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POZNAN, Poland (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Polish professor of history is speaking to Church Militant on the state of the Church, particularly in Europe. In an exclusive interview with Church Militant, Prof. Grzegorz Kucharczyk, who teaches at the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences, is speaking out on the growing threat of anti-Catholicism in Europe.
In his December interview with Michael Voris, he said, "When we look at the present situation in Europe, we can see the same pattern: the Catholics are inferior, they are afraid of progress, they are afraid of modern civilization, of modern culture so we should keep them down."
Kucharczyk also discusses the crisis in the Church and the role the clergy has played in the current situation. "First of all there is bad information," he said, "because false philosophy leads to false theology, and false theology leads to false formation in seminaries and false formation in seminaries leads to a very bad priesthood as far as their contact with people are concerned."
In the interview with Church Militant, there was a particular emphasis on Church leadership in Germany, and how errant theology in Germany in the latter portion of the 20th century paved the way for the current crisis in the Church.
It is very sad that in Germany, many bishops, many cardinals, they seem not to be very vigilant toward the dangers that are around the Church in Germany. Even Pope Francis said last year in his ad limina apostolic visit with the German bishops, 'We are facing the erosion of faith in Germany.' And now it seems that the most urgent thing for German bishops is to give Holy Communion to divorced persons while living in so-called civil marriages, not facing the real danger which is the erosion of faith.
Karl Rahner, the famous Jesuit German theologian, popularized the notion of "transignification," the idea that at Mass during the consecration, there's no actual change in substance, although the bread and wine take on new "meaning" or "significance."
Kucharczyk called out cardinals who have fallen under Rahner's influence. "But he has many disciples who are cardinals, like Cdl. Christoph Schönborn and other influential bishops in the Church, and they also have disciples who have [have] influence on the seminaries and also on the magisterial teaching."
Cardinal Schönborn has been criticized by some for his stances on letting the divorced and remarried receive Holy Communion and his friendliness toward homosexual civil unions, among other topics. Concerning homosexual civil unions, the prelate has said — contrary to Church discipline — "We can and we must respect the decision to form a union with a person of the same sex, [and] to seek means under civil law to protect their living together with laws to ensure such protection."
And on the topic of the divorced and civilly remarried receiving the Eucharist, Schönborn said, "We must break free from this narrow perspective on the access to the sacraments in irregular situations."
Kucharczyk then went on to inject humor into his interview:
Now a quite interesting thing, the Russian Orthodox philosopher who at the end of his life converted to Catholicism, Vladimir Soloviev, in the beginning of the twentieth century, wrote a short novel about the anti-Christ. In his imagination, the anti-Christ will have a diploma of theology from a German university. So I think it could be a prophecy.
He continued, "I am warning you that I am controversial because I am criticizing the German bishops."
The professor criticized political correctness among the German bishops and their concern for social justice over spiritual welfare. "For example, when we look at the so-called immigration crisis in Germany, the decision of German Chancellor Angela Merkel last year, she allows thousands to come to Germany without any control, and it is a good opportunity to teach these people about Christ," he commented.
He added, "But the main thing is that we are not talking about truth, but we are talking about social needs. That's the main problem."
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