Catholic Church in Germany

The Latest

Bishop Georg Bätzing addresses journalists on Sept. 28, 2023.

Germany now a ‘mission country,’ Bishop Bätzing says amid declining Catholic numbers

May 14, 2024

By AC Wimmer

The president of the German Bishops’ Conference has called Germany — a nation whose history is entangled with the Catholic... Read more

Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne attends a German Synodal Way assembly on March 9, 2023.

Four German bishops resist push to install permanent ‘Synodal Council’

Apr 26, 2024

By AC Wimmer

The four bishops, including Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne, instead appealed for unity with the universal Church.  Read more

A smoker in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo from 2018.)

Catholic Church highlights concerns regarding Germany’s cannabis legalization

Apr 2, 2024

By AC Wimmer

Germany legalized the recreational use of cannabis on Monday, April 1, but the debate over the contentious legislation is far... Read more

View of the Vatican from the Tiber

Synodal standoff: German bishops and Vatican commit to resolution roadmap

Mar 23, 2024

By AC Wimmer

The Vatican and the German bishops have announced they will work together to resolve the controversial German Synodal Way.  Read more

The small group of Germans peacefully praying for an end to abortion were accosted March 1, 2024, by some 20 assailants wearing hoodies who shouted in their faces, harassing them, mocking them, insulting them, provoking them, and intimidating them with aggressive behavior.

Pro-abortion activists aggressively harass peaceful pro-life prayer vigil in Germany

Mar 6, 2024

By Walter Sánchez Silva

A lawyer and executive director of 40 Days for Life International denounced a March 1 attack by abortion activists on... Read more

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