Catholic bishops adopt statutes for synodal committee

Catholic bishops adopt statutes for synodal committee Matthias Kopp, spokesman for the German bishops' conference, is pictured in Stuttgart Sept. 13, 2013. (CNS photo/Harald Oppitz, KNA) See GERMANY-CATHOLICS-SYNODAL-WAY Dec. 10, 2019.
The tug-of-war is over: The reform dialogue of the Catholic Church in Germany can continue in the Synodal Committee. However, the concerns in the Vatican are likely to remain for the time being.

Bonn (KNA) The last formal hurdle for the continuation of the reform dialogue of the Catholic Church in Germany has been overcome: The Catholic bishops have also approved the statutes for the Synodal Committee. As the spokesperson of the German Bishops’ Conference, Matthias Kopp, confirmed on Wednesday in Bonn in response to an enquiry, the Standing Council of the Bishops’ Conference, to which the local bishops of all 27 dioceses belong, adopted the statutes at its meeting in Würzburg on Monday. The Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), as co-sponsor, had already adopted the statutes in November.

Originally, the bishops were supposed to approve it at their spring plenary assembly in February. Due to a new letter from the Vatican criticising the project, the item was removed from the agenda. However, at a meeting between representatives of the Bishops’ Conference and high-ranking Vatican representatives in March, a premature end to the German reform dialogue was prevented.

The Synodal Committee will hold its second meeting on 14 and 15 June in Mainz. It is a result of the Synodal Path to the Future of the Catholic Church in Germany launched by bishops and laypeople in 2019. Among other things, it is intended to prepare the establishment of a Synodal Council by 2026, in which bishops and laypeople would jointly discuss and decide on important internal church issues in Germany. The Vatican has repeatedly rejected this because it sees it as a possible violation of canon law and the doctrine of the Church as a hierarchy in which the bishops and the Pope have ultimate responsibility.