Victims of sexual abuse in the Church have rejected the Vatican’s recent criticism of the Synodal Path reform consultations underway in the Catholic Church in Germany.
“There must be a change of stance in the Vatican as well,” the spokesman for the victims’ advisory board of the German Bishops’ Conference, Johannes Norpoth, told the Cologne church website domradio.de on Tuesday. The criticism voiced by Curia Cardinal Marc Ouellet amounted to a “mockery” of the victims.
Ouellet, prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops, had presented his point of view on the Synodal Path in mid-November during the visit of the German bishops to the pope in Rome. He said the impression was being created that abuse cases were being “exploited to push through other ideas that are not directly related to them”.
Conservative critics had already voiced the suspicion that more liberal representatives of the church were instrumentalising the reform process to push through, for example, the ordination of women to the priesthood against the backdrop of the abuse scandal.
“Nothing understood, nothing grasped,” Norpoth said in response to the accusation. He praised the German bishops for preventing a moratorium of the Synodal Path that Ouellet had proposed. “That means we’re carrying on,” he said.
German bishops and laypeople’s representatives have been discussing the future of the Catholic Church in the Synodal Path reform project launched in 2019 in response to a church crisis that has been going on for years and was exacerbated by the abuse scandal. The main topics of debate are power, priesthood and sexual morality as well as the role of women in the church.
*Originally reported by KNA Germany.