Cardinal Walter Kasper, a German theologian considered close to Pope Francis, in June 2022 warned that the German process is at risk of “breaking its own neck” if it does not heed the objections raised by a growing number of bishops around the world.
In April, more than 100 cardinals and bishops from around the world released a "fraternal open letter" to Germany's bishops, warning that sweeping changes to Church teaching advocated by the process may lead to schism.
In March, an open letter from the Nordic bishops expressed alarm at the German process. In February, a strongly-worded letter from the president of Poland’s Catholic bishops' conference raised serious concerns.
The president of the German bishops' conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, has repeatedly rejected any and all concerns, instead expressing disappointment in Pope Francis in May 2022.
More recently, another organizer of the German process said the “Synodal Way” wanted to change the Church’s teaching on homosexuality by proposing “a conscious statement against the current Catholic catechism."
He pointed to a text which not only contained comments about changing views on homosexuality but also about masturbation, marriage, sexual lust, and other related topics pertinent to Catholic doctrine.
In the statement published in July, the Vatican repeated a passage from the pope’s letter published in 2019, wherein Francis had warned — in German — of particular Churches being “separated from the entire ecclesial body," adding that in such instances “they would weaken, rot and die.”
The members of the "Synodal Way" will meet Sept. 8-10 for what is now the fourth synodal assembly in Frankfurt, CNA Deutsch reported.
AC Wimmer is founding Editor-in-Chief of CNA Deutsch. A former senior executive with public broadcaster SBS and graduate of the University of Melbourne and Monash University (Australia), he has worked as a journalist across the globe. Before joining EWTN News, the Australian with Bavarian roots was Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Munich.