Open defiance steers German Church towards schism

Munich and Freising Diocesan Council calls for implementation of Synodal Council

In view of intra-church debates about the Synodal Path, the Diocesan Council of Catholics of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising has called on the bishops in Germany to co-operate. "We expect the bishops and cardinals to live up to their own claim to leadership by working together in the Bishops' Conference in a flourishing manner and implementing the urgently needed changes together in a spirited manner," the body demanded in Munich on Tuesday. "At present, the Bishops must already allow themselves to be asked what image of the Catholic Church in Germany they are shaping with this."

The call was directed in particular at the chief pastors of Augsburg, Eichstätt, Regensburg, Passau and Cologne, Bertram Maier, Gregor Maria Hanke, Rudolf Voderholzer, Stefan Oster and Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki. "The questionable question and answer game of the Bishops with the Curia in Rome because of participation in a Synodal Committee and later at a Synodal Council must stop!" the lay body demanded. Pope Francis also concluded his recent statement in an interview with the conciliatory words: "Always try to agree".

The discussion about the further procedure and the implementation of the Synodal Way in Germany, which has intensified considerably in recent weeks, as well as the answers and statements from Rome have become a burden for all those involved in the Catholic Church, the statement continued. Volunteers had to justify themselves again and again for what parts of the "top management" in Germany and Rome were doing.

The background is a letter in which the Bishops named by the Diocesan Council asked in Rome whether they had to participate in the preparations for the Synodal Council, a core element of the reform process Synodal Path. In response, senior Vatican representatives clarified "that neither the Synodal Path, nor any body set up by it, nor any bishops' conference have the competence to set up the "Synodal Council" at national, diocesan or parish level".



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