Germany: scandalous deliberations on the synodal road

The document of the Fourth Forum on Catholic Sexual Ethics was awaited with the greatest anxiety. Therefore, the consternation was even greater among delegates, when it turned out that he had obtained a nearly one hundred percent majority, but lacked a qualified majority of 2/3 of the bishops’ votes. There were spontaneous protests in the conference room, some participants cried, others held banners with the words “There is no place for homophobia”. The 21 bishops who voted against were hailed as “brakes” and “sects”, and the president of the episcopate, Bishop Georg B├Ątzing – to the surprise of some of his confreres – announced that the document would be presented to the Pope anyway. The text rejected by the bishops eliminates the biblical teaching about the creation of man as male and female, allowing him to be multi-gender, and also puts marriage on an equal footing with other types of relationships.

After the great scandal, at the very beginning, the presidium of the synodal road ordered a roll-call vote and appealed to the conservative minority to “come out of the shadows”. Bishop of Passau, Stefan Oster, SDB, stated that some delegates, including bishops, did not speak out because their speeches were often met with public contempt.

In such an atmosphere, the German synodal road – despite the opposition of the minority – also adopted a document calling on the Pope to revise the apostolic letter of John Paul II “Ordinatio sacerdotalis”. The voted document argues that there are no theological obstacles to the introduction of the female priesthood. In addition, a text was adopted in which delegates called for a revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church with regard to homosexuality, arguing that homosexual acts are not a sin. In addition, an appeal for the liberalization of church labor law was accepted, arguing that personal marital status (such as divorcees or homosexuals) could not be significant in terms of employment in the Church, including priestly ordination.

The synodal road was created by the German episcopate and the Central Committee of German Catholics, an organization for lay people, in 2019, after huge pedophilic scandals in the local church. It is a format of meetings that involves an expert debate on the division of power in the community of the faithful, a new office for women, the sense of celibacy and the possibility of changes in Catholic sexual ethics.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.