The Catholic bishop of Wuerzburg, Franz Jung, has called for the Synodal Path reform project in Germany to be examined and evaluated.
Such an assessment should not only address the implementation of decisions, Jung said on Monday evening in Wuerzburg in the German state of Bavaria. Bishops and laypeople would have to deal with the question of how to engage with one another in a good way, he added. There was still enough time for this.
A Synodal Committee on the continuation of the controversial reform project is to begin its work in autumn to prepare the establishment of a joint governing body for the Catholic Church in Germany. Major reservations about the plan have been voiced by Rome as well as by some of the German bishops. The project has also been criticised by bishops’ conferences in other countries.
Jung said he would not venture to predict whether all German bishops would take part in the Synodal Committee. If some were to refuse to cooperate, “that would be a massive weakening”. This needed to be discussed in the German Bishops’ Conference. Much would also depend on the position of the Central Committee of German Catholics, which represents Catholic laypeople, on this issue.
The issue of a statute for the planned body would also be a factor, the bishop added. He recommended that following the recent intervention from Rome, “we should not immediately go back to confrontation”. He added: “There is a window now to talk to Rome”.
Jung said assessments of the Synodal Path so far differed widely. “There was considerable disruption from different directions, very many emotions and also many wounds.” No good progress was possible unless that was reflected on.
The bishop of Wuerzburg stressed that it was very important to him that the German bishops arrived at a common position. “But I don’t know if we can manage that”.
Turning to the repeatedly discussed issue of power in the Church, Jung said that he as a bishop was prepared to give up power and thus also responsibility. But if he did so, “I don’t want to be hanged for it”.
The German Bishops’ Conference and the Central Committee of German Catholics launched the Synodal Path reform project in response to the Church abuse scandal. The main reform issues discussed were sexual morality, the priestly way of life, the exercise of power and the role of women in the Church.
Originally reported by KNA Germany.