Poorly informed Pope criticised German church claims Bishop

Bishop Wiesemann of Speyer: "Pope perhaps not well informed"

The German inner-church reform movement "Synodal Path" wants to modernise the Catholic Church. Again and again, criticism comes from the Vatican. Now the Bishop of Speyer has spoken out.

Bishop Karl-Heinz Wiesemann of Speyer has rejected criticism from the Vatican against the reform process in the Catholic Church. "I believe that the Pope is perhaps not well informed there in the end," Wiesemann said in Speyer on Monday. The so-called Synodal Way was "not a story of a few". "Our process is not elitist. Wherever I go as a bishop, the questions are also asked in the midst of parishes and communities," he stressed. The Synodal Way is a reform process that has been running since 2019 and is due to conclude in Frankfurt/Main in March.

Wiesemann: Critics must decide for themselves whether this was a good idea

Most recently, senior Vatican representatives had made it clear "that neither the Synodal Path, nor any body appointed by it, nor any bishops' conference has the competence to establish the Synodal Council at national, diocesan or parish level." This was preceded by a letter from Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki and the Bishops of Eichstätt, Augsburg, Passau and Regensburg, who are sceptical to negative about the reform process. "Whether it was very happy to choose this path, they must decide for themselves," Wiesemann said of his fellow bishops as authors of the letter.

Church resignations put pressure on Speyer diocese

Markus Magin, Vicar General of Speyer, sees the Diocese facing massive savings also because of increasing church departures. "The target of the diocesan tax council was to reduce the diocesan budget by 30 million euros by 2030. That is a huge challenge," Magin said. He expects "cuts and painful processes".

More and more people leaving the church in the Palatinate

An earlier forecast had shown that the number of church members in the diocese could drop to half by 2060. This was "still optimistic", it said on Monday. The dynamics would be faster. On the subject of coming to terms with sexual abuse, Magin said he expected the planned research project to be awarded soon. Content and legal questions have been clarified, he said, and data protection is still an issue. "We are consistently working on what happened," Magin said. The Independent Processing Commission for the Investigation of Sexual Abuse in the Diocese of Speyer is responsible.



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