German bishop says only a new theology can save the Church

Light of truth

One of Germany’s most recently named bishops has raised eyebrows by calling for a “new theology” as an urgent response to revelations of the clerical abuse of power. “We still haven’t fully realized that the crisis of confidence is charging into the Church’s timberwork with unmitigated force,” warned Bishop Heiner Wilmer SCI in a recent interview in the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Although the 58-year-old has headed the Diocese of Hildesheim in Northern Germany only since last September, this is not the first time he has made head-lines with his outspoken views.

Wilmer, who was superior general of the worldwide missionary and teaching order known as the “Dehonians” (Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart) before becoming bishop, drew criticism just three months into his new job when he told the Kölner Stadt Anzeiger that abuse of power was in the Church’s DNA.

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