Full Text of Statement by the Holy See on German ‘Synodal Way’

A working translation in English, provided by CNA

A view of the facade of St. Peter's Basilica is seen from the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican.
A view of the facade of St. Peter's Basilica is seen from the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican. (photo: Lauren Cater / CNA)

The Holy See intervened in the German “Synodal Way” on July 21, warning of a “threat to the unity of the Church.” 

Below is the full text of the statement in a working translation in English, provided by CNA:

“In order to safeguard the freedom of the People of God and the exercise of the episcopal ministry, it seems necessary to clarify that 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. 

“It would not be lawful to initiate in the dioceses, prior to an agreed understanding at the level of the universal Church, new official structures or doctrines, which would constitute a violation of ecclesial communion and a threat to the unity of the Church. In this sense, the Holy Father called to mind in his letter to the pilgrim People of God in Germany: The universal Church lives in and of the particular Churches, just as the particular Churches live and flourish in and from the universal Church. If they find themselves separated from the entire ecclesial body, they weaken, rot and die. Hence the need always to ensure communion with the whole body of the Church."[1] Therefore, it is desirable that the proposals made by the Particular Churches in Germany may be incorporated into the synodal process on which the universal Church is undertaking, in order to contribute to mutual enrichment and to bear witness to the unity with which the Body of the Church manifests its fidelity to Christ the Lord.”

1] FRANZISKUS, Schreiben an das pilgernde Volk Gottes in Deutschland, 9.

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