Cologne Archbishop Joachim Kardinal Meisner gave a “battle” sermon on December 28th in the Cologne cathedral whose content might even speak to some non-Christian readers. The subjects were persecution of Christians, childlessness in Germany, the situation of families and the squandering of taxpayer funds. The cardinal, in his message, used such terms as “German nation” and at the end of his second point, he said: “We should not and ought not first consider politically correct actions and speech, but pay attention to godly, political thought, speech and action.”
Here is the transcript of his sermon (emphases added by PI):
Dear Sisters, dear Brothers!
1. The day of innocent children stretches our view today to the whole world in which children of God, sisters and brothers of Jesus Christ are being killed, hassled and persecuted. Yes, we will have to say: The persecution of Christians is the most propagated form of offense and attacks on human rights worldwide and – lamentably – in German society simply the most accepted form and way of offense against human rights. Policy in Germany, to a large extent, has abandoned the persecuted Christians of the whole world.
2. Our God is a God of life. And the person, created in His image is to live – here temporally and there eternally. And therefore, the killing of people is a paradox in itself; particularly the killing of children, of unborn or born, but also the person who has become old, is truly an outrageous revolt against the order of Creation. The fundamental persuasion of all people in the world goes on the basis that the person is distinguished from the unreasoning creature, yes, that he is created in the likeness of God. And in the Christian revelation we were told that God is a plurality, namely trinitarian, because He is love. There can never be love for oneself. Therefore, in the creation of man he said: “It is not good that man remain alone” (Gen. 2:18). And thus, he created people in pairs, as man and woman, and indeed, the creative will of God was built into the person to be completed by man and woman coming together in matrimony, and then to become three and more. This is God’s order of creation, thought up or invented by no person, rather found out and in itself discovered. And the recognizance of this and its consequential practice guarantee the people of the world, guarantee humanity a blessed continuation of existence. However, where this knowledge of creation is lost or denied, there the result is visible in dying nations, in failure of marriage and family, in the devaluation of the child, particularly that of the unborn, but also in the devaluation of the dying individual.
If we celebrate the festival of the innocent children today, then really we need to expand the concept of children to the innocent, poor and old people who are simply disposed of. It is contingent upon us out of faith in the living God to get involved for his people for the sake of their form of life determined by God, be it convenient or inconvenient. We should not and ought not first consider politically correct action and speech, but pay attention to godly political thought, speech and action. That was perhaps never too obvious. Sinai, the mountain of God’s commandments was not always seen – much to the shame of the people and the nations – as the centerpoint of the human mountain peaks.
3. Accordingly, all attempts in history by certain political systems to relativize marriage and the family and to render their place with regard to Creation as controversial in societal life have always turned out to be expensive for mankind. God’s order of creation can be neither disempowered nor instituted by parliamentary resolutions. They apply independently of parliaments. For this reason, each person needs father and mother for his existence and state of being. Those are facts that don’t need to be proved. The Order of Creation, which we call natural law, is not the result of a societal training, rather correctness built into the nature of the person for his existence. Therefore, the family is of such inestimable significance and importance for the person as an individual, but also for a people. The overaging of our German nation is truly no result of nature, rather it is grounded in the perverted view of marriage and family. I know a family with seven children from my time back in East Germany. The mother stayed at home for 20 years to take care of these seven children who all have their own families and are positive figures in our society. For her 20 years of caring for these seven children, this mother receives 170 euros a month in social security. And when women in the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) recently tried to raise the pay for these deserving mothers, the finance minister coldly and curtly said: “We have no money for this.” But I haven’t ever heard the finance minister raise an objection against Bundeswehr battalions being sent to Turkey to secure the Turkish-Syrian border there. Where then do we live? Can the confusion even still be outdone?!
In his speech before the German Bundestag, the pope emphasized the protection of nature; medical protection is a highly important duty of a society. But man also has a nature that needs to be guarded and protected. Its constants become clear in the so-called law of nature. Anyone who is committed to God the Creator is also committed to the creation and the creatures, namely the creature called man. Quite a number of times I have heard the famous words of Romano Guardini quoted that I myself heard from him at a Berlin Catholic Congress in 1952. It took place under the theme: “God lives.” He said it at the East Berlin Marienkirche, so to speak within earshot of Walter Ulbricht: “Only those who know God know the person.” In order to know, to appreciate and learn to love the person, one needs the knowledge of God. Where a society is constructed in which God can no longer be found, this can only lead to encumbrances of the person. Conditions are created there where the person also can no longer be found. Our society is on the path in this direction. We have experienced this twice already in the last eighty years. I was among the bearers of suffering.
The person is not a god, but of godly origin. He retains his dignity if he remains conscious of his origin, and he remains sure of his responsibility given to him as co-creature and co-person if he remains connected to the will of the Creator. Therefore, we raise our voice at the celebration of the innocent children in order not to accuse and offend, but to protect the Order of Creation, to nurture and cultivate; so that conditions will be guaranteed the individual where he can develop himself completely. We understand ourselves to be obligated to God in this matter. One day after our terrestrial death, we will be asked by God: “Where is your brother Abel?” (Gen. 4:9), like on the morning of creation “and were is your sister?” And since Jesus Christ there is no longer the saying: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen. 4:9). – Yes, we are the keepers and protectors of our brothers and sisters, the unborn and those who have gotten old. That is our duty! Because we know God and love God, we will rise to it. Amen.
+ Joachim Kardinal Meisner
Archbishop of Cologne
» E-mail Kardinal Meisner at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Source: erzbistum-koeln.de / Hat Tip: Miles Christi and WahrerSozialDemokrat)
Posted by PI / Translation: Anders Denken