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German Catholic Women Fight Against the Synodal Way

Maria 1.0 – Press release

The storm is coming –
it’s getting uncomfortable on the Synodal Way

On the day before the start of the fifth Synodal Assembly, the future looks stormy. One rubs one’s eyes in bewilderment when one looks at the initial situation of the coming days: the Holy Father himself forbade the founding of a “synodal council”, the very body that was to be one of the main results of the synodal journey.

“It was precisely this point that the papal ambassador to Germany inculcated once again in the German Bishops Conference only last week, and is thus in continuity with numerous statements by the Holy See on the German synodal path,” says Clara Steinbrecher, spokesperson for the Maria 1.0 initiative.

“But instead of taking these stop signs seriously, the criticism is rejected as methodologically wrong, presented as incomprehensible and ultimately ignored as encroachment,” she continues.

Bishop Bätzing, in his desperation, tried to save what could be saved by having the Bishops’ Conference draft “smoothed” texts as an alternative, which would be more likely to find an episcopal majority than those drafted so far from the individual forums, so that there would not be a similar or even worse éclat as at the last Synodal Assembly on the evening of the first day of the session, when one of the texts was rejected.

Irme Stetter-Karp (head of the ZdK, the Central Committee of German Catholics), however, immediately blocked off and explained that these texts could not be taken into consideration so late now because the statutes did not allow it. The Synod member, Gregor Podschun (BDKJ, League of German Catholic Youth), then clarified that the statutes did allow this and that it had already been practised in this way.

Clara Steinbrecher, head of Maria 1.0, noted that even in the liberal camp there is apparently no agreement on how the Synodal Way should continue and how the desired reforms can still be implemented without losing the episcopal majorities or the renewed threat of an episcopal blocking minority. Among the defenders of the Synodal Way, one thing is particularly striking: the constant clarification that one wants to comply with the applicable law and also does not want to touch the decision-making competence of the individual bishops.

All these corrections take up the topic of “changing the hierarchy”. But in doing so, the two other issues that are just as worrying fall by the wayside, namely the change of doctrine and morals. On this, the Vatican made it unequivocally clear last year, and this clarification remains:

The ‘Synodal Way’ in Germany has no authority to oblige bishops and the faithful to accept new forms of governance and new orientations of doctrine and morals.

Maria 1.0, on behalf of many Catholics in our country, calls on all synodal members to resign their mandate and to stop thinking about perpetuating or continuing anti-clerical goals and committees.

Editor’s note: on the above cited interaction with the Holy See, see our reports last year (here and here).

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