- Apr 18, 2021
Germany’s Catholic bishops are pressing ahead with a national reform consultation, or “synodal way,” despite cautions from the Vatican and criticism from some bishops.
The bishops of Germany, reacting to an independent study of the extent of clerical sexual abuse in their country and its possible causes, chose to initiate a “synodal” process that was not a synod or a plenary council.
The German bishops’ plans for a two-year process of consultation and deliberation on key issues facing the Catholic Church must conform to universal church law and must be approved by the pope, said the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
Catholic bishops from Poland and Germany have warned that peace and unity are still needed in Europe, 80 years after the start of World War II.
As the Catholic Church in Germany prepares to embark on a synodal process motivated in part by a desire to stop a hemorrhage of faithful, Pope Francis has sent them a letter reminding them they don’t walk alone but with the universal Church.
Germany’s two main Christian churches will lose millions of members over the coming decades and will have to tighten their financial belts as a result, according to a study published Thursday.
The Catholic Church in Germany is at a point where serious debate — including on priestly celibacy and the role of women — and openness to doing things in a new way must be encouraged, said the president of the German bishops’ conference.
At a Vatican news conference Saturday, several members of the pope’s A-team on the abuse crisis called for greater transparency.