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.
When the German bishops launched the initiative, they initially said that the deliberations would be "binding" on the German Church, prompting a Vatican intervention.
In his address, recorded by EWTN - Katholisches TV and reported by CNA Deutsch, the archbishop of Cologne said that the push for female ordination seemed to be a response to the perception that the exclusion of women from ordained offices was "hurtful and unjust."
"Certainly an answer must be found to this reality of life, but not against revelation," he said.
He explained that the "reality of life" that had led to the "Synodal Way" in the first place was the damage to the Church's credibility in the wake of the clerical sexual abuse scandals. But he said that the draft texts did not reflect this.
"If only a marginal paragraph is devoted to this problem [of damaged credibility], I cannot deny the suspicion that this reality of life seems to be only a vehicle to make long-cherished wishes come true," he said.