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Retired Pope Benedict criticizes church in Germany, says mission obscured

Retired Pope Benedict criticizes church in Germany, says mission obscured

 

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Retired Pope Benedict XVI smiles at Germany's Munich Airport before his departure to Rome June 22, 2020. The now-retired pope has criticized representatives of the Catholic Church in his home country, Germany. (CNS photo/Sven Hoppe, Reuters)
Retired Pope Benedict XVI smiles at Germany's Munich Airport before his departure to Rome June 22, 2020. The now-retired pope has criticized representatives of the Catholic Church in his home country, Germany. (CNS photo/Sven Hoppe, Reuters)

FREIBURG GERMANY — Retired Pope Benedict XVI has criticized representatives of the Catholic Church in his home country, Germany.

"As long as only the ministry, but not the heart and the spirit, speak in official church texts, the exodus from the world of faith will continue," he wrote in response to questions submitted by the magazine Herder Korrespondenz. The German church news agency KNA reported his remarks.

The monthly magazine Herder Korrespondenz sent questions to retired Pope Benedict to mark the 70th anniversary of his becoming chaplain in a Munich parish 70 years ago. Most of the statements referred to his memories from that time.

The 94-year-old has lived largely in seclusion in a former monastery in the Vatican since his resignation in 2013.

The retired pope said that in the church's hospitals, schools and in the Catholic charity, Caritas, "many people are involved in key positions who do not support the inner calling of the church and thus often obscure the mission of this institution." This was particularly evident in announcements and public statements, he wrote. KNA reported he said a distinction must be made in the church between "believers and unbelievers."