German Synodal Way

Bishop Stefan Oster. | Credit: Diocese of Passau

German Bishop Says Divisions within Local Church are a "disaster for the faithful"

Nov 30, 2023

Bishop Stefan Oster did not shy away from identifying profound theological disagreements as the source of division within the Church in Germany.

Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, Germany, (left) and Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki of Poznań, Poland. | Credit: Bistum Limburg/ / Bistum Limburg/

Confronting Controversy: German-Polish Bishops’ Dialogue Highlights Synodal Way Tensions

Nov 28, 2023

A public dispute between the German Bishops’ Conference president and his Polish counterpart took another turn on Monday.

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.

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

The Vatican’s Statements on the German Synodal Way: A Timeline

Nov 21, 2023

Tuesday was not the first time Pope Francis and the Vatican have expressed reservations about the German Synodal Way.

Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, Germany at the Synod on Synodality press briefing Oct. 21, 2023. | Credit: Daniel Ibáñez

Church should not ignore "signs of the times": German Synod Delegate

Oct 21, 2023

Bishop Overbeck cites Germany's "post-secular" context amid Synod's discussions on "decentralization."

Archbishop Faustino Armendáriz of Durango, Mexico. | Credit: Archdiocese of Durango

"It’s a challenge to seek the will of God" at Synod on Synodality, Synod Delegate Says

Oct 20, 2023

The archbishop of Durango, Mexico, Faustino Armendáriz, commented that “it’s a challenge to seek the will of God” at the Synod on Synodality.

Synod on Synodality delegates seated at discussion tables inside Paul VI Hall at the Vatican in October 2023. | Credit: Daniel Ibáñez | CNA

Synod on Synodality 2023: Work Begins on the Final Text as Second Week Wraps up

Oct 14, 2023

The past week risked being overshadowed by a letter about the German Synodal Way shared with Synod participants by Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg.

A blessing service at St. Augustin Catholic church in Würzburg, Germany, for couples, including those of the same-sex, May 10, 2021. | Gehrig/CNA Deutsch.

TIMELINE: What has the Catholic Church said about Same-sex "blessings"?

Oct 9, 2023

Here’s a timeline of how the controversy over same-sex blessings has unfolded.

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

German Bishops Conclude Tense Gathering with all Eyes on Synod on Synodality in Rome

Sep 29, 2023

Conscious of mounting tensions and open defiance around certain issues, the assembly in Wiesbaden served as a charged prelude to more significant debates.

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.

Bishop Georg Bätzing watches ZdK president Irme Stetter-Karp speak at the "Synodal Way" assembly in Frankfurt, Germany, Sept 8. 2022. | Synodaler Weg / Maximilian von Lachner

Vatican and German Bishops Discuss Theological Questions from Synodal Way

Jul 27, 2023

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.

Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, pictured here in 2014, is the archbishop of La Plata, Argentina. He will take up his new post as prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith in September 2023. | Daniel Ibanez/CNA

"I will do it my way": Newly Appointed Head of Doctrine of Faith Dicastery

Jul 6, 2023

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.’”

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.”

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. 

Delegates at the fifth assembly of the German Synodal Way, meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, on March 10, 2023, applaud after the he passage of a measure to establish official blessings for same-sex sexual relations. The motion passed with only 14 of 202 delegates opposing. | Jonathan Liedl/National Catholic Register

German Synodal Way Approves Same-sex Blessings, Lay Preaching, Celibacy Reexamination

Mar 10, 2023

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 "no" from Vatican, German Bishops Moves Forward with Plans for Synodal Council

Mar 1, 2023

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, archbishop of Luxembourg (left) and Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops / Daniel Ibáñez/CNA

"We need time", Synod on Synodality Organizers Tell German-language Media

Feb 14, 2023

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.