CV NEWS FEED // The German Bishops and the lay Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) announced the formation of six groups to discuss topics such as “gender” and the role of women in the Church as part of the controversial “synodal way” process.
The synodal way is purportedly intended to encourage dialogue between Catholic clergy and lay Catholics. As the process has unfolded, however, it has become evident that its leaders are angling to reject certain doctrines of the Church.
After the conclusion of the first three years of the synodal way, the six new groups will meet for another three years as part of the synodal committee. Next, they will hold a synodal council. Each group will discuss a different topic assigned to them by the German Bishops and ZdK. It is unclear who will make up these groups, how they will form, or how they will be funded.
Here is a breakdown of what each group is designated to cover:
“The statement said that the six working groups would ‘develop proposals for the tasks assigned jointly in the resolutions of the German bishops’ conference and the ZdK,’ doing so ‘in a reasonable time and with the involvement of existing structures,’” Pillar Catholic explained.
But many details about the groups remain hazy. The groups cannot receive financial support from the common fund of the Association of the Dioceses of Germany because that would require a unanimous vote and four bishops vetoed it. The statement indicated that the remaining bishops sought funding through other avenues.
“I do not deny that there is a risk of schism, but I trust that, with God’s help, it can be overcome,” said former Vicar of the Diocese of Rome Cardinal Camillo Ruini.
Pope Francis himself has warned Germany of the path that they are on. He reminded the German bishops that the synodal way “does not have the power to compel the bishops and the faithful to adopt new ways of governance and new approaches to doctrine and morals.”
Many have expressed concern over the topics discussed in the synodal way. “It is easy to see that these themes do not only affect the Church in Germany but the universal Church and – with few exceptions – cannot be the object of the deliberations or decisions of a particular Church without contravening what is expressed by the Holy Father in his letter,” wrote Archbishop Filippo Iannone, head of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.
The Church desires first and foremost to bring humanity to the person of Christ as one unified body. The steps that the German bishops have taken in their synodal way jeopardize this unity.