Partisan Governesses

We’ve posted several times about the multicultural antics of Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, the Archbishop of Cologne. Cardinal Woelki disparaged the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland, Alternative for Germany) for its opposition to mass Muslim immigration into Germany. Now another cardinal, the former Archbishop of Mainz, Karl Lehmann, has joined the debate on AfD. Rembrandt Clancy has translated an article about the migration-loving cardinals, and includes an introduction and endnotes to provide context for the reader.

by Rembrandt Clancy

Part of the background to this short article by Rev. Prof. Wolfgang Ockenfels is the “refugee” boat which His Eminence, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, brought into service as an altar for the political Novus Ordo Mass he celebrated on the Feast of Corpus Christi (Gates of Vienna reported). He had it placed in the southern part of the Domplatte, in the immediate vicinity of the Cologne Cathedral. The entire stunt unfolded as if the Cardinal were unmindful or did not care that this same venue hosted the migrant sexual attacks on German women on New Year’s Eve.

Since Vatican II, the Novus Ordo Mass has consistently allowed expression for an endless stream of novelties, but in this case the ever flexible NO-Mass appears to have extended its creativity by providing the boat-altar with a permanent home:

It is consummated — the Cologne Cathedral is to be used for the purpose of heathen cult site where one can pay homage to the invaders. The boat used for human smuggling … now stands like a reliquary positioned for the devotion of the faithful where normally the Christmas crib has its place. Wellness-Woelki had said in his “boat-sermon”: “I am convinced that today Jesus would sit in the refugee boat… (Politically Incorrect).

The Archbishop of Cologne believes Islam is compatible with the German Constitution and supports mass immigration (cf. GoV, April 26, 2016). The AfD’s Beatrix von Storch has recently offered a public answer to Cardinal Woelki (cf. GoV, 7 June, 2016); otherwise dialogue in the neo-Catholic Church, which replaces the Great Commission to teach all nations (Matt. 28:19-20), is not to be extended to the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party.

In this connection, Prof. Ockenfels also mentions the former Archbishop of Mainz, Cardinal Karl Lehmann, who gave an interview (15 May 2016) to Deutschlandfunk. The Cardinal explained that he had at one time spoken unofficially for an hour with Gregor Gysi and Oskar Lafontaine, leading figures of Die Linke (the Left), the party which emerged from the former East German SED (Socialist Unity Party),

[b]ut I would not do that now with the AfD; the basic model of the party and the nationalistic “small-smell” is [sic] too strong for me. So I would not take part at this stage, although it makes me uncomfortable that there are twelve percent of the voters who of course do.

About the Author

Rev. Prof. Wolfgang Ockenfels was born in Bad Honnef am Rhein in 1947. Having entered the Dominican Order in 1967, he studied philosophy and Theology and was ordained in 1973. From 1974 to 1978 he read Social Ethics and Economics in Freiburg, Switzerland. His doctoral thesis was on the theme of Unions and the State. He completed his Habilitation in the field of Christian Social Doctrine at the University of Augsburg on the subject of faith and politics. Prof. Ockenfels has published a very long list of monographs, articles and contributions. Since 1985 he has been Chief Editor of Die Neue Ordnung, a Christian journal founded in 1946 by opponents of National Socialism.

Partisan Governesses

by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ockenfels, Bonn
Original German Source: Blog von Gudrun Eussner
5 June 2016

(From the Editorial of Prof. Wolfgang Ockenfels in the “Neuen Ordnung”, Edition 71, which is due to appear shortly. The text also appeared on and Politically Incorrect)

“Doggy sensory sensuality” — to adapt Friedrich Nietzsche freely[1] — also assails the higher clergy now and again, especially when they run out of arguments. For the presiding prince of the Church in Cologne, it is the tongue; for the retired Archbishop of Mainz, it is the nose. Both sense organs are now being mobilised against the AfD [Alternative für Deutschland party]. In an interview with Deutschlandfunk (15.5.2016), Cardinal Lehmann refused a dialogue with the AfD in the following words: “the nationalistic ‘small-smell’ is too strong for me”. By its association with nationalism, this “small-smell” concentrates here into a smell which eschews rational proof, and it is precisely for that reason that it is supposed to be effective.

Cardinal Maria Woelki also cultivated a likewise poorly thought-out disparaging commentary — which was probably based on a sensory phantasm — when in his statement on Domradio (24:4:2016) he commented on the AfD’s criticism of political Islam’s incompatibility with the Constitution, using the following aesthetically elaborated words: “that must be left to melt on one’s tongue for now”.[2] Not the tongue, however, but the brain is supposed to be the preferred organ of discernment for a cardinal, for then the following sentence would not have escaped his lips: “Who says ‘yes’ to Church steeples must also say ‘yes’ to the minaret”. Objection, Your Eminence! The limits to freedom of religion are not a question of taste, but are an age-old legal problem in the face of religio-political perversions.

And Your Eminence will permit of another objection. It relates to the use of a Maltese “refugee boat” as an altar for the Mass of Corpus Christi next to the Cologne Cathedral. The boat is a religiously sensate symbol to be sure, but what purpose does this politicised liturgy serve? Is Christ present in a boat together with people-smuggling bandits, economic migrants, super-masculine Islamists and potential terrorists, or is he perhaps with persecuted Christians after all? Here, too, a rational distinction would have been necessary, the more so as fleeing Christians continue to be persecuted in German exile.

Unfortunately rationally critical voices are becoming rare. Otherwise the Central Committee of German Catholics would not have come up with the foolish idea of baring AfD politicians from their recent “Catholics Day” [Katholikentag].[3] This committee conducts “dialogues” on an ongoing basis with political parties who appear useful to the current politico-cultural-Catholicism; this includes dialogue with the SPD, the FDP, the Greens and Den Linken (the Left Party), and even with Islamists.

Whoever for the last fifty years has been faithful to the founding principles of the CDU [Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union], which originally held positions on values compatible those of the AfD today, may fall prey to the suspicion of being senile or sentimental, unless he slowly reflects upon departing the party. The inability to take leave of the CDU continues to be nourished by the hope that the party might still be capable of recalling its conservative-Christian heritage and thereby escape the fate that was already in store for the Italian Democrazia Cristiana (DC) in 1993.[4] At any rate, Helmut Kohl had continued to maintain a little of the Catholic social “stable smell” — and a keen sense of the media’s opinion poll developments which had guaranteed his hold on power.

His ambitious successor appears to lack these capabilities. It is true that she has been adapting herself of late de facto to the mass-immigration-critical tendencies by attempting to delimit access to Europe, but she does it in so half-hearted and equivocal a manner as to increasingly forfeit the approval of her voters. To be precise, they prefer perhaps to vote for the original than for the copy. “Faith can move mountains”, announced Angela Merkel in a television interview with Anne Will in which she defended her refugee policy. However, the faith with which I would otherwise be pleased to hear the message of the Gospels, fails me here.

But as soon as faith bears on political claims to power, I become mistrustful. For the mountains of problems with which the Federal Chancellor has saddled herself shall nevermore permit of their removal by quasi-religious means or be caused to “relocate” by way of Europe or some other way. Rather, her “Christian” policy, with which she is burdening her CDU and also other political forces, raises questions which were formerly discussed as questions of theodicy: How can a merciful and at the same time just God permit an almost unlimited immigration policy completely against the will of the respective indigenous inhabitants?

Naturally, no one outside of Mrs. Merkel and her kind knows the historical will of God. Transferred to C-party politics, however, the following question arises: How does her refugee policy of mercy relate to the will-to-justice of a God to whom, from the perspective of the theology of Creation as well as Trinitarian theology, order is closer than chaos?

And how can the presently chaotic immigration policy be justified somehow “from a Christian standpoint”? And what does the CDU still have to do with Christianity after all, when they no longer even wish to have anything to do with what is handed down through Christianity, which is to say with the natural law of justice marked by reason? Felt compassion without reasoned justice is not given to legitimation in Christianity, as Thomas Aquinas already knew in his time.

Well and good, the only thing that can help here is prayer. But miracles in politics are extremely rare. The ecclesiastical incapacity for otherwise urgently required dialogue with all possible positions, no matter how deranged, is proven in its sensual-affective, but not very meaningful and rationally incomprehensible reluctance to even look seriously at the programme of the AfD.

Partisan war games do not really belong to the ecclesiastical mandate of bishops. Whoever is happy to conduct dialogue with Islamic functionaries, while refusing it to AfD representatives, loses his credibility. He gambles away his authority. For in the final analysis, the mature and knowledgeable laity in the Church have no need of bishops who set themselves up as partisan governesses. Zeitgeist-determined appeasement is undesirable.

Hat tip: Hans-Peter Raddatz

Translator’s Endnotes

1.   Doggy sensory sensuality”: With this ‘freely adapted’ phrase pointing to the syndrome of deratiocination which occasionally falls upon the higher clergy, Prof. Ockenfels may be thinking of Section 312 of Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Gay Science:

I have given a name to my pain and call it “dog.” It is just as faithful, just as obtrusive and shameless, just as entertaining, just as clever as any other dog — and I can scold it and vent my bad mood on it, as others do with their dogs, servants, and wives. (Trans. Walter Kaufmann).

2.   “… to allow something to melt on one’s tongue” (auf der Zunge zergehen lassen): In the present context this sensory idiom is used ironically to reject an idea through the device of a mild invitation to have a closer look at it; in this case, we are to think it over, which is to say reject the AfD’s claim that Islam is incompatible with the German Constitution.
3.   The “Central Committee of the German Catholics” (Zentralkomitee der deutschen Katholiken (ZdK)) are today a neo-Catholic (modernist) lay organisation and

are the oldest, main and most influential group of German Catholics, founded under a different name in 1848 and responsible for the famous Katholikentage, Catholic Days… [ Rorate Caeli ]

4.   the Italian Democrazia Cristiana (DC): To explain this reference, Prof. Ockenfels provides a link to an article at Politically Incorrect (PI) called “Is the CDU on the Way to the Italian DC?” (Wolfram Weimer, 18 March 2016). The article is actually a segment from a larger piece taken in turn from Handelsblatt, which compares the five-party (block) system, led by the Christian Democratic Union in Germany, with the fate of the Italian five-party system led by Democrazia Cristiana:

[…] The total concentration of the Union [Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) of Bavaria] on a single woman and on their socialist-Green-democratic course threatens to become dangerous. Some in the CDU are already studying with concern the fate of the Italian Democrazia Cristiana. They were the most important, state-supporting postwar party in Italy and for decades they provided almost all the prime ministers. They were in a manner of speaking the CDU of Rome. But it came to pass in the seventies that they embarked on a Merkel-like leftward course, which was executed with arguments similar to those heard today from the CDU modernisers.

At that time, “compromesso storico” (an historic compromise) was celebrated, namely, that the Christian Democrats [Democrazia Cristiana] were henceforth supposed to be able to cooperate with Communists. Throughout the years of decline, the Democrazia Cristiana continued to govern with the leftist parties, recognized in the growing statism an instrument for the retention of power and rapidly formed a political cartel of five parties that the Italians ultimately called “pentapartido”. [The term in Italian is pentapartito]

In this way, on the one hand, they freed up space on the Right for newer and actually more modern, albeit decidedly right-wing parties. Simultaneously they entangled themselves by continuous governance in an increasingly complacent power cartel, which ultimately had to end in corruption, Mafia and nepotism. The complete decline of the Democrazia Cristiana then unfolded at time-lapse speed. Today the party no longer exists.

Pessimists in the CDU and admonishers in the CSU already fear that the AfD could become something similar to what the “Forza Italia” or the “Lega Nord” was for the Democrazia Cristiana — the gravediggers for their own party. Of course for that to happen, the AfD must first prove its capacity for democracy. Above all, the Union [CDU/CSU] would have to learn nothing from their mistakes of a blind Merkel-loyalty, a wrong migration policy and a skew to the Left, and just as silently as stubbornly put on a “keep it up”. Hardly imaginable?


5 thoughts on “Partisan Governesses

  1. What are the leaders of the Protestant & Free Evangelical saying these days?
    We keep hearing about the Roman Catholic hierarchy (who are faithfully following the example in Political (Religious?) Correctness of their leader Bergoglio) but personally have not come across statements or opinion pieces by Evangelicals/Protestants.

    Or perhaps they are not reported??

    I would be very interested to read opinions/views from readers residing in German-speaking countries. Thank you.

  2. If Jesus had been sitting in the boat, he’d have been chucked overboard like so many of his followers.

  3. All I can say is, “Thank the Good Lord for giving us Martin Luther.”

  4. Jesus would not be sitting in any ‘refugee boat’ unless he had paid in advance a couple thousand Euros to the human traffickers.

  5. ‘He gambles away his authority.’

    It appears to be a Europe-wide malaise, church leaders have adopted multikulti and mass immigration as the same as Christianity;
    when Sharia courts were sneaked into Scotland, the Convener of the Church of Scotland wrote ,
    “Sharia not to be feared”,
    he included caveats- “decisions must not break the fundamental tenets of the Human Rights Act…..the rights of women in particular must be respected.”
    which merely highlights the endemic cognitive-dissonance with Islam and Sharia law, not just with Christian leaders but right across the liberal consensus of the EU as well.
    The official policy seems to be a mix of wishful thinking, ‘non-offensive’ lexicons for terrorism and jihad , while repeating Islam is a religion of peace ad infinitum, in the hope it will eventually turn into one.
    Meanwhile back in Scotland, Donald Macleod was sacked, as was former Labour Minister Brian Wilson for coming to his defense- Macloed had dared to broach subjects that Wilson said, led to “wider questions about Islamic influence within Europe, including implications for democracy and freedom”.

    The Glasgow Herald reports;

    In one section he (Donald Macleod) made reference to the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany and the treatment of the Jews.

    He wrote: “All minorities prefer to keep a low profile and avoid trouble. Generations of British Muslims have done exactly that, many have made an invaluable contribution to British society, and many are perfectly prepared to listen quietly while Christians ‘witness’ to them.

    “But when minorities become majorities, things change … in the event of Islamic dominance in Britain our friendly Muslim shopkeepers will have little option but to march behind the radicals.”

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