Conscious of mounting tensions and open defiance around certain issues, the assembly in Wiesbaden served as a charged prelude to more significant debates.
A German cardinal was publicly criticized by the powerful Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) on Monday for formally warning a priest over same-sex blessings in the Archdiocese of Cologne.
German bishops and representatives of the Roman Curia met in the Vatican on Wednesday to continue discussions started last year about the German Synodal Way.
When asked about the controversy surrounding his recent appointment as the Vatican’s doctrinal chief, Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández responded: “I will do it ‘my way.’”
Birgit Kelle, spokeswoman for the German lay group Neuer Anfang (New Beginning) in a May 29 interview with EWTN Noticias explained that its members reject the Synodal Path initiated by the Church in Germany because they want to “remain Catholic.”
The Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has intervened against the implementation of resolutions of the German Synodal Way that demand lay people should be able to regularly baptize and preach the homily at Holy Mass in churches across Germany.
Pope Francis accepted the resignation of a German bishop on Saturday who played a key role in the German Synodal Way and had come under pressure over his handling of clerical sexual abuse in his diocese.
The German Synodal Way has voted to adopt “implementation texts” related to same-sex blessings, lay preaching during Mass, and a request for Pope Francis to reexamine the discipline of priestly celibacy in the Latin-rite Catholic Church.
Despite repeated warnings from the Vatican, a letter by the president of the German Bishops’ Conference published Wednesday confirms that plans for a German synodal council are progressing.
Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg and Maltese Cardinal Mario Grech made their remarks in the wake of the recent European Continental Assembly in Prague.
In an interview published Wednesday, Pope Francis decried the German Synodal Way as elitist, unhelpful, and running the risk of bringing ideological harm to Church processes.
The German Synodal Way was designed from the outset to avoid legal sanctions while simultaneously creating “pressure” on the Church to change Catholic teaching, one of the founders of the process told German media Friday.
The Vatican on Thursday published the full wording of its latest warnings over another schism coming out of Germany, raising fundamental concerns and objections against the Synodal Way.
Pope Francis received the German bishops at the Vatican on Thursday.
Amid ongoing concerns over the German Synodal Way, the president of the German Bishops’ Conference on Monday at the Vatican said unity and renewal in the Catholic Church was “truly not an easy task.”
Pope Francis returned to Rome on Saturday after a week-long trip to Canada. During the July 24 to 30 trip, the pope visited Edmonton, Québec, and Iqaluit on what he called a “penitential pilgrimage” to apologize to the country’s indigenous communities.
The Vatican has issued another warning of a new schism from Germany coming out of the “Synodal Way”.
Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, president of the German bishops’ conference, responded Thursday to a letter warning the country’s synodal path could lead to schism by defending the process as a response to abuses in the Church.
African Catholic Bishops are among dozens of Church leaders who have signed a "fraternal open letter to our brother bishops in Germany”, making known their “growing concern about” the "Synodal Path" and its “potential for schism”.