Andreas Strum, a former priest and vicar general of the Diocese of Speyer in southwest Germany, announced on May 13, 2022, that he is leaving the Catholic Church. And this should be celebrated by Catholics. Why? Because Strum was honest enough to realize that with his heretical views he could no longer in good faith remain within the Church. Indeed, he opposes bedrock Church teachings regarding the celibacy of priests, the ordination of women, and sexual morality, among other things. As the Catholic New Agency reported:
“The former vicar general described the ordination of women to the priesthood, as well as ‘the abolition of compulsory celibacy, dealing with queer people, co-determination of the laity, blessing ceremonies for homosexuals and overall sexual morality in the Church,’ as the most important topics that he believed were not being addressed.”
Significantly, Strum himself admits that he violated his vow of celibacy while a priest. In the end, he said he had to leave the Church because he had “lost hope and confidence over the years that the Roman Catholic Church can truly transform herself.” It seems to have been lost on Strum that because the Church has always remained true to the teachings of Jesus and rejected heresies it has survived for 2,000 years.
Thus, Strum had good reason to leave the Church rather than remain a heretic within it and bring scandal to the faith, as so many other German Catholic leaders have recently done. Indeed, Strum openly supports the heretical German “Synodal Way,” a process of dialogue among Catholic Church leaders and laity that so far has called for the ordination of women, Church blessings for homosexual unions, and changing Church teaching to support homosexuality, all in violation of long-standing Church doctrine. Many Church observers are wondering just when the radical German Church will formally leave the Catholic Church.
Strum also announced that he has a become a member of the “Old Catholic” community, a break-away “Catholic” community founded in the 19th century that now permits, among other things, the ordination of women and the blessing of homosexual unions. It is estimated that there are about 15,000 Old Catholics in Germany.
So there you have it. A heretical Catholic priest who has the integrity to leave the Church rather than be a cancer within it. Let’s hope that the bishops and priests supporting the heretical views of the German Synodal Way will have the integrity to likewise leave the Church rather than cause a schism within it.