Catholic Church in Germany

Pope Francis greets altar servers from France. / Credit: Vatican Media

50,000 Altar Servers Headed to Rome for Meeting this Month

Jul 5, 2024

The German Bishops’ Conference stated in a July 2 press release the theme for the 13th pilgrimage is “With You,” an expression taken from the Book of Isaiah.

The Catholic Cathedral of Limburg in Hesse, Germany. / Credit: Mylius via Wikimedia (GFDL 1.2)

400,000 Germans Quit Catholic Church as Talks between Vatican, Synodal Way Continue

Jul 1, 2024

The meeting on Friday resulted in Rome demanding the Germans change the name of the body and agree it cannot have authority over the bishops’ conference.

Bishop Georg Bätzing addresses journalists on Sept. 28, 2023. / Credit: Martin Rothweiler/EWTN Germany

Germany Now a "mission country": German Bishops’ Conference President amid Declining Catholic Numbers

May 14, 2024

The president of the German Bishops’ Conference has called Germany — a nation whose history is entangled with the Catholic Church — a “mission country.”

View of the Vatican from the Tiber / Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA

Synodal Standoff: German Bishops and Vatican Commit to Resolution Roadmap

Mar 23, 2024

The Vatican and the German bishops have announced they will work together to resolve the controversial German Synodal Way. 

Cardinal Pietro Parolin. | Claude Truong-Ngoc via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Vatican Draws Line on Women’s Ordination and Homosexuality in New Letter to German Bishops

Nov 24, 2023

The Vatican has informed German bishops in writing that the ordination of women and changes in the Church’s teaching on homosexuality cannot be subjects of discussion in the upcoming meetings with delegates of the German Synodal Way in Rome.

Pope Francis' general audience of April 19, 2023. | Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Pope Francis Expresses "concerns" about German Synodal Way, Says It Threatens Church Unity

Nov 21, 2023

Pope Francis has expressed deep reservations about the direction of the Catholic Church in Germany.

Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica on Oct. 29, 2023. | Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Full Text: Pope Francis’ Letter Expressing Concern about German Synodal Way

Nov 21, 2023

Here is CNA’s English translation of Pope Francis’ letter to four German Catholic laywomen expressing his “concerns” about the direction of the German Church.

Archbishop Georg Gänswein in St. Peter’s Square on Sept. 25, 2019. | Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

Marian Embrace: Archbishop Gänswein Speaks of Loneliness,Solace in First Public Appearance

Aug 16, 2023

In the bustling heart of Catholicism that is Rome, Archbishop Georg Gänswein once stood as a close aide to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. On Tuesday, the former prefect of the Papal Household found himself seeking solace in a tiny Bavarian hamlet called Maria Vesperbild, which typically boasts a modest population of 34. 

Birgit Mock, a vice president of the ZdK, on July 31, 2023, attacked Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne for admonishing a priest his statements against blessing same-sex unions. | Synodaler Weg / Maximilian von Lachner

German Cardinal Under Fire for Admonishing Priest Over Same-sex Blessings

Aug 1, 2023

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.

The Catholic Cathedral of Limburg in Hesse, Germany. | Mylius via Wikimedia (GFDL 1.2).

German Exodus: Half a Million Catholics Abandon Church in Historic Departure

Jun 28, 2023

The Catholic Church in Germany is facing an unprecedented crisis, with more than half a million baptized Catholics leaving the Church in 2022, according to figures released by the German Bishops’ Conference on June 28. 

Bishop Gebhard Fürst blesses the bell from St. Albertus Magnus in Oberesslingen in front of the church in Żegoty (Siegfriedswalde), Germany, which has now returned to its homeland of Poland. | Credit: Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart/Arkadius Guzy

Ringing in a New Era: The Historic Return of Nazi-plundered Bells to Poland

Jun 26, 2023

This past weekend, a German bishop and a German state premier took part in an initiative to bring bells stolen by the Nazis during World War II to their rightful homes in Poland.

The cross of the German “Synodal Way.” | Maximilian von Lachner / Synodaler Weg

"We want to remain Catholic": Group of faithful in Germany rejects Synodal Way

Jun 2, 2023

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.”

Pope Francis greeted victims of sexual abuse by members of the Church after the general audience on May 17, 2023. The victims arrived in Rome after making a pilgrimage by bicycle from Munich, Germany. | Archdiocese of Munich and Freising

Abuse Victims Share "wounded heart" with Pope Francis After Bike Trek from Germany

May 17, 2023

Pope Francis on Wednesday met briefly with a group of abuse victims who undertook a bicycle pilgrimage from Germany to Rome this month to ask the pope to do everything in his power to heal and prevent abuses in the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Arthur Roche at a Vatican press conference on Feb. 10, 2015. | Bohumil Petrik/CNA.

Vatican Cardinal Intervenes against German Church’s Plan for Laity to Give Homily, Baptize

Mar 30, 2023

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. 

Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of the Diocese of Osnabrück served as vice president of the German bishops' conference from 2017 to 2023. | Courtesy of Synodaler Weg/Maximilian von Lachner

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Vice President of German Bishops’ Conference

Mar 25, 2023

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. 

Pope Benedict XVI during audiences in Vatican in Rome | Marco Iacobucci Epp|Shutterstock

Bells to Ring for Benedict XVI in All Catholic Churches in Germany

Jan 3, 2023

A peal of Church bells will ring out across Germany in mourning for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Thursday, the day of his funeral. 

Bishop Franz-Josef Bode speaks during a press conference on Sept. 22, 2022, following the release of a report that said he mishandled abuse cases in the Diocese of Osnabrück, in northwestern Germany, which he has led since 1995. | Screenshot of YouTube video

German Bishop Must Face Vatican Investigation, Abuse Council Demands

Dec 12, 2022

An advisory body of sexual abuse survivors on Monday called for canonical procedures against the vice president of the German Bishops’ Conference.

Thomas Sternberg speaking at a press conference for the German "Synodal Way" on Sept. 30, 2021, in Frankfurt. | Synodaler Weg/Maximilian von Lachner

German Synodal Way Designed to Create "pressure" on the Church, Founding President Says

Dec 2, 2022

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.  

Pope Francis takes questions from members of the press on the flight to Rome from Bahrain. | Alexey Gotovsky/EWTN

Pope Francis: "We have to keep fighting for women’s equality"

Nov 6, 2022

Pope Francis addressed the fight for women’s equality during a press conference aboard the papal plane to Rome on Sunday.