A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER: The naked pressure tactics on display at the most recent gathering of the German ‘Synodal Path’ are completely alien to the healthy functioning of a collegial and fraternal Church — essentially, they betray the concept of synodality itself.
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NEWS ANALYSIS: The assembly in Frankfurt on Saturday concluded under a cloud.
‘Synodal Way’ Votes to Establish Permanent ‘Synodal Council’ to Oversee Church and Dioceses in Germany
President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who was bishop of the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart from 1989 to 1999, said the German process had invited comparisons to communist structures in the Soviet Union.
The outcome of the vote on Sept. 8 led to emotional outbursts in the Frankfurt venue, with some participants accusing the bishops of not speaking out before voting against the proposed text.
Critics have drawn comparisons to communist Soviets and accused the process of reinventing existing Protestant structures.
Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary-general for the Synod of Bishops, said he disapproved of the style: ‘I think a fraternal correction and dialogue is very positive. But why a public denunciation? It doesn’t help. It only polarizes further.’
‘I think the Synodal Way was doomed from the start; it’s just that its initiators haven’t realized it yet,’ he told EWTN Vatican/CNA Deutsch, adding, ‘It is a so-called reform with a crowbar.’
By criticizing the procedure — but not the substance — of the Church in Germany’s push for radical departures from Catholic teaching, this week’s Vatican statement left deeper concerns unaddressed.
Organizers accused the Vatican of a lack of willingness to communicate, as others welcomed the Holy See intervention.
A working translation in English, provided by CNA