After the visit of the German bishops to the Vatican, the President of the German Bishops’ Conference, Georg Baetzing, wants to continue to work to strengthen the role of women in the Catholic Church. This is “the central issue for the future”, said the Bishop of Limburg in Koblenz, as the Trier diocese announced on Friday. Accordingly, Baetzing added: “Admitting women to church office must be made easier or the future of the church in our country is difficult to imagine”.
Baetzing went on to say, “We must vigorously defend the concerns that are coming out of Germany.” The accusation from Rome that Germany is following a special path is unfounded, he said. “Processes of a similar kind exist worldwide and the survey carried out as part of the World Synod provided the same topics as our Synodal Path.” The Synodal Path church reform dialogue addresses “the decades-long reform backlog”.
The German Catholic bishops were in Rome from 14 to 18 November for an ad limina visit. During talks with the heads of the Vatican Curia offices, both sides spoke about their sometimes very contradictory views on church reforms. Cardinals Luis Ladaria (Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith) and Marc Ouellet (Dicastery for Bishops) had, among other things, sharply criticised texts of the Synodal Path dealing with church offices for women, Catholic sexual teaching and the rights of bishops.
A majority of the German bishops rejected a moratorium on the Synodal Path reform project, which Ouellet had initially called for. However, the criticism from Rome should be taken into account as the process continues. It is still unclear how exactly the German Synodal Path is to be integrated into the worldwide synodal process initiated by the Pope.
Originally reported by KNA Germany.