trying to recognise in obedience, it is listened to and understood much more than when the Magisterium of the Church, using its authority, itself determines doctrine.

This attitude I cannot attribute to the carnal man. It corresponds to the absolute objective primacy of the Word of God which God ceaselessly actualises in His Church. The question will arise about which concept to use in the theological schema De Ecclesia.

The Fathers and scholastics until the end of the thirteenth century, that is, before the Church became the object of a proper and separate treatise, spoke of the Church essentially as a realm and a means of salvation. Corpus Christi was understood, on the one hand, in a sociological sense, as a multitude in which the same Spirit distributes different gifts in the service of the same life, and, on the other hand, as the spiritual totality of people living in grace on the basis of faith: the people saved formed a single Ecclesia,.

Formal visibility was not an essential attribute of the body; there was also a Corpus diaboli [body of the devil]. The disputes De potestate papali et regia [On the power of the pope and of the king] which filled the first half of the fourteenth century under Boniface VIII, John XXII, and Benedict XII , then the errors, which Wycliff and Hus thought they could justify by texts of St Augustine, about the Ecclesia praedestinatorum [Church of the predestined], and finally the notion of the Ecclesia abscondita Luther or invisibilis Zwingli, Calvin [hidden or invisible Church] of the Protestant Reformers, forced Catholic theology not to restrict themselves to the ancient ideas and to develop the character of the Church as Societas visibilis inaequalis—fully sui juris and perfecta against totalitarian or absolutist statism [a visible society of unequals, fully autonomous and perfect].

The need to defend the Church against Protestantism, then Rationalism, led even to an almost exclusive consideration of the hierarchical powers. The classical treatises of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are significant in this regard. They criticised its obscurity, its vagueness, some of them even its Jansenist flavor! They wanted a definition like that of St Robert Bellarmine and, even in this definition, they wanted to replace the word coetus [group] by the word Societas. Studies made between and , at the same time as the Liturgical Movement, led to a renewal of the idea of the Mystical Body.

Here and there, especially in Germany, but not with theologians who really counted, this was taken to the point of calling into question some quite certain traditional truths. The Encyclical Mystici Corporis of June 29, was, at this conjuncture, a decisive document. There Pius XII took up all the substance of the treatise De gratia Capitis [On the grace of Christ as Head], all the substance of a Christological and supernatural consideration of the mystery.

The objection of the Fathers of the Council received a reply. With a view to a conciliar elaboration of these notions, I think it would be desirable to have studies on the following points: a Historical, sociological, theological studies on the Church as Communion; b Historical and theological studies on the primacy of the pope seen and exercised in the framework of a Church considered as a Communion of Churches—and, for that reason, a Communion of Bishops.

Only a very serious exegetical study would allow us to see if the great theology proposed in the Encyclical takes up all the aspects of the Pauline doctrine. If not, it would be necessary either to re-elaborate the theology or frankly to mark its limits. In any case it is indispensable that exegetes collaborate in the elaboration of all the theological texts which will be proposed to the Fathers of the Council. If there is one point which biblical works have shown with substantial agreement it is surely the decisive importance of the eschatological point of view.

It is the fact that the term or the saving Intention of God must find its consummation that gives its meaning to everything that happens in. The Church is the Body of Christ; it could also be defined as the sacrament or the collective and public institution of eschatological salvation. Now this eschatological sense, if it pervades the texts of ancient Christianity down to the tenth or eleventh century , is generally not expressed in recent ecclesiastical documents. This absence can be noted by comparing the ethos the spiritual climate of the liturgical Office of Christ the King, composed of wonderful biblical texts, with the Encyclical Quas primas which established the feast.

When speaking about the Church or the Ministry or the Sacraments or the Apostolate, it is very illuminating to locate them between the redemptive Incarnation or the Passover of Christ, in which was set down the perfect Cause of salvation, and eschatology, which will give the fullness of its effects and fruits.

But rereading, for example, the great ecclesiological text of the Vatican Council, Pastor Aeternus, one sees that it relates the Church only to its Cause or Source, the Incarnation, and not to its eschatological term. Here again we are in not in There is room to take up, in the texts of Vatican II, the best and most certain results of the studies which God has raised up since , particularly in the last forty years: studies which have so often returned to the patristic sense of things.

If this eschatological dimension and reference were taken up fully, I would see the following advantages but, to tell the truth, it is enough that the apostolic Revelation entails this dimension and this reference. Euntes ergo. Et ego mittam. Lk —49 ; Non est vestrum nosse tempora vel momenta By this very fact we would have and we would present a dynamic. This is not wrong, but it is insufficient. Unity is ceaselessly to be achieved and promoted, as much on the level of the universal Church as on that of parishes or local communities.

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This point has great pastoral importance. This question obviously entails that of the proper role of the laity and that of the Consecratio mundi [consecration of the world] of which Pius XII spoke. And also to reply to the objection made by Protestants who accuse us of confusing the Church and the Kingdom of God. Protestants do not give enough attention to the first moment. If we place ourselves, like them, in a full missionary perspective, directed towards the eschatological accomplishment, we will be in a better position to show them the demands or implications of mission in the Incarnation: apostolicity.

It is in the definition of the Church no 1: above and in this eschatological perspective no 2: above that a theology of the laity, matched with liturgical, pastoral, and canonical adaptions, will have its place. I have worked a great deal on the question of the laity, before and after , the date of publication of Lay People I have just. There I give a schema which might be useful, and if it is desired, I could send a French text and the German text. My studies have shown me that the Church has ceaselessly tried to reconcile: - a a hierarchical structure.

God does not communicate his Covenant and his salvation to each person separately, personally, inwardly, but to all, by establishing a public society or a collective sacrament of salvation. A misunderstanding of this point seems to me to be at the basis of the Protestant objection see my contribution to the Festgabe O Karrer, page ff, and La Tradition et les traditions: Essai historique, page ff. That is why the three Offices of Christ are communicated under two forms which are not in opposition but which are related to and complete one another: it is communicated under the form of the spiritual quality of personal life, according to a private status, to all the members they are all, in this way, kings, priests, and prophets , and under the form of public power, to some, who are ordained and qualified to be governors, priests, and teachers, on the level of authority.

I think that these categories are the best way to organize the doctrine on the laity. At least for the priesthood, these are the categories of the Catechism of the Council of Trent. But it is impossible to be content today with presenting a theological and juridical distinction between the public priesthood and the laity.

  1. 7. Dietrich Bonhoeffer in: The Existential Philosophy of Etty Hillesum.
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  5. It seems that the most comprehensive and most satisfying. This expression has often been used since the thirteenth century, and even in papal texts. But I believe it can be criticised. I think it expresses a theory, not directly a datum of Revelation that one day might become a dogma.

    An Analysis of Her Diaries and Letters

    Towards its faithful, the Church fulfills this mission not only with the infalliblity which affects its competence in faithfully proposing the message of God, but with the jurisdictional authority it has over its faithful, an authority which permits it to oblige them to obey and, where needed, to punish their disobedience coercive power. If it is a matter of the extra-Catholic world, in any case the extra-Christian world, or of institutions which are not institutions of the Church, it exercises its mission—always infallibly, but prophetically—without jurisdiction properly speaking.

    It has a mission, it has a competence, it has an activity and an influence, but not properly speaking a power over the temporal as such. The Church has power here by its magisterium, not by its jurisdiction. It must state what is true, it can impose orders on its faithful and take sanctions towards them; it cannot depose a head of state or dissolve a parliament. If it did so in the past, this was, as Pius XI said, in virtue of the public right of a Christian society, then acknowledged, not in virtue of its essential mandate as the Church.

    This question is extremely important with regard to questions of the reunion of Christians. It is at the heart of the encounter between the Reform and the Catholic Church. In this. A better clarification of the difference between the way in which the Bishop of Rome succeeds to Peter and the way in which bishops succeed to the Apostles. This point offers no difficulty to a western mind.

    It represents an insurmountable difficulty for an Orthodox. It might also be added that the ease of a westerner here, because of a sharp distinction between Orders and Jurisdiction, has the drawback that it sometimes makes him overlook the fact that the Pope is first of all the bishop of Rome. It is a fact that the great majority of Catholic theologians today think that it derives from the sovereign pontiff.

    Pius XII himself even expressed this doctrine, in passing, two or three times, as far as I know. Personally, however, we have a very great difficulty in considering this doctrine as definitive and obligatory, or even as capable of being defined. Here are the reasons for this difficulty: -1 The notion of ordinary power as power that is linked to an office. This may be so in the present law; it is not essential nor a matter of divine right, since things were once different.

    Just as today a Council is not ecumenical unless convoked by and presided over by the pope or his legates , but this is not essenntial, and thus definable as dogma, since it was different in the past. This suggests that the bishops do not receive their power from the pope, but directly from Our Lord, in a way conditioned. Now is there an historian or an historically informed person who does not think that the thesis of the derivation from the pope is historically unthinkable? For history shows that things happen quite differently.

    It is not enough to reply to this difficulty by the idea of implicitness and development, as one could reply, for example, in the case of the Immaculate Conception. For this is not a case of implicitness in knowledge.

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    The questions are questions of fact. How did the pope give their jurisdiction to St Cyprian, to a Persian bishop of the fourth century, to Hincmar of Reims, etc, etc? Bolgeni distinguished universal jurisdiction or the right of suffrage: the bishop receives it directly from God with orders itself: orders introduces him into the episcopal body and makes him share in the episcopate in solidum; then particular jurisdiction: the bishop receives it from the Church by means of the pope, its head, as a right effectively to govern a particular Church.

    These errors, it seems, are, above all, Marxism, Materialism, religious indifference, secularism, the spirit of greed domination by Mammon! Here I would like to make two general remarks: 1 It is obviously quite necessary for the Council to speak in this realm; it could have a very great echo in the world. But it will be better understood if, rather than insisting on condemnations already made, it were to propose a positive Profession of Christian Faith and Hope,.

    It would be necessary that what the Council may state in these realms be, for these Christians, in the concrete situations in which they find themselves, not trouble, but fraternal assistance. It is a fact that the style of the Syllabus today no longer finds much echo. Recall the reaction of the Fathers of Trent to the text De justificatione [On justification] prepared by the theologians, or that of the Fathers of Vatican I to the schema on the Faith: they found them abstract, too scholastic; d finally, in terms displaying a feeling for God, for Jesus, for the people loved by God and Jesus Here also the exegetes must be consulted.

    In fact, the biological, psychological, sociological, and medical sciences of man have not said their last word. This does not mean that we have to capitulate to or be content to follow the movement of the world. We must give firm directions by making quite strongly the positive or negative affirmations of the Word of God, but, on certain questions, abstain from putting a final period. Remember Galileo who, of course, was not condemned by an ecumenical Council! We are thinking, for example, about questions such as those of demography and birthrate, of birth control.

    We ourselves are struck by the great importance of the following questions: a War and peace. The question of atomic weapons. People are expecting a creative and courageous effort by the Council, a truly Christian word, which re-opens to them perspectives of peace and security, which commits the world in the direction of love, of effective mutual aid. The Council should be accompanied by some gesture which strikes public opinion and opens a current in this direction. As for Catholic public opinion, at least in certain countries, it is calling for changes in the procedure for the Index.

    All Catholic jurists whom I have seen acquainted with the current discipline have criticised it quite severely. To my mind, the request that is most solidly based and most easy to satisfy is the request that no one be condemned without having been warned and without having things clarified to his immediate superiors. There is also surely a place for giving another form to the prohibition of reading which, as such, no longer seems appropriate.

    It would also be necessary that information about moral dangers to Catholics include, besides reading, other realms Cinema, various forms of propaganda, etc , and that, here too, there be a positive insistence on the duty of the mind with regard to the Truth. It is true that this does. It would be necessary to center the doctrine on man, and anthropology on the image of God.

    Here again, we should define the Christian very positively, very kerygmatically, very evangelically, and make a call to holiness resound. I have in mind the remote ecumenical goal which the Holy Father has assigned to the Council and which plays so great a role in the interest of the faithful. Here again, if this remote goal is real—not verbal or feigned—it must be present in all the works of the Council.

    Normally, on each of the great questions to be treated, we should have from the Secretariate for Christian Unity reports, written as much as possible by the Dissidents, on the Protestant, Orthodox, etc position. The more complete declaration of the true Catholic sense of such or such a formula or doctrine, constructed in a desire to encounter Orthodox or Protestant difficulties, could be extremely valuable and, I believe, serve the Purpose of God. Faith in its total sense see above : a very important point for Protestants who understand by justifying Faith the faith by which.

    Christ dwells in us. Similarly, the doctrine of the Council of Trent on justification could be taken up and explained again. I have several times had the personal experience that, well presented, it removes one of the greatest Protestant difficulties. Such a result would be worth the effort!

    The doctrine of transsubtantiation could be better presented, with a great respect for the mystery and by stressing that it does not mean anything more than what was stated in the other traditional formulas: transformatio, conversio [transformation, conversion].

    Before, during, and after the Council works or research would have to be encouraged that would aim at showing, without concordism, the convergences of intention between the doctrines as they have been formulated by the Catholic Church and certain presentations made by dissidents in other terminologies or categories.

    This is what St Thomas never failed to do. I think that the Reformation entailed many serious heresies. But it cannot be reduced to that. It posed and it still poses to the Catholic Church questions that need to be listened to. My conviction is that Catholicism will not avoid these questions. Protestantism today has a very great vitality of Christian convictions. It is in the name of these convictions and in the name of the Gospel that it poses critical questions to us, in which I would say the same thing, with the appropriate distinctions, with regard to the Orthodox East.

    They could be addressed today in a much more favorable manner on the basis of good historical studies and thanks to a healthy and pacified theological climate. Historically, they are always the same three points: the communion of the faithful in the chalice, the nonobligation of celibacy for priests, the use in the liturgy of a language which the faithful understand.

    I have personally given a little study to the first and third of these points, historically, theologically, and pastorally. I am sensitive to the reasons which can be cited against the chalice and in favor of Latin, but they seem to me to be slight compared to the much more serious reasons in favor of the chalice and of a language which people speak and understand. I have not given any special study to the question of celibacy.

    But I would like to see a way for an honorable departure from the sacerdotal state for priests who cannot bear celibacy. This way of departure does not exist today so that in a not insignificant number of cases the result is either an absolute abandonment and a seriously irregular situation or a double life or frequent failings. There are hardly more than three possible solutions: delay ordination to the priesthood by offering clerics the possibility of a prolonged diaconal service until they have recognised either a true vocation to celibacy or a vocation to serve God in marriage which could continue to be a diaconal service; or a way of honorable and regular departure, even including the possibility of a Christian marriage in a secular life this is difficult to conceive This article addresses this question.

    The strengths and weaknesses of eco-feminist theologians Catherine Keller and Rosemary Radford Ruether are assessed. Accessed 15 June McCall, however, did not deal with the relationship between cosmology and eschatology. New questions arise for me: What are the implications for Johannine eschatology? Is there a Johannine eschatological, cosmological horizon? If so can this meet the horizon of present-day readers who are informed by twenty-first century cosmologies and evolutionary biology in order to inspire a 6 transforming spirituality and ethical action in this ecological age?

    My interpretation is set within the contemporary biblical approaches of ecological hermeneutics. To address my questions I consider first the term eschatology. Between 4 September and 7 April , this region experienced four major earthquakes and 10, aftershocks. This emphasis has the potential to inspire a transforming spirituality and ethical action which values the materiality of Earth. Biblical Origins of Johannine Eschatology First, let us look a little at the term eschatology. As there are difficulties in applying the layers of the later term Christology to John, I would suggest that this is also the case with the term eschatology.

    Eschatology which has a critical and central function in theology has two strands which have tended to become detached from each 8 other. This strand has an individualistic concern and is focused on a future other-world. This emphasis has been critiqued ecologically because the Earth is devalued, dominated and exploited when treated as temporary and a stepping stone. In addition, this strand which is arguably without biblical basis came to be seen as an appendix to the rest of theology.

    I suggest bracketing the term eschatology, as much as possible, in order to consider the second strand by seeking to discover the 9 biblical origins of what is called Johannine realised eschatology. Although there is a great diversity of thinking about when this would occur, how it would happen and what it would 11 be like, all affirm that this would happen within history. The OT vision of the future deals throughout with the 13 world in which we now live. In the interplay between the sense of radical wrongness and the radical changes, Gown identities four types of hope for the future which I would understand as forming the biblical background and origins of what is called Johannine realised eschatology.

    There are: 1. Gown, Eschatology, 1—2. Gown, Eschatology, 2, names a threefold transformation: human society, 21—58; the human person, ; and nature, Further, a strong strand in biblical promises for a better future is the 15 future outpouring of the Spirit. Hope is the fundamental virtue inextricably at the core of eschatology. So far, I have found no one author who explores all four of these types.

    Elements of each are found in different authors. The writings of Richard Cassidy, David Rensberger, and Warren Carter on the political, military and economic life of Johannine Christians living under the Empire of Rome offer ways of exploring 16 the first hope. Robert Karris in his book, Jesus and the Marginalised in John offers directions for the second hope for a more just and 17 equitable kind of human society. Urban von Wahlde argues that Johannine eschatology is best located among the third of these—the 18 transformation of the individual.

    The works of John Painter, referred to in this article, suggest ways to address the fourth hope for the transformation of nature. The Framework of Prologue My presupposition is that the sacred text of John is rhetorical. Its purpose is to persuade and to advocate. It is beyond the scope of this article to deal with the Johannine tradition in which two differing eschatological perspectives are integrated. My first step, therefore, is to consider briefly how the genre of cosmology itself was understood in its ancient context. This is necessary also to counter anthropocentric and Christocentric interpretations which accentuate human redemption and tend to separate this from 22 creation and the cosmic.

    I turn now to my second step which describes aspects of the cosmology of the prologue in which I situate Johannine eschatology. Adele Reinhartz in her The Word in the World. Her focus is the structure of story. Her work does not deal with origins of the world or give an evaluative description of the existing world in comparison to a better alternative world, see van Tilbourg, Brague, Wisdom, 4—6. This is clearly the way things are. No attempt, however, is made to explain how the situation came about that darkness dominated the world created by the Logos.

    Yet the reader is left in no doubt that the darkness does not extinguish the light and that the reception of the Logos is only partial While the darkness of Genesis 1 is descriptive of night in which the lesser light and the stars give light to the earth vv. In this metaphorical sense, the Johannine image of darkness has a negative even violent role.

    Implied in the juxtaposition of the light and the darkness is what is referred to as dualism. This introduction of dualism in the prologue is often viewed negatively. In other words, this requires an eschatological Creation, therefore, in its widest and interconnected sense is incomplete and evolving. The story, as told in the Fourth Gospel and underpinned by these four hopes requires resolution, is not intelligible in the context 27 of a static worldview.

    Future hopes become present realities. The Johannine emphasis is on the future breaking into the present and transforming 30 the present in new ways. While Wisdom-Sophia is evoked strongly, there are significant discontinuities. The Logos became sarx flesh taking on materiality, the stuff of created living creatures in which is seen divine 32 doxa glory.

    Flesh also contains the assumption that the Logos took on a life that is natural and mortal, fully human and directed 33 inexorably toward death. Then it is declared that those who receive him and believe in his name are given power to be born as children of God — Here choice is introduced. The world ho kosmos Later, kosmos the world expressed the Greek appreciation 36 of the order of the universe and technical order for the universe. This is the reality God so loved that God gave the Son It is like a technical term for the mission of Jesus.

    Disciples are drawn into this mission. Schneiders describes humankind as natural, open to grace by a new birth which is an act of God by which the natural human being co37 operates with God and is divinised. It seems to me this sense is what Teilhard de Chardin evokes when he speaks of evolution coming to 38 conscientiousness in the human person. The latter is the aggressive force, referred to above, operative in the individual and the collective behaviour of persons in the political, economic, social and religious systems which throughout history organise reality and the resources of the Earth and humankind to cause, support or exploit evil.

    Faith 40 and action are linked. It is not simply rejection. The focus shifts to the world 41 of humankind dominated by the darkness. As discussed above, for John, the coming of Jesus, the light, made a decisive difference between the past and the present for darkness had been the prevailing atmosphere Schneiders, Buying the Field, Italics hers.

    Louis M Savary. For her explanation, see 34—8. Koester, Word of Life, While the image of a resting place may hold ambiguity in that it could be taken to refer to the temporariness of human life on Earth and, therefore, incur the critique of being unhelpful ecologically in terms of devaluing the Earth, I would argue if placed in the context of the interconnected understanding of Johannine cosmology which I am exploring this is not so.

    The scriptural tradition evoked is that in which God and Wisdom are seen as being in a tent. This image suggests habitation that is rooted in the materiality of the Earth, yet, it also suggests a resting place of humanity, a way of being with and within the Earth without exploitation and domination. She argues that utilising the category of habitat and the way this is encoded in the biblical text enables the interpreter to view 44 the human and habitat as inseparable. Therefore, all the ecosystems, environmental and cosmological aspects of the biblical text must be considered as these are encoded in the text to create its meaning.

    Brague, Wisdom, Ancient cosmology saw a correspondence between the physical world and the moral which led to ethics. He concludes: Two aspects of the ethical implications of eschatology may be identified and designated as the object and the impetus. By object is meant what eschatology says human beings can and should be doing in the world, and by impetus is meant why eschatology impels us to want to do something about the 49 present world.

    Brague, Wisdom, 4—5. Cosmology was not uniform, see 31 and Brague, Wisdom, 2, Gown, Eschatology, —3. Gown, Eschatology, Sandra Schneiders argues for a sapiential exaltation eschatology in John which is influenced by the eschatology of Wisdom which 52 developed in the Hellenistic context of Diaspora Judaism. Wisdom, intimate of God and structuring element of all creation, saves her friends into Life, not without their 53 collaboration. The alternative: Death.

    In John, the bodily resurrection of Jesus is shaped by this exaltation eschatology— the glorification or exaltation of Jesus on the cross is the passage of 54 Jesus to God. This resurrection is the return of Jesus to his own. The gospel shows even after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the power of darkness continues to threaten those who believe Jn Therefore, the Farewell Discourses point to the place of the Spirit of Accessed 21 June Jesus prays for those still left in the world to be kept safe from the power of darkness — In the prologue —18 , the mention of darkness and partial rejection are framed by two creations.

    In the first, the Creator and the Logos were together before the first creation —2. In no place does this gospel conceive of a dichotomy between original creation and a kind of replacement for it. Jesus goes on working on the Sabbath and does not rest, creation is unfinished Jn Jesus continues making everything whole in the present. There is no mention of the resurrection in the prologue.

    Resurrection 59 presupposes creation and incarnation. The cosmic changes begun at the incarnation are unfinished until the death and departure of Jesus when what is judged is changed by transformation into peace and joy —31; —11, 23—24, 33 even in the inevitability of A question arises in the understanding of twenty-first century cosmologies and evolutionary biology, is the inbuilt death and destruction of life that is part of evolution, the darkness? Resurrection is implied in Johannine eschatology and is transformative.

    Being with Jesus is about enduring relationships of abiding , 17, 25; — Edwards, How God Acts, 92, see also his chapter on eschatology, One of the Johannine rhetorical tools, then, is not only to use the framework of a cosmology through which the rest of the gospel is to be understood but to set up the framework of an eschatological cosmology. An eschatological cosmology provides a framework to bring together the four hopes of Old Testament eschatology which underpin the Johannine theological vision.

    A reading of the gospel through this framework, which is beyond the scope of this article, would seek to establish whether, and how, the following four hopes function in Johannine eschatological cosmology: hope for a restoration of the political, military and economic life of the people; hope for a more just and equitable kind of human society; hope for the transformation of the individual person; and hope for 66 the transformation of nature. Such a reading would be required to The shadow of the darkness is there.

    This means choice: belief or unbelief. The Johannine Jesus is shaped from the Wisdom creation myth and its eschatology. In the flesh sarx is seen the glory doxa of God which takes on matter and physical processes. In the flesh and materiality of Jesus of Nazareth shared with all living creatures, the divine doxa became an integral part of the physical processes and the interconnectedness of Earth and part of the evolution of the expanding universe.

    Eternal life is experienced now, in this world. The wonder and beauty of this may both affirm and challenge a present reader, with the perspective of twenty-first century cosmologies and evolutionary biology, to live with a wisdom enabling Do we have a visual language in contemporary art that adequately presents the religious experience? Prior to years ago, museums 1 and art galleries that we visit today did not exist. Art was commissioned for specific purposes and related strongly to that purpose in the environment in which it existed. Sacred art was mostly in the confines of chapels, cathedrals, local churches, shrines and other places dedicated to the sacred.

    Art existed in an environment that was integral to its purpose. Theologians were appointed by the Pope to familiarise Michelangelo with various theologies to execute his commissions. Michelangelo Buonarroti, The Holy Family, Galleria degli Uffizi. This artwork is in the public domain. Heinrich W. In examining this famous artwork, now held in the Uffizi Museum in Florence, we can read the theology once the language is revealed to us.

    The Trinity is structurally presented through the family of three: Joseph represents the Father, Baby refers to the Son, and Mary proceeds from both and represents the Spirit, the creative nature of God as seen in Genesis 1. The line of sight from Father to Son to Mary emphasises the relationship between the three.

    From the thirteenth century on, beginning in France, Christological and Marian thinking are drawn together and Mary, as the loving and humble servant of God, comes to closest union with the Trinity. Mary holds on her lap a book, an attribute usually associated with the Annunciation, to show that she was qualified to conceive Christ because she held knowledge of God through all seven liberal arts.

    As Mother of God she was set above all other creatures and therefore embodied all seven 5 of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The symbolic nature of colour reveals divine love as red, the colour of incarnation where God became flesh and blood in the person 6 of Jesus. Yellow is the colour of spiritual discernment, active in humankind at all times to draw us into the relational existence of the 7 Triune God. Yellow is also associated with St Joseph and faith, blue 8 is the colour of heavenly truth, and the circle is emblematic of the 9 perfect and eternal nature of God.

    Combining all of these symbolic characteristics of the foreground family image would have been the 4. Gertrud Schiller, Iconography of Christian Art, trans. Janet Seligman, 2 vols. Ibid, The two on the left are Adam and Eve appealing to the Son, while the three on the right are the Father in green with his arm around the Son who stands in front of him, while the other seated figure is pulling the cloth from the standing youth.

    The Spirit is pulling the Son towards the ancestors and proceeding from the Father and the Son. Theologically, this links the concepts together. The creative energy of the Trinity is drawn into the human story. John the Baptist is the herald of that action as he baptises Jesus and opens him to his earthly ministry Mark , Matt , Luke , John In our contemporary world art has become exhibitionist which brings a very different dimension to both the viewer and the artist. A painting was not exhibited, but unfurled before an art lover in a fitting state of grace; its function was to 13 deepen and enhance his communion with the universe.

    This culture has infiltrated our consciousness so much that sacred places have become art galleries as well. It is still a liturgical space, filled with the tears and prayers of millions of people over the last years. Photography without permission is banned and prayer is encouraged so the works of Giotto and his contemporaries become a source of spiritual enlightenment, not a spectacle.

    I expected to be moved in some way but found myself examining them as objects. In contrast, when the Malraux, Museum Without Walls: Images placed in churches and other places of prayer, particularly through the 20th century until the present, are reminders to engage in a particular devotion. They are not works of art and therefore cannot elicit a response in the way that is present in the work of an artist.

    He denied that art is associated with pleasure and beauty and that its existence and presence is beyond such a limited focus. The Mandorla Art Award particularly focuses on a Scriptural theme and so anchors the contemplation of the sacred in our ancient texts but calls for a contemporary expression.

    A difficulty for such expression is that artists and the wider community do not have the rich language of symbols present in older traditions and hence artists have to find other ways to communicate, or find Leo Tolstoy, What is Art? Therefore, what kind of visual language is relevant to the religious aesthetic? Artists have approached Mandorla with the question about whether they can concentrate on only their spiritual response to the theme, or does it have to be iconographically religious. With a religious theme, Mandorla requires that in some way the artist connects with the viewer using a visual language that draws from the beliefs and tenets of the common religion.

    He described his work in the following comment: Born of a woman nurtured by her, freed by her and finally mourned by her. If Mary loved her son, and we are told that she did, then all women loved him. Her love came without conditions, without a quid pro quo caveat, not the stereotypical Jewish mother that we hear of today, but a genuine love that left him free to choose or not choose her companionship.

    I represented Jesus as a fully evolved man who felt no shame in his attraction to women and was not frightened by their attraction to him. Other influences that make up this work are Roman sarcophagi and northern Renaissance engravings. The opening night of the exhibition concluded with a very vibrant discussion among about 15 people gathered around the winning artwork.

    There were very few who could remain impartial. John Paul had succeeded in communicating feeling as defined by Tolstoy. Born of a woman, Jesus learned to love through the love of his family, and particularly the love of his mother Mary.

    Love comes in many forms and in this image Jesus is surrounded by women. The sensual woman in the front of the artwork carries a basket of fruits and bread, fecund symbols representing our procreative gift that directly connects us to the creative nature of God as well as the fruits 21 of the Spirit. Jesus, with his Jewish curl and tranquil face, reaches out.

    The woman has. John Paul comfortably jumbles the narrative with other iconographical details such as the crown of thorns and the crucifix, an emblem of his death, held by a woman, possibly his mother, in the background. Christian artists through the centuries have often put many parts of the story into the one image so 24 that we can explore the narrative through the one view. The young woman to the right holds a newly hatched chicken, symbol of new life and resurrection.

    The palms present over the arch way certainly image the palms used to honour Jesus on this fateful ride and as a further symbol in Christian art they represent martyrdom with a vine winding its 25 way around them to anchor Jesus in this reality too. The old Jew skulking off in the background symbolises the betrayal of the Jews in relegating the Law and work of God to mere words rather than a just and loving way of living. On the archway that links Jesus, the women and the Jew are some of the ancient symbols that are now used for the evangelists, linking this work directly to the gospels.

    John Paul has interestingly created the work in a monochromatic way with all the action happening in a very shallow plain, similar to the bas relief works of early Christian sarcophagi and ivory relief sculptures used as the covers for copies of the gospels and other 26 sacred texts.

    His use of this style places his work firmly in the Christian tradition. John Paul, like other great artists, has been able John Paul, Palm Sunday, Mandorla Art Award. The copyright of this work belongs to the artist and therefore it cannot be reproduced without his permission. The Mandorla Art Award has permission to reproduce with all rights reserved. Jameson, Sacred and Legendary Art I, 1: Schiller, Iconography of Christian Art, 1: illustration Leah Kauhaupt was a joint winner in with her work Verse 27 for the millions.

    The composition of this work is very orderly, formal and symmetrical. The stillness created by the artwork draws you into contemplation, and as the artist recounted, it was a meditative experience to paint. Embedded within the geometric arrangement, there is a convergence of circles painted in gold. The convergence of each individually painted circle forms the Star of. The viewer is invited into the work to 28 respond in a sensory and spiritual manner.

    The work is not painterly, but rather fastidiously detailed in the application of acrylic paint and would have provided much contemplative time in its execution as a work of art. It is comprised of nine panels which are then fixed together to form the whole. The number nine as a Hebrew symbol represents spiritual completeness. The Christian symbol of the cross appears on two levels, as the background colour of the major surface and also as a subtle change in colour for the shapes at the very centre of the work.

    The way in which the circles are painted in the central panel is reversed so that the negative spaces thrown into focus by the red ochre against the dominant gold become a tripartite shape expressing both the life of the Trinity that permeates all creation, and this shape used decoratively in Islamic art. The centre of the cross is an icon-like indentation painted in gold with the circles painted in the red ochre used as the background for the larger cross shape.

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