Delegates of the German Synodal Way on Saturday overwhelmingly passed measures to change Church practices based on transgender ideology and to push the universal Church to ordain women to the sacramental diaconate.
The votes took place on the final day of the process’ concluding assembly, held in Frankfurt March 9-11. On previous days, delegates voted overwhelmingly to adopt same-sex blessings, normalize lay preaching, and ask Rome to “reexamine” the discipline of priestly celibacy.
While the Germans pushed forward with these controversial measures, the assembly held back from crossing a line laid down by the Vatican concerning the establishing synodal councils at the national, diocesan, and parochial levels. The Vatican has said the synodal council model, which involves shared governance between bishops and the laity, is not consistent with Catholic ecclesiology.
The synodal assembly decided to delay voting on the proposal. Instead, it will be considered by a newly established synodal committee over the next three years, while Synodal Way leadership attempts to change the minds of Vatican officials and garner more widespread approval in the universal Church.
At the concluding press conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, president of the bishops’ conference, said that the results give a mandate to the bishops to make some changes in Germany now while pushing for broader reform.
“The Church is visibly changing, and that is important,” Bätzing said.
Irme Stetter-Karp, president of the Central Committee of German Catholics, said the results show that the synodal path in Germany will continue.
“It does not end here. It is just the beginning,” she said.
Observers, including 103 international bishops who signed a letter warning that the Synodal Way could lead to schism, have expressed concern about the heterodox ideas promoted by the process and the effect it could have on the wider Church if the Vatican does not sufficiently intervene.
The implementation text “Dealing with gender diversity” passed with support from 96% of the 197 voting delegates. Thirty-eight bishops voted for it, while only seven voted against it. Thirteen abstained from voting.
Consistent with a pattern running throughout the assembly, there would have been enough votes to block the measure if those abstaining had voted against it. Critics of the Synodal Way say that organizers’ removal of the secret ballot has created a fear-driven atmosphere that has prohibited many bishops from voting freely.
The resolution calls for “concrete improvements for intersex and transgender faithful,” including changing baptism records to match someone’s self-identified gender, banning one’s gender identity from consideration for pastoral ministerial roles, and mandatory education for priests and church employees to “deal with the topic of gender diversity.” Intersex refers to people born with mixed sexual characteristics.
The text also bars “external sexual characteristics” from being used as a criterion for “accepting a man as a candidate for the priesthood,” a measure that could open the door for attempted ordinations of women….
Full story at Catholic News Agency
Germany is prophetically realizing the teaching of St. Irenaeus: “The glory of God is a human being fully alive.”
A fully alive church! Progress. Everyone fully alive and loving each other and helping each other become more fully alive. May God be glorified by all being fully alive in their uniqueness and diversity. Then we will finally be God’s true church.
This is satire, right? I was in Germany in 2005: the only thing deader than the German Catholic Church are the German Protestant Churches.
Dear fully alive, the Protestant Episcopal Church in America has all the characteristics, I believe, that are sought by the German Church. So would you say the Protestant Episcopal Church is God’s true church? And by the way, how do you define “fully alive?” It would seem if everyone is helping one another become fully alive, at least it might be good to know what direction this help takes.
No. St. Irenaeus meant that the Glory of God is man fully alive– in Jesus Christ. That is much different than a man “fully alive” as a mere worldly man, but who has never known Christ. By contrast, the spiritual man who loves Our Lord, becomes transformed in Him, by His grace. And Christ becomes more and more “fully alive” in the spiritual man’s life.
“I have been crucified with Christ: and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” Galatians 2:20
We should just pray for Germany and for those in the Vatican who have to deal with this.
We may know the answer but they don’t and it may take time to work it all out.
So we must be patient.
Pray especially for those who might be misled or for those who might be tempted to leave the Church.
Am I on the Babylon Bee website? Can this really be happening? Maybe I’m having a dream, I mean, nightmare.
The German Synodal Way is not the Catholic Church. It is a few meetings that the bishops of Germany had with others. The resolutions are not binding on any bishop anymore than if the USCCB had meetings with others and passed resolutions.
It is very confusing and is upsetting many Catholics.
The resolutions that passed do not change anything in the Church.
The German Synodal Way is not the “Synod of Synodality” that the whole Church is participating in.
Yet, it undermines the whole synodal process for the Church worldwide. Now many, if not most, are skeptical, even cynical. But, it’s not only the Germans. Some French bishops are “discreetly” rewriting the Catholic Church’s doctrine about homosexuality, according to a recent report by the daily newspaper La Croix.
In what way?