German Synodal Way

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The cross of the German “Synodal Way”

German bishops halt move toward establishing a Synodal Council at Vatican’s request

Feb 17, 2024

By Jonathan Liedl

The bishops were poised to vote on the matter at their upcoming plenary assembly Feb. 19–22. Read more

The cross of the German “Synodal Way.”

German Catholics ask bishops to reconsider Synodal Way plans

Feb 15, 2024

By AC Wimmer

Ahead of a high-stakes gathering of the German bishops next Monday, a lay group warned the prelates of moving “further... Read more

The cross of the German “Synodal Way.”

Critics challenge German Synodal Way in light of abuse study

Jan 30, 2024

By AC Wimmer

A new study looking at survivors of abuse within the Evangelical Church in Germany calls into doubt the narrative that... Read more

Bishop Hans van den Hende walks in Keukenhof park in Lisse, Netherlands, on April 12, 2022.

Dutch bishops offer cautious response to Vatican blessing guidance, bucking regional trend   

Jan 19, 2024

By Jonathan Liedl

The bishops emphasized that any blessings should help people “live in accordance with [God’s] intentions for the creation of man... Read more

Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández.

Cardinal Fernández: Vatican’s same-sex blessings guidance is ‘clear answer’ to German bishops

Jan 3, 2024

By Jonathan Liedl

Members of the controversial German Synodal Way overwhelmingly approved developing formalized ritual texts for same-sex blessings in March 2023.   Read more

A blessing service at St. Augustin Catholic church in Würzburg, Germany, for couples, including those of the same-sex, May 10, 2021.

TIMELINE: What has the Catholic Church said about same-sex ‘blessings’?

Dec 20, 2023

By Tyler Arnold

Here’s a timeline of how the controversy over same-sex blessings has unfolded. Read more

Bishop Stefan Oster.

German bishop says divisions within local Church are a ‘disaster for the faithful’

Nov 30, 2023

By Jonathan Liedl

Bishop Stefan Oster did not shy away from identifying profound theological disagreements as the source of division within the Church... Read more

Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, Germany, (left) and Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki of Poznań, Poland.

Confronting controversy: German-Polish bishops’ dialogue highlights synodal way tensions

Nov 28, 2023

By AC Wimmer

A public dispute between the German Bishops’ Conference president and his Polish counterpart took another turn on Monday. Read more

Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Vatican draws line on women’s ordination and homosexuality in new letter to German bishops

Nov 24, 2023

By AC Wimmer

The letter also warned of potential disciplinary consequences for anyone defying Church teaching. Read more

The cross of the German “Synodal Way”

The Vatican’s statements on the German Synodal Way: a timeline

Nov 21, 2023

By Hannah Brockhaus

Tuesday was not the first time Pope Francis and the Vatican have expressed reservations about the German Synodal Way. Read more

Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica on Oct. 29, 2023.

Full Text: Pope Francis’ letter expressing concern about German Synodal Way

Nov 21, 2023

By Pope Francis

Here is CNA’s English translation of Pope Francis’ letter to four German Catholic laywomen expressing his “concerns” about the direction... Read more

Pope Francis' general audience of April 19, 2023.

Pope Francis expresses ‘concerns’ about German Synodal Way, says it threatens Church unity

Nov 21, 2023

By Jonathan Liedl

Pope Francis has expressed deep reservations about the direction of the Catholic Church in Germany. Read more

Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, Germany at the Synod on Synodality press briefing Oct. 21, 2023.

German bishop at Synod on Synodality: Church should not ignore ‘signs of the times’

Oct 21, 2023

By Jonathan Liedl

Bishop Franz Josef Overbeck cites Germany’s “post-secular” context amid Synod on Synodality’s discussions on “decentralization.” Read more

Archbishop Faustino Armendáriz of Durango, Mexico.

‘It’s a challenge to seek the will of God’ at Synod on Synodality, Mexican archbishop says

Oct 20, 2023

By Walter Sanchez Silva

The archbishop of Durango, Mexico, Faustino Armendáriz, commented that “it’s a challenge to seek the will of God” at the... Read more

Synod on Synodality delegates seated at discussion tables inside Paul VI Hall at the Vatican in October 2023.

Synod on Synodality 2023: Work begins on the final text as second week wraps up

Oct 14, 2023

By Andrea Gagliarducci

The past week risked being overshadowed by a letter about the German Synodal Way shared with synod participants by Bishop... Read more

Bishop Georg Bätzing addresses journalists on Sept 28, 2023.

German bishops conclude tense gathering with all eyes on Synod on Synodality in Rome

Sep 29, 2023

By AC Wimmer

Conscious of mounting tensions and open defiance around certain issues, the assembly in Wiesbaden served as a charged prelude to... Read more

Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki 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, 2023.

German bishops in tug of war over blessing same-sex unions

Sep 25, 2023

By AC Wimmer

Ahead of the bishops’ meeting several priests conducted an event blessing same-sex couples outside the iconic Cologne Cathedral. Read more

Birgit Mock, a vice president of the ZdK, on July 31, 2023, attacked Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne for admonishing a priest his statements against blessing same-sex unions.

German cardinal under fire for admonishing priest over same-sex blessings

Aug 1, 2023

By AC Wimmer

A German cardinal was publicly criticized by the powerful Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) on Monday. Read more

Bishop Georg Bätzing watches ZdK president Irme Stetter-Karp speak at the "Synodal Way" assembly in Frankfurt, Germany, Sept 8. 2022.

Vatican and German bishops discuss theological questions from Synodal Way

Jul 27, 2023

By Hannah Brockhaus

According to a joint statement from the Vatican and the German bishops’ conference, the meeting took place in a “positive... Read more

The agreement between the German Reich and the Holy See in Rome was signed on July 20, 1933.

Hitler, the Holy See, and a historic treaty: The Reichskonkordat at 90

Jul 20, 2023

By AC Wimmer

On July 20, the Church marks the 90th anniversary of a deal made in Rome between Hitler’s Germany and the... Read more