54. Jahrgang Nr. 3 / März 2024
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1. In Search of Lost Unity
2. An Appeal for Unity in the Church
3. Note on the 2000 Declaration
4. The 2000 Declaration
5. En busca de la unidad perdida
6. Llamamiento a la unidad de la Iglesia
7. Nota sobre la Declaración del año 2000
8. Declaratión del año 2000
9. À la recherche de ´unité perdue
10. Appel à l´unité de l´Église
11. Référence à la DÉCLARATION de l´an 2000
12. Déclaration de l´année 2000
13. Auf der Suche nach der verlorenen Einheit
14. Aufruf zur Einheit der Kirche
15. Erklärung aus dem Jahr 2000
16. Editors Notes
In Search of Lost Unity
In Search of Lost Unity

Appeal by By Father Courtney Edward Krier, Werner Olles and Eberhard Heller

As H.E. Archbishop Ngô-dinh-Thuc signed his declaration on the vacancy of the Roman See on February 25, 1982 and announced it publicly on March 21, 1982 in St. Michel, Baaderstraße / Munich, he also said in this declaration that he would do everything needed to end the crisis of the Church. Unfortunately, he never got around to it: he died on December 22, 1984.

The statement by Father Courtney Edward Krier, Mr. Christian Jerrentrup and Dr. Eberhard Heller from the year 2000 (cf. EINSICHT No. 3 from August 2000) was an attempt to reconnect to Archbishop Ngô-dinh-Thucs Declaration and possibly show how and by which measures the Church, its visibility and its unity having been lost as an institute of salvation, could be restored. In order to discuss this project and to solicit approval for it, Eberhard Heller, who was accompanied by his son Bernhard and Dr. Klominsky, went to Mexico in the spring of 2000 to present these plans to the largest Church group there and to discuss this with them.

Surprisingly, the new declaration found the full support of all the members of the Trento Union, led by Bishop Davila. But when it came to formulating approaches for implementing this plan, which is divided into individual program steps, the Mexicans dismissed it. They could not participate in the implementation of the idea of a restoration of the church and would have to limit themselves to pastoral tasks out of consideration for the American bishop Mark Pivarunas, who rejected certain points of the declaration (particularly the election of the pope). With that, the largest group of Catholic resistance failed to implement this plan of restoration and the declaration initially disappeared into oblivion because few other priests and laypeople were enthusiastic about its implementation.

In the meantime, i.e., in the period from 2000 to today, i.e., in 2023 nothing happened regarding the restoration of the Church. Rather, these groups, which still claim to represent the faith of the Church and to be part of this Roman Church, are slipping deeper and deeper into sectarianism because they do not meet the rationale and condition for legitimate qualification as a Catholic priest or faithful member. This would consist—as was shown in the declaration of 2000—in the fact that clergy and laity do not focus their primary interest on pastoral care (that is, dispensing the Sacraments only), but on the decision and the efforts to regain the lost unity of the Church as a prerequisite for further steps towards restoration of the Church.

To illustrate this slide into sectarianism, one need only look at the general practice of priests in the so-called resistance. For one thing, they resist their actual mission as pastors. These priests go with their mass kits from house to house, from place to place, to say "the old mass" to different people . . . and nothing more. They offer the celebration of Mass like a peddler offers his wares and thus just satisfy the sacramental delivery mentality of these people.

The activities of these clerics are limited to doing this without teaching these believers. This means that the basis of this Mass celebration on the background of the all-encompassing Catholic faith with its teaching on the Eucharist is hidden or simply ignored. The priests are content to only meet and satisfy this desire of the faithful. In doing so, they have degraded themselves to being mere donors of sacraments, no longer fulfilling their task as pastors and, moreover, bypassing the lives of the believers, who are left alone with their worries. In an article „Nur die alte Messe“ ("Only the old Mass") from January 1987, i.e., 36 years ago, Mr. Heller criticized this sacramental short-sightedness. The fragmentation into more and more groups and ever-smaller groups takes its course with the ever-increasing danger of losing not only the unity in the ecclesiastical structure, but also that of faith.

The debates about theological problems, as they were then conducted at the beginning of our Church struggle, have ended with the result that the silence is increasing or that it ends in dwindling theological understanding of how to overcome this crisis of disorganization, or just disappears.

In order to end this state of confined spiritual and ecclesiastical life, the one-sidedness of which many are now becoming more and more aware of, the signatories of this appeal refer once again to the declaration of 2000 previous, and ask you, dear readers, not to fail again to neglect them, but finally implement them.

In the hope that, in view of the looming disaster, a re-consideration will take place among the clergy in particular, we sincerely ask you to cooperate at least in the implementation of the first step towards restoration, which would consist in the fact that those small groups already existing along with the founded organizations come together to form real communities of faith and communicate with one another. We should hurry, because it is no longer just 5 to twelve, but already 5 past 12. And only when we ask the Holy Ghost to assist our project do we still have hope that He will grant us His help.

We ask for a resolute commitment to this plan to regain unity and for a clear confession that you want to belong to this unity in the sense of faith and the Church. We shall not be like the Church of Laodicea, to which the angel writes: “Thou art neither cold, nor hot. I would thou wert cold, or hot. But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.” (Apoc. 3:15 f.)

If you, dear reader, want to participate in this work, i.e., in the implementation of this basic plan, which is the prerequisite for the realization of further steps to obtain the achievement of full unity, please contact one of the undersigned:

Pater Courtney Edward Krier, E-Mail: in_his_service@att.net
Werner Olles, E-Mail: ditze.olles@arcor.de
Eberhard Heller, E-Mail: foto-heller@gmx.de

When this task of uniting the communities has been carried out, one can then take a further step towards unification, namely, asking the clergy to develop a concept for a common pastoral care of the faithful: first regional and then at a national level. In all these tasks, the greatest discipline must prevail if the undertaking is not to fail due to personal animosity. And where should the legitimacy come from if not through the struggle for church unity?
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