A non-representative survey of 599 Catholic academics in 67 countries has revealed differing opinions on the reform proposals of the Synodal Path underway in the Catholic Church in Germany.
The study was co-financed by the German Bishops’ Conference and conducted among foreign academics funded by money from the Catholic Church in Germany. The results were published in Bonn on Wednesday.
The study addressed the four main themes of the Synodal Path: power and the separation of powers in the Church, priestly living today, women in ministries and offices in the Church, and “life in good relationships”.
Distribution of power
An especially large number of respondents agreed with the aim of strengthening the role of laypeople in the Church to achieve a better distribution of power. The joint participation of priests and non-ordained Church members in the mission of the Church received the strongest support with 62.9 percent approval.
Opinions differed on celibacy and the lifestyle of priests. The proposal that Catholic diocesan priests should be allowed to decide for themselves on their way of life in future was approved by 43.6 percent. The idea of admitting women to ordained ministries also seems controversial: 41.7 percent of respondents agreed.
Divisions were even more pronounced for the proposal that the Catholic Church should re-evaluate its approach to homosexuality: here, only 37.2 percent of respondents voted in favour, and the rejection rate was highest in African countries. For all issues, there were clear differences in the answers depending on the region of origin and gender of the respondents.
Originally reported by KNA Germany.