My Favorite Story: German Catholics’ Devotion
Catholicism in Germany is about so much more than the Synodal Way.
My journalistic highlight of 2023 was undoubtedly my two-week reporting trip to Germany in March. I attended the final assembly of the controversial Synodal Way and saw up close and personal just how problematic this initiative is. I also learned an immense amount about the unique structural and theological challenges that have led to this moment in German Catholic history, like the Kirchensteuer and Germany theology’s elitist tendencies (Am dutschen Wesen mag die Welt genesen).
By being on the ground, I also developed a thick network of contacts who keep me abreast of any developments and what to expect with the Synodal Way moving forward, especially as Rome gets more involved. I’ve been able to do some ongoing analysis and reporting based off of these insights gained.
But during my time in Germany, I encountered many Catholics who are trying to stay faithful and hopeful in spite of the Synodal Way crisis. I witnessed New Evangelization efforts in Bavarian Passau, embedded with some gritty street apostolates in post-Christian Berlin, and learned about a renewal of Catholic theology in Cologne. I saw spiritual oases everywhere from Augsburg to Aachen.
The experience changed my perspective. It helped me realize that Catholicism in Germany is about so much more than the Synodal Way. Yes, there are real problems in Germany, and they need to be dealt with. But there are also faithful Catholics who deserve our prayers and support. And I’m proud that I’ve been able to share some of their experience with the wider Catholic world through my reporting.
- german catholic church