If Germany’s bishops are feeling a little hot under the Roman collar, it’s not necessarily because of the summer heat.
The latest warning by the Holy See about the risk of a new schism from Germany arising from the “Synodal Way” has been rejected and met with “astonishment” by its organizers, who in turn accused Rome of not acting like a synodal Church.
However, at least one German bishop and a reform group welcomed the new intervention from the Vatican, reported CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner.
“In our understanding, a synodal Church is something else!” Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg and Irme Stetter-Karp declared in response to the Vatican’s intervention. “This also applies to the way today’s communication has been handled, which has been a source of astonishment for us.”
They added, “It is not a good example of communication within the Church, if statements are published which are not signed by name.”
While one German prelate, Bishop Bertram Meier of Augsburg, welcomed the statement from Rome, writing the concern for unity was clearly “virulent,” CNA Deutsch reported, the “Synodal Way” organizers accused the Vatican of a lack of willingness to communicate: “Unfortunately, the Synodal Committee has not been invited to a discussion [with Vatican bodies] to date.”
In its statement on Thursday, the Holy See said: “The ‘Synodal Way’ in Germany does not have the power to compel bishops and the faithful to adopt new forms of governance and new orientations of doctrine and morals.”