Participants in the Synodal Assembly voted on Sept. 30 on 15 amendments to two foundational Synodal Way documents: the preamble and theological orientation text.
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The German bishops’ conference initially said that the process would end with a series of “binding” votes — raising concerns at the Vatican that the resolutions might challenge the Church’s teaching and discipline.
The Synodal Way is a multi-year process bringing together bishops and lay people to discuss four main topics: the way power is exercised in the Church; sexual morality; the priesthood; and the role of women.
COMMENTARY: Pope Francis and the German cardinal clearly intended to communicate something of importance with their public exchange of letters. But what?
The cardinal criticized not only the Synodal Path’s content but also its structure, arguing that it was hampered by a “birth defect.” He said that the process was “on weak legs.”
The Church in Germany is called to follow revealed truth rather than the spirit of the times, George Weigel, biographer of St. John Paul II, has said in response to recent comments defending the “Synodal Way” made by the head of the German bishops’ conference.
Germany’s Catholic bishops are overseeing the Synodal Way — also known as the Synodal Path — in partnership with the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), an influential lay body.
The “Synodal Way” is a process bringing together German lay people and bishops to discuss four major topics: the way power is exercised in the Church; sexual morality; the priesthood; and the role of women.
Bishop Bätzing also said that Pope Francis “did not take a position” on the possibility of ordaining women to the deaconate, which last year’s Synod on the Amazon recommended for further consideration, and that the subject was open for further discussion.