The bishop of Muenster, Felix Genn, continues to support the Synodal Path reform process of the Catholic Church in Germany despite criticism from the Vatican.
“Rome has not stopped the Synodal Path in Germany,” Genn told the regional newspaper Westfaelische Nachrichten in an interview. “There was talk of a moratorium, that is, a temporary suspension of the Synodal Path in Germany. But we have averted such a moratorium.”
Nevertheless, there were issues that could not be resolved without the Vatican, he said.
Power, priesthood and sexual morality
German bishops and laypeople’s representatives have been discussing the themes of power, priesthood and sexual morality as well as the role of women in the Church in the Synodal Path consultations launched in 2019. The project was triggered by a church crisis that has lasted for years and was exacerbated by the abuse scandal.
Most recently, the reform process was criticised by the two Curia cardinals Luis Ladaria and Marc Ouellet.
“Structurally abusive organisation”
One of the criticisms voiced by Ladaria, the head of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, was that the talks viewed the Church from the outset as a “structurally abusive organisation”. The cardinals had presented their positions in mid-November during a visit of the German bishops to Rome.
Genn said Pope Francis knew that there were tensions within the church – “as in every family”. The Pope, he said, “sees himself in this field of tension and addresses this clearly”.
Genn added that looking back, the talks in Rome were open and honest. “Neither aggression nor bitterness remain.”
Originally reported by KNA Germany.