German bishops brief Pope on national dialogue
August 15, 2011
Pope Benedict XVI met on August 13 with the leaders of the German hierarchy, for a briefing on a nationwide “process of dialogue and reflection” intended to defuse a crisis of authority for the Church in that country.
The German bishops inaugurated the national dialogue after their annual meeting in September 2010, in response to heavy criticism that arose over the sex-abuse scandal. German Catholicism has also been battered by disputes over doctrinal issues, notably including questions of sexuality and the reception of Communion by divorced and remarried Catholics.
After the August 13 meeting, the German bishops issued a cautious statement indicating that Pope Benedict had been “very interested in this dialogue process,” and “encouraged the German bishops to continue on this road.”
The German bishops’ delegation was led by Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg, the president of the episcopal conference; and Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich.