Bishop Heiner Wilmer of Hildesheim has urged Catholics to be patient in the wake of the conclusion of the Synodal Path reform consultations in the Catholic Church in Germany.
The question of functions and ministries for women in the Church must be clarified in talks with the Vatican, Wilmer wrote in a letter to his staff published on the diocese’s website.
The intention to permit all Church members to hold sermons in Church services should also be discussed at the level of the Universal Church, he wrote. Referring to blessing celebrations for same-sex couples and remarried divorcees advocated by the Synodal Path, the bishop said he welcomed the establishment of a working group on the issue.
In his letter, Wilmer expressed his gratitude for the direction taken by the final plenary meeting of the Synodal Path. “Despite all the controversies, the deliberations have led to numerous new insights,” he said. These must now be brought into the World Synod initiated by Pope Francis, but also locally in the diocese of Hildesheim.
Staying power and cooperation were needed for the necessary Church reforms, he said. “We are currently a Church worldwide with different ideas about the way forward, and at the same time it is our worldwide self-understanding that unity should be preserved.”
The bishop added that he would introduce new leadership models for parishes in his diocese from May. By using the existing scope provided by canon law, management responsibilities in certain parishes would be distributed among several full-time and voluntary staff. This would also increase the proportion of women in leadership roles, he said.
*Originally reported by KNA Germany.