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Commentary on the synodal path: do not be discouraged

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Status: 07/22/2022 1:02 p.m.

The Vatican’s warning shows ignorance of the synodal path. And how thin the nerves are when it comes to Germany.

A commentary from Ulrich Pick, SWR

The dry report from Rome once again shows how bad relations between the Catholic Church in Germany and the Holy See are at present. The 16 lines, which should be interpreted as a warning against reforms, have no sender or date – and are likely to have been released with the pope’s consent.

Its content shows how little the Vatican knows about the synodal path and how thin its nerves are when it comes to Germany. Because German Catholics have so far not wanted – as they say literally and with a malicious tone – “to violate the ecclesial community and threaten the unity of the Church” with their process of reassessment and reform.

cause for speculation

Because the link with the worldwide Catholic Church has been repeatedly emphasized in previous synodal assemblies. Furthermore, the Presidium of the Synodal Way has tried several times to communicate directly with Rome on this matter – unfortunately in vain. So far no one has been invited for an interview – which, by the way, gives plenty of reason to speculate about what role German Catholics actually play in Rome.

However, on this side of the Alps, we did not always act very skilfully. When many bishops and priests not only perform the blessings of same-sex couples forbidden by Rome, but also publicly endorse them. And if there is also talk of introducing a synodal council made up of an equal number of bishops and lay people for future decision-making – a body that seems staunchly Protestant – then it should come as no surprise if the one reacts with sensitivity or even brutality in Rome.

Learning from the synodal path

Even if the relations between the Vatican and the German Catholics, which are by the way not warm, will still cool down a few degrees, neither the Episcopal Conference nor the Central Committee of the Laity should allow themselves to be discouraged by the note from Rome. Finally, it must be kept in mind that the synodal path is above all concerned with dealing with terrible sexual abuse. And abuses in the Catholic Church are not limited to Germany. Seen in this light, perhaps Rome and the global Catholic Church could even learn something from the German synodal path in the medium term. And if the impetus for one or the other reform is also included, that would be nice too.

Editorial Note

Comments always reflect the opinion of the respective author and not that of the editors.

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Source www.tagesschau.de

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