CNA Staff, Feb 4, 2021 / 15:00 pm
A German Catholic bishop said on Wednesday that he detected an “authoritarian despotism” in the procedures of the country’s controversial “Synodal Way.”
In an open letter issued Feb. 3, Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg criticized the format of an online conference of the Synodal Way.
He also challenged the Synodal Way’s executive committee to show greater transparency by, for example, making the minutes of meetings available to all participants.
“Perhaps in this way, one could dispel the impression of authoritarian despotism that has at times arisen,” he wrote.
“Such an approach would be a basic prerequisite for a trusting and successful further progression of the urgently needed renewal of the Church in our country.”
The “Synodal Way” is a process bringing together German lay people and bishops to discuss four major topics: the way power is exercised in the Church; sexual morality; the priesthood; and the role of women.
The first synodal assembly took place in Frankfurt in January 2020. The second gathering was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but regional meetings were held in September 2020.
In the open letter, published in full by CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner, Voderholzer offered detailed criticisms of a two-day online meeting of the Synodal Way, which began on Feb. 4.