Cardinal Woelki is the second German Church leader in recent months to ask Rome to review his handling of abuse allegations.
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The president emeritus of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum says the positions of the bishops on their ‘Synodal Path’ are ‘untenable.’
Despite Pope Francis’ warnings, the leaders of the Church in Germany have refused to back down on their promotion of intercommunion or to change the course on their much-criticized ‘synodal path.’
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) wrote last week to Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the German bishops’ conference, saying that a proposal for a “Eucharistic meal fellowship” would harm relations with Orthodox Churches.
The Church in Germany, which is largely funded through a tax collected by the German government, coordinates a considerable amount of its activity through the bishops’ conference.
The new body is envisioned as having ‘binding’ authority to address ‘key issues’ arising from the sex-abuse crisis, including clerical celibacy and the Church’s teaching on sexual morality.
Chairman of the German bishops’ conference personally apologized for ‘failure and pain’ following an extensive report on abuse of children.
A study commissioned by the German bishops’ conference reports the sexual abuse of thousands of children by priests and religious in that country over a period of 70 years.
A proposal on such ceremonies gained support at a recent conference.
‘As the Catholic Church, we will now increasingly face the challenge of convincingly presenting the vitality of the Catholic understanding of marriage,’ said Archbishop Heiner Koch of Berlin.