This year’s fall plenary meeting of the German bishops is overshadowed by the recent turbulent meeting of the Synodal Way and the abuse report in the Osnabrück diocese with strongly incriminating statements about Bishop Franz-Josef Bode.
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German Bishop, Accused of Abuse, Found to Have Helped Wanted Pedophile Priests Escape to Latin America
The report lists 16 allegations and indications of sexual abuse against Bishop Stehle.
The assembly of the synodal path has voted in favor of documents calling for the priestly ordination of women, same-sex blessings, and changes to teaching on homosexual acts.
Six continents are now represented, an important step for an effort that seeks to build international consensus.
Since the letter's publication, 11 more bishops have added their names.
Thomas Sternberg said it is ‘unfortunate’ that the Synodal Way has received ‘such disruptive criticism’ by Catholics opposed to women’s ordination, same-sex unions and fundamental reform of the Church’s sacramental and hierarchical nature.
The archdiocese said in May that the apostolic visitors would evaluate “possible mistakes” made by its leader, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki.
In his letter to Pope Francis, Cardinal Marx said that the investigations and reports of abuse over the past 10 years consistently showed for him that there had been “many personal failures and administrative mistakes but also institutional or ‘systemic’ failure.”