German Catholics


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German Catholics,

religious groups founded in 1844 by dissidents from the Roman Catholic Church. They were led by two excommunicated priests, Johann Czerski of Schneidemühl, Posen, and Johann Ronge of Breslau. The church, organized by a council in Leipzig in 1845 under the name of Deutsche-katholische Kirche, was attractive to Roman Catholics because it retained the traditional practices of baptism and communion. In keeping with the rationalism and nationalism of the period, it rejected papal primacy, celibacy, indulgences, devotion to saints, veneration of relics, and all but the above-mentioned sacraments. Following an early period of growth, with several hundred congregations consisting of some 80,000 members, a slow decline set in. Roman Catholics who had sought reform became disillusioned following the merger with the Protestant Free Congregations in 1850, and the later merger of many of these churches with the Friends of Light, an anti-Christian sect. Greatly reduced in membership, several German Catholic churches survived into the 20th cent.
References in periodicals archive ?
134) Herman Schell--whose participation in the "reform" or "progressive" Catholic theological movement landed him on the papal Index of proscribed publications(135)--had in 1897 first referred to the economic "inferiority" of German Catholics.
The only way German Catholics can get out of paying the extra tax is to inform the government formally that they have left the church.
Led by their bishops, German Catholics flatly refused to comply with the many laws passed against them, and settled in to endure the penalties that were imposed.
Two early books, German Catholics and Hitler's Wars: A Study in Social Control (1962) and In Solitary Witness: The Life and Death of Franz Jagerstatter (1964), confirm his place among major influences, including Dorothy Day, Michael Harrington and Thomas Merton.
It was only four years after the concordat with Hitler was signed in 1933 with the help of Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, that it became apparent that diplomacy would not protect German Catholics from Hitler's sinister plans.
Among the first beati under the new German pope is one of the most famous German Catholics of the 20th century, Cardinal Clemens August von Galen, who preached a series of fiery sermons against the Nazis in the summer of 1941.
Several members of the lay Central Committee of German Catholics have complained that the cuts were being used to undermine the central role of the laity and to create a more "priest-centered" church.
Church representatives say that German Catholics and Protestants are warming to the idea of reforms only slowly.
The poll found that 33 percent of German Catholics reject John Paul as head of the church.
Several official lay organizations, including the powerful Central Committee of German Catholics, have asked the bishops to stay in the counseling system, while pro-life groups have expressed opposition.
German Catholics in Rome said it is widely accepted that Wolf was referring to Benedictine Fr.
How many German Catholics, out of obedience to the hierarchy, failed to defend the Jews against the onslaughts of Hitler?