The Church in Germany
New Zealand Tablet, Volume XXXIV, Issue 20, 17 May 1906, Page 3
The Church in Germany
The present remarkably prosperous condition of the Church m Germany is described in the latter half of a monumental woik by Monsignor Justin i<evre (' L'Allemagne '), which is reviewed at some length in a recent numoer of the Loadon "1 ablet.' The reviewer praises the unity which exists amomg German Uathohcs and the work done by the numerous associations which they have formed ior mutual help and common action. He writes as follows .:— If there is one trait which we applaud in them more tnan another, it is their power of organisation— that zeal in united action on Dehaif of their taith which fills us with euvy and admiration as we read They to be sure, are many, numbering over twenty millions in a population of fifty-six millions ; but it is not in this alone that their strength consists. To take one branch ot Catholic activity alone— that of the press. We find, in a chapter specially devoted to it, what a powerful weapon the Church is enabled to wield in her command of journalistic ability. It was the first means adopted for combating the Kulturkampf ; and when this broke out on the morrow of the Franco-German war no fewer than fourteen daily papers were started in the city of Cologne i alone, where they still live and flourish In due proportion the same activity was displayed else^ where; and every village has ita Catholic ppiper The puthc are of course unanimous in their support" and a Oathohc householder would think himself a traitor to the cause if he did not tal-e a paper representing his side in poatics and religion. As another example of the power of association we will, take the, Borufcice Union, founded in 1849 to come to the rescue of Catholics scattered through Protestant districts in a state of spiritual abandonment and destitution. A short ejaculation daily, and the payment of a subscription of sixpence a month, are the conditions of membership. By these humble means magnificent results were obtained ; and when the society celebrated its golden jubilee in 1890, it had expended thirty-three millions of marks, and had built, or helped to build " churches, presbvtcries, schools, and orphanages in^QOO localities. It is to the work of this society that the astonishing number of Catholic churches throughout Protestant C ermany is due. This is the foremost uf the German associations hut their name is legion. There 1S a Cecilia Society for the cm It i". at ion i of sacrod music ; an Albertus Ma&nus Society, in Bavaria, for the assistance of poorltudents - full r ( r^ V f ° r J^ protec « on of abandoned inZ fints The Coerres Society in Germany, and the Leo Society in Austria, are devoted to scientific and literary research as well ;as to the publication of periodical a, and the hold-jng of meetings for discussion. Catholic associations of peasants and workingmen are proportionately numerous and powerful ; so that Jit is not too much to say that every department of society is organised in unions for mutual help and common action By this strong framework of association, the Catholic hod v iskn.it together into a single and united whole In a'l forms of social activity, the priests play a lejadme part ; and there is none of that jealf usv of thrir intervention which is felt in other countries. Priests and people are one in aim, in interest* and in purposes ■ and the Catholic congresses held yearly with increasing eclat, are the organ of this admirable unity.