Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Edward is the author of “The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family”, published by Ignatius Press. Follow him on Twitter @edwardpentin
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"
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
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)
Msgr. Markus Graulich SDB, prelate auditor of the tribunal of the Roman Rota
Marco Impagliazzo, President of Sant’Egidio lay community
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)