Action Alert!

The German bishops lead the way—out the church door

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Jun 28, 2022

Undeterred by their own manifest pastoral failure, the Catholic bishops of Germany persist in their confidence that they know how to lead the universal Church to a brighter future—down their “Synodal Path.”

Even after years of steady decline, the latest statistics from Germany are shocking:

  • Nearly 360,000 German Catholics renounced their faith last year;
  • More than 2 million people have left the German Catholic Church in the past decade; and
  • The number of German Catholics regularly attending Mass is less than half the number of those who have left since 2012

Would you take business advice from consultants who had lost two clients for every one they retained? Neither would I. Especially not if the consultants were recommending radical changes.

But the president of the German bishops’ conference is unshaken in his support for the Synodal Path. He tells us that his and his colleagues will “courageously continue on the path the Church has chosen.”

Wait a minute. If “the Church” manifests the will of the people—as the German bishops’ policy proposals suggest—then the path the German Church has chosen in the past decade leads right out the door. Which, come to think of it, is exactly where, according to one very liberal but level-headed critic of the German bishops’ initiative, is exactly where the Synodal Path is leading.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: kcl - Jun. 29, 2022 12:31 PM ET USA

    Not to mention that those who describe their own actions as "courageous" are often anything but ...