Beginnings in Meitingen
Metzger’s beginnings in Meitingen were trying. The Bishop of Freiburg demanded that Metzger consult with the Bishop of Augsburg and himself before any undertakings. The Augsburg Ordinary was to keep an eye on Metzger on behalf of Freiburg. The Caritas Association demanded restrictions on the work of the “Society of Christ the King”.
Metzger nonetheless steadily expanded operations in Meitingen: Among other things, he established a nursery school, a nursing home and lodgings for hikers. He created channels to disseminate his ideas with the Kyrios-Verlag, a bookstore and the “Christkönigsboten” (as of 1929). Metzger established a nursing center that cared for the ill and poor in Berlin and homes for the aged, infirm and destitute in Baden, Moravia, Silesia, Thuringia and Württemberg.
Despite his expanding social work, Metzger found the time to develop new liturgical forms – lay participation, use of the German language and priests facing the congregation (1937) – for services in Meitingen. The Bishop of Augsburg in turn forbade priests to face the congregation.
In April of 1929, the episcopal ordinary of Brno [!] recognized the Society of Christ the King as a cooperative. To this end, Metzger had described the society as a new type of religious community born out of the necessity of the present. It consisted of “genuine members of an order with the open-mindedness and mobility of secular individuals” (M. Möhring, Täter, 81). The legal form of the secular institute in Meitingen continued to remain in need of explanation, however. In 1937, Metzger negotiated with Cardinal Secretary of State Pacelli among others about the problem, which was not resolved for good until after the war.
Source / title
- © Archiv des Christkönigs-Instituts, Meitingen: Album „Unsere Häuser“