German Catholics insisted their national “synodal way” reform consultation will have an impact on the Church worldwide, as final preparations were completed for the consultation’s first plenary in January. Source: Crux.
“Our bishops’ conference verified the issues – authority, participation, the separation of powers, sexual morality, the priestly form of life, women in church services and orders – and wishes to face these issues, especially because a vast number of believers await this,” said Matthias Kopp, the German bishops’ Bonn-based spokesman.
“The binding nature of the findings will be the responsibility of all those officially involved. Depending on the issue, the Apostolic See or the local bishop will be responsible for their implementation.”
Mr Kopp spoke as a detailed agenda and participation list were finalised for the two-year consultation, which formally opened December 1 with a Mass at the Munich cathedral and the lighting of “synodal candles” across Germany’s 27 Catholic dioceses.
Kopp told Catholic News Service on Tuesday that the Munich Mass, celebrated by the bishops’ conference president, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, had marked the synodal way’s “ceremonial and organisational beginning” and included the appointment of leaders for its four working groups.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for the lay-led Central Committee of German Catholics, which is co-organising the synodal way, said members of the public had been invited to submit three opinions to each of the working groups: “Power, Participation, Separation of Powers,” “Sexual Morals,” “Priestly Existence,” and “Women in Services and Offices of the Church.”
“We face a big task collating them in time for the first plenary, but they’re symptomatic of the many topics and themes to be debated in coming months,” Theodor Bolzenius, spokesman, told CNS.
“It’s important Catholics in other countries learn and understand what our problems are and what we think about new ways of being present in society. Though we can’t take all the decisions, we can raise our voices in worldwide Church discussions.”