Status: 07/21/2022 4:27 p.m.
The Synodal Way in Germany advises on the future of the Catholic Church. The focus is on power structures, the priesthood and the role of women. The Vatican is now warning of a split in the Church.
It is an official declaration of the Holy See, but it is not signed. In Italian and German it is explained what the so-called synodal path in Germany should not be. It is not authorized to compel bishops and the faithful to accept new forms of government and new orientations of doctrine and morals.
It seems necessary to clarify this, he says at the beginning – to protect the freedom of the people of God and the exercise of the episcopal office. The communication recalls Pope Francis’ letter of June 2019, with which he addressed the pilgrim people of God in Germany and also addressed the relationship of the universal Church with the particular Churches.
Thus, if the particular churches were separated from the universal church, they would “weaken, degenerate and die,” the letter says. Therefore communion with the whole body of the Church must always be kept alive and effective. In its statement, the Vatican invites German Catholics to participate in the ongoing synodal process in the universal Church. Above all, Pope Francis wants to promote dialogue.
Response to abuse scandals
In the synodal way in Germany, bishops and unconsecrated Catholics – that is, the laity – advise on the future of the Catholic Church. The emphasis is on the themes of power, the priesthood, the place of women and sexual morality. The synodal way emerged in reaction to abuse scandals in the Catholic Church. He also wants to examine what kind of structures have fostered cases of abuse.
A large majority of the German bishops’ conference supports the synodal way. Critics fear that a German national church may emerge in the end.
The Vatican Rebukes the Synodal Way
Elisabeth Pongratz, ARD Rome, July 21, 2022 4:06 p.m.