Monday’s unannounced study-day at the Pontifical Gregorian University, organized by the heads of the Swiss, French and German bishops' conferences, was attended by at least nine bishops from those countries.

We publish their names below along with most of those who were also present.

The meeting, which aimed to explore various “pastoral innovations” ahead of the Synod on the Family in October, and reflect on a new “theology of love” that critics say would pave the way for Church recognition of same-sex relationships, was not advertised, even at the Gregorian.

The Austrian Catholic internet site Kath.net reported Wednesday that they had learned, via episcopal sources, that many bishops “not sympathetic” to the issues discussed were “neither informed nor invited to the meeting.”

“Also only a certain ‘elite’ among media representatives were invited,” it added. “Many other journalists from Catholic media from German-speaking countries were not even told about it.”

Matthias Kopp, the long-serving spokesman for the German bishops’ conference who was present at the meeting, told me Wednesday that “high-ranking curial officials” were also invited to the meeting but were unable to make it due to the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops attended by Pope Francis on the same day. Kopp said the study-day was planned before they knew of the synod meeting.

Some of the journalists there reported on the event (Izoard and Ansaldo) and Father Hagenkord of Vatican Radio was a moderator, but that raises the question about the role of the other media representatives present who haven't so far reported on it. Part of the reason may have been because everyone was instructed not to attribute authorship of the statements to the speakers under a kind of Chatham House Rule. But another possible reason may have been because they are to help further the agenda of the reformers before, during and after the upcoming synod.

Another question the study-day raises is who financed it? If, as Cardinal Marx told me, he was there in a private capacity, does that mean German Church tax revenue wasn’t used to finance the meeting? It's unlikely that faithful German Catholics would want their taxes spent on a study-day aimed at Church recognition of same-sex relationships — the new so-called “theology of love”.


Rome Study Day of the presidents of the Swiss, French and German Bishops' Conferences in Rome on the theme of the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops:

"THE VOCATION AND MISSION OF THE FAMILY IN THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD TODAY"

 

BISHOPS:

 

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the German Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop of Munich and Freising

Archbishop Georges Pontier, president of the French Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop of Marseille

Bishop Markus Büchel, president of the Swiss Bishops’ Conference, Bishop of St. Gallen

Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück, Germany

Bishop Heiner Koch of Dresden-Meißen, Germany

Bishop Felix Gmür of Basel, Switzerland

Bishop Jean-Marie Lovey of Sitten, Switzerland

Bishop Bruno Ann-Marie Feillet of Reims, France

Bishop Jean-Luc Brunin of Le Havre, France

 

PROFESSORS/PRIESTS:

 

Father Hans Langendörfer SJ, secretary general, German Bishops Conference

Father Hans Zollner SJ, professor of psychology, vice-rector, Pontifical Gregorian University

Father Achim Buckenmaier, professor of dogmatic theology in the "Akademie für die Theologie des Volkes Gottes" Institute of the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome; consultor to the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization

Father Andreas R. Batlogg SJ, professor of philosophy and theology, chief editor Stimmen der Zeit

Father Alain Thomasset SJ, professor of moral theology at Centre Sèvres, France 

Father Humberto Miguel Yañez SJ, dean of moral theology, Pontifical Gregorian University

Father Eberhard Schockenhoff, professor of moral theology at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany

Father Philippe Bordeyne, professor of theology, Institut Catholique de Paris

 

Professor Thomas Söding, professor of biblical theology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany

Professor Werner G. Jeanrond, theologian, Master of St Benet’s Hall, Oxford, England

Professor François Xavier Amherdt, theologian, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Professor Erwin Dirscherl, dogmatic theologian, University of Regensburg, Germany

Professor Monique Baujard, director, Service National Famille et Société at the French bishops’ conference

Professor Eva Maria Faber, dogmatic and fundamental theologian and rector of Chur Theological College, Switzerland

Professor Thierry Collaud, theologian, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Professor Francine Charoy, professor of moral theology, Institut Catholique de Paris

Professor Anne-Marie Pelletier, biblicist at the European Institute of Science of Religions (IESR)

 

OTHER:

 

Msgr. Markus Graulich SDB, prelate auditor of the tribunal of the Roman Rota

Marco Impagliazzo, President of Sant’Egidio lay community

 

MEDIA:

 

Simon Hehli, journalist, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Tilmann Kleinjung, ARD television correspondent

Michael Bewerunge, ZDF television correspondent

Jörg Bremer, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Vatican and Italy correspondent

Frédéric Mounier, correspondent, La Croix, Catholic daily, France

Marco Ansaldo, journalist, La Repubblica (Italian daily)

Antoine-Marie Izoard, director, I-Media French Catholic news agency, Rome

Father Bernd Hagenkord SJ, director of Vatican Radio (German edition)