CNA Staff, Sep 25, 2023 / 11:23 am
The German Bishops’ Conference convenes its plenary assembly today, setting the stage for what promises to be a pivotal gathering amid a period of unprecedented tension within the Church in Germany — and with the wider Catholic Church.
On the official agenda for the gathering from Sept. 25–28 in the town of Wiesbaden are topics ranging from handling spiritual abuse to preparations for the upcoming Synod on Synodality in Rome.
However, overshadowing discussions are the profoundly divisive issues brought to the surface by the controversial German Synodal Way, particularly the blessing of same-sex unions — an issue that has seen acts of open defiance across Germany against clarifications from the Vatican.
At the center of this maelstrom is Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, archbishop of Cologne, who faces mounting pressure from multiple fronts, including local media — and some clergy: In open defiance, several priests conducted an event blessing same-sex couples outside the iconic Cologne Cathedral Sept. 21.