German Cardinal Backs Ban on Abortion Ads

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by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  January 10, 2020   

Cdl. Rainer Woelki defends life in recent homily

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COLOGNE, Germany (ChurchMilitant.com) - "We are called not to advertise for killing! We have to advertise for life," says Cdl. Rainer Maria Woelki of the Cologne, Germany archdiocese.

Cardinal Woelki made this remark in a homily on Dec. 28, 2019, the Feast of the Holy Innocents — a commemoration of the babies killed by Herod in his effort to eliminate the Christ Child.

The cardinal went on to say, "Nobody, dear sisters, dear brothers — nobody — has the right to have human life at one's command, not even in the first 12 weeks."

Woelki dedicated his homily that day to the pro-life cause: "God is a friend of life. Let us all be, with Him, as Christmas people, friends of life."

German law prohibits doctors and hospitals from publicly advertising that they provide abortions. A court ruling in March relaxed that law, but a later ruling in December found that to be contradictory.

Cardinal Woelki also mentioned a new policy that will require statutory health insurance companies to pay for prenatal blood testing in certain cases — blood testing that will include screening for Down syndrome.

Nobody, dear sisters, dear brothers — nobody — has the right to have human life at one's command.

"We all know what the result of that blood work is going to be," Woelki warned. "A positive result will mean a 'no' to life in most cases for children with Down syndrome."

Rejecting Heterodoxy

The Cologne cardinal has pushed back against the heterodoxy so rampant among fellow German prelates.

Most recently, he preached at Mass on the Feast of the Epiphany that conforming to the zeitgeist, or "spirit of the age," will render the Church "of no use anymore."

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Cdl. Rainer Maria Woelki

Last September, Cdl. Woelki defended the all-male priesthood. This is significant, as a push for women leadership in the Church has been folded into the German bishops' "synodal path," a two-year plan that involves reassessing Church teaching.

A few days prior to that, Cdl. Woelki said the "synodal path" could "come to a schism within the Universal Church or even to a schism within the Church in Germany."

In March, the cardinal explained that laxity and lukewarmth among the laity are evidence that "the preachers of the Faith have obviously failed."

In 2017, he slammed a rumored effort to create a shared Catholic-Protestant "ecumenical Mass," in which Protestants might receive the Most Blessed Sacrament — even though they deny the doctrine of transubstantiation.

The "synodal path" is just one of the tools used in recent times by German-speaking liberals and theological dissidents.

Liberals in the Church hierarchy of Germany also used October's Amazon Synod to push their agenda. For instance, Cdl. Reinhard Marx, head of the Munich-Freising archdiocese and president of the German bishops, claimed in a September interview, "I can easily imagine that one can come to the conclusion that it makes sense, under certain conditions, to allow married priests in certain regions."

In like manner, Bp. Franz-Josef Overbeck said last month, "Personally I can now imagine women becoming priestesses."

An important figure in the Amazon Synod, Bp. Overbeck had predicted previously that opening the door to married clergy in the Roman Rite would, in turn, pave the way for ordaining women.

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