Papst-Bruder Speaks... and Slams
But last week, the Pope's brother made waves in Germany in an interview with the publication Junge Freiheit. I was sent the original text, but as I can't read German for my life -- and it was too much for my German desk to translate -- I couldn't do anything with it.... Until now.
An English translation has appeared here. Tip to the Angelqueen forums....
Some snips to whet your appetites ("MS" refers to interviewer Moritz Schwartz):
First, the Papst-Bruder slams the cardinal-archbishop of Brussels:
MS: Your brother is supposed to have said what Cardinal Kasper is representing, has no longer anything to do with Catholicism.
GR: I don't know about that. I cannot imagine it however. I think of Cardinal Kasper differently. But it is true that there are Cardinals who are taken over by the loss of substance. For example, the Brussels' Cardinal, Cardinal Danneels whose remarks, according to my opinion, are no longer in accord with a Catholic understanding.
The Austrian "We are Church" isn't immune:
MS: But the "rank", Representative of Christ is more than a title.
GR: Of course, but even as a Bishop one belongs to the Apostolic College. The change, that you address has not just started with his Papal election. The simple priest in the Catholic Church is not only an office holder but a representative of the Bishop. This means he has been chosen and he is ordained to the service of Christ. The thought of the functionality which modern circles would like to introduce parallel to the protestant church, shows their deep misunderstanding of the Catholic Church.
MS: Whom do you have in mind?
GR: For example, there are groups like "Church from below" or "We are Church".
MS: You don't consider these groups a renewal but instead see them as transgressions of Catholicism.
GR: A transgression of the spiritual structure of the building blocks of our Faith.
MS: Is this then still the Church?
GR: Not in my opinion, because the expectations of these groups are so far removed from the actual ecclesial reality that one has to recognise a divide in the religious substance.
MS: Where do you think these tendencies are coming from?
GR: It is a sign of the time in which we live.
And his relationship with Little Bro:
MS: Reverend Father, in April your brother, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was elected as the successor to Pope John Paul II. This week, Pope Benedict XVI returned to Germany for the first time. Do you think of your brother in the first instance, as your brother or as the Pope?
GR: He is both my brother and the Pope. There is a scholastic axiom which states, "Grace does not destroy nature". Natural reality also stays unchanged with respect to Faith.
MS: How does this personal relationship work?
GR: We are brothers but when in his capacity as Pope, Benedict XVI declares a message to the Church, I will accept it just like any other priest.
Do yourself a favor and read the fulltext -- don't be fooled that he's 83, the man's mind whirrs a mile a minute.... The Belgian press is apparently in an uproar, saying that Georg's got "Gustaaf Joos syndrome" after the late cardinal (a simple priest who was JP's theology classmate) who went on a tear about homosexuals in a 2003 interview.
But it's really curious that Liebe Georg uses an expression oft-used by John Allen during the conclave: the Thomistic axiom that "Grace builds on nature, but doesn't cancel it out...."