Catholic Church in Germany

The Latest

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

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 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

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

Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne. Credit:

German cardinal disappointed over staff’s attempts to access pornography 

Aug 21, 2023

By AC Wimmer

“I stand firmly with Pope Francis, who unequivocally condemns [pornography] and warns of its insidious dangers,” Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki... Read more

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, former prefect of the Papal Household, speaks at Maria Vesperbild in Bavaria, Germany, on the solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, Aug. 15, 2023.

Marian embrace: Gänswein speaks of loneliness and solace in first public appearance

Aug 16, 2023

By AC Wimmer

On Tuesday, the former prefect of the Papal Household found himself seeking solace in a Bavarian hamlet. 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

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

Archbishop Georg Gänswein was the personal secretary of the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Archbishop Gänswein’s post-Vatican future beginning to take shape

Jul 18, 2023

By Jonathan Liedl

The longtime personal secretary of Pope Benedict XVI has been given no permanent position in his home archdiocese but is... Read more

Cardinal Reinhard Marx meets with a delegation from the Italian village of Filetto di Camarda in his residence in Munich on July 9, 2023.

Cardinal Marx apologizes for later bishop’s role in WWII massacre

Jul 10, 2023

By AC Wimmer

Before he ascended to the rank of auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising in 1968, Matthias Defregger... Read more

The Catholic Cathedral of Limburg in Hesse, Germany.

German exodus: Half a million Catholics abandon Church in historic departure

Jun 28, 2023

By AC Wimmer

With the highest number of departures ever recorded, several German bishops have expressed dismay over the figures. Read more

Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne. Credit:

German cardinal under investigation: Allegations of perjury prompt search of archdiocese

Jun 27, 2023

By AC Wimmer

The allegations revolve around the accusation that Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki may have provided false testimony about his awareness of... Read more

Bishop Gebhard Fürst blesses the bell from St. Albertus Magnus in Oberesslingen in front of the church in Żegoty (Siegfriedswalde), Germany, which has now returned to its homeland of Poland.

Ringing in a new era: the historic return of Nazi-plundered bells to Poland

Jun 26, 2023

By AC Wimmer

Over the weekend, a German bishop and a state premier participated in an initiative to bring bells stolen by the... Read more

The third Synodal Assembly of the ‘Synodal Way’ in Frankfurt, Germany, on Feb. 4, 2022.

Four German bishops block funding for permanent synodal council 

Jun 20, 2023

By AC Wimmer

In a statement, the bishops said the controversial initiative goes against “the clear instruction of the pope” and would cause... Read more

St. Hedwig's Cathedral in Berlin, Germany.

German Synodal Council challenged ahead of key Berlin meeting

Jun 19, 2023

By AC Wimmer

A prelate in the Diocese of Regensburg said the concept of synodality underlying the Synodal Way isn’t in line with... Read more

Archbishop Georg Gänswein

Vatican: Gänswein to return to home diocese in July

Jun 15, 2023

By Hannah Brockhaus, AC Wimmer

Pope Francis has asked Archbishop Georg Gänswein to return to Germany “for the time being.” Read more

The cross of the German “Synodal Way.”

Group of faithful in Germany rejects Synodal Way: ‘We want to remain Catholic’

Jun 2, 2023

By Walter Sanchez Silva

Birgit Kelle told EWTN Noticias that her association represents “many orthodox Catholics who are concerned about the Synodal Way and... Read more

Archbishop Georg Gänswein was the personal secretary of the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Report: Gänswein ordered to leave Vatican, return to home diocese without new role

Jun 2, 2023

By AC Wimmer

According to a German media report, Pope Francis is following a custom where former private secretaries of deceased popes do... Read more

Pope Francis greeted victims of sexual abuse by members of the Church after the general audience on May 17, 2023. The victims arrived in Rome after making a pilgrimage by bicycle from Munich, Germany.

Abuse victims share ‘wounded heart’ with Pope Francis after bike trek from Germany

May 17, 2023

By Hannah Brockhaus

Fifteen abuse victims arrived in Rome this week from Munich to personally urge the pope to heal and prevent sexual... Read more