- Feb 18, 2020
German Catholics insisted their national “synodal way” reform consultation will have an impact on the Church worldwide, as final preparations were completed for the consultation’s first plenary in January.
German-speaking Catholics paid tribute to Father Johann Baptist Metz, the veteran theologian who died Dec. 2 in Munster, Germany, at age 91.
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.
A German bishop has vowed to intensify “preventive measures” after two church-sponsored reports confirmed systemic violence and abuse at his diocese’s cathedral schools between 1945 and 1995, including 30 years when their famous choir was run by Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, brother of retired Pope Benedict XVI.
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.