Bishop criticises "hermeneutics of suspicion" of the Synodal Path

Arguments and thoughts were often not developed further and to his regret the harsh tone was often not criticized by the moderator: Bishop Franz Jung criticizes the culture of discussion along the Synodal Path.

The Würzburg bishop, Franz Jung has again criticized the culture of discussion in the Synodal Path. Arguments and thoughts were often not developed further, Jung said, according to his press office on Sunday. The Bishop perceived a "hermeneutics of suspicion". Apparently, it was often more about an exchange of blows, and to his regret, the often sharp tone was often not reprimanded by the moderator. The participants perceived each other in their own state of mind and responsibility. "It was a room full of injuries," said the Bishop.

Jung added that as a result, church-political compromises were more likely to have come about, instead of all those involved really having reached a new level of insight. "Spirit-wrought unity comes about differently and is probably more fruitful and lasting in the end," said the bishop.

Challenging way of working

He found the working method of the synodal path challenging. One of the reasons for this was that the plenum was not aware of the discussion from the synodal forums. The quantity and legibility of the texts also made preparation difficult. Nevertheless, the bishop summed up the synodal path as "a valuable encounter between bishops and non-bishops on an equal footing" and an "important practice of a synodal culture".

A week ago, after the conclusion of the last General Assembly of the Synodal Path, Jung declared that the culture of discussion had to be improved. Among other things, the Synodal Assembly decided to set up a Synodal Committee, in which all 27 German local bishops should move. The body is to prepare a synodal council as a permanent body for joint consultation and decision-making by bishops and lay people in Germany. At the beginning of the year, the Vatican sent a stop signal against such advice after being written to by five German bishops.

Jung already spoke on Friday evening at the spring plenary assembly of the Diocesan Council of Catholics in the Würzburg retreat house of Himmelpforten. The Diocesan Council is the highest lay Catholic body in the Diocese.


"Non in dialectica complacuit Deo salvum facere populum suum."

"It is not the will of God to save his people through disputation."  Saint Ambrose