“In doing so, the Synodal Way has made itself a farce of a synod.”
The most recent gathering of the Synodal Way took place in Frankfurt, southwestern Germany, on Sept. 30-Oct. 2.
The event was the second meeting of the Synodal Assembly, the supreme decision-making body of the Synodal Way.
The assembly consists of the German bishops, 69 members of the powerful lay Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), and representatives of other parts of the German Church.
The meeting ended abruptly following votes in favor of a text endorsing same-sex blessings and a discussion of whether the priesthood is necessary.
Kasper said in June that he was “very worried” about the direction of the Synodal Way, which is not a synod in the traditional sense but rather “a sui generis [unique] process,” according to the German Cardinal Reinhard Marx.
“I have not yet given up hope that the prayers of many faithful Catholics will help to steer the Synodal Way in Germany on Catholic tracks,” Kasper remarked.
In September, he praised a text presenting an alternative to the document dedicated to the way power is exercised in the Church endorsed by members of the Synodal Way.
In his address at the online study day, Kasper said that the root meaning of the word “hierarchy” pointed to the rule of the Holy Spirit, rather than that of hierarchs.
“Power does not emanate from the people, nor is the bishop master of the synod,” he said.
Christian leadership does not consist of commanding others, he added. Leaders are instead called “to inspire, to motivate, to exemplify the spirit of the Gospel.”
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“At the diocesan level, the establishment of synodal structures is already possible today. In some dioceses there have been good approaches to this for a long time, without a Roman cock ever crowing,” he concluded.
“The Synodal Way should therefore concentrate on what is already possible and also necessary in Germany today, instead of dealing with projects that can only lead to new frustrations.”