Cardinal Pell on Church in Germany: No one has the right to change Jesus' teachings

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In the second volume of his prison journal, Australian Cardinal George Pell reveals his concern for the direction being taken by the Church in Germany.

Former Prefect, Secretariat for the Economy
“The Church in Germany is at a crossroads. And I think the two ways go in these directions. The first way says: We are the servants and defenders of the Apostolic Tradition, of what has been revealed to us, what comes to us from Jesus and the apostles. Or, we are the masters of that Tradition, so that we can change it and improve it according to modern understandings. And for me, and I think the classical Catholic position, the Magisterium, as we call it, the rule of faith, is that we stand under the tradition, under revealed truth. We don't have the capacity to reject it, or polish it up or cut bits out.”

Cardinal Pell warns that when faith is lost in the Magisterium, the risk of a rupture in the Church increases exponentially. 

Former Prefect, Secretariat for the Economy
“We don't have a schism at the moment. I hope we won't. I don't think we will. I mean, if they tried to set up another Protestant church in Germany, I don't know whether the taxes available to the Catholic Church would come to them. So that's a bit of a deterrent to any schism.”

He believes that some leaders of the Church in Germany are losing sight of the real problems facing the West. 

Former Prefect, Secretariat for the Economy
“Right around the Western world, you know, the forces are setting out systematically to change the legal bases of our societies to diminish and remove the Judeo-Christian elements. Women priests is another issue. But underneath all those, you could say that the basic issue is God or no God, theism or atheism or agnosticism. And in some ways, a church can cope a little bit better with atheists than agnostics. Because, you know, the Dawkins’s of this world did a bit of a service to believers because they reminded believers of the importance of belief. But for people who say they're just not interested in the God question, it's very, very difficult for humans to be like that.”

Cardinal Pell wrote Volumes 1 and 2 of his “Prison Journal” from inside an Australian jail, before his conviction was unanimously overturned. Both books shed light on numerous challenges facing the Church today. 

Watch the full interview with Rome Reports Premium at



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