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German bishops open to discussion of female deacons, Communion for divorced/remarried Catholics

April 29, 2013

The president of the German Catholic bishops’ conference has expressed a willingness to discuss the ordination of women as deacons.

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg said that the question of female deacons should not be considered “taboo.” He spoke at the conclusion of a 4-day meeting of the episcopal conference.

The archbishop said that the German hierarchy had also discussed the possibility of allowing Catholics who are divorced and remarried to receive Communion. Liberal Catholics in German-speaking countries have lobbied intensively for a change in Church teaching on that subject. Archbishop Zollitsch did not promise that a change would be made, nor did he say when the German bishops would reach a decision on these controversial issues.


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  • Posted by: - Apr. 30, 2013 10:41 AM ET USA

    Your wording here is a bit misleading. There is no "decision" to be reached by the German bishops. At worst, they can make a recommendation, however ill-advised. Bishop Zollitsch ought to reach a decision to retire early.

  • Posted by: Jim.K - Apr. 29, 2013 7:36 PM ET USA

    It seems they have already made their decision! Why else would they even mention these issues that the Church has already spoken on!

  • Posted by: St.John Neumann - Apr. 29, 2013 6:38 PM ET USA

    Look how good it worked out for the Episcopal Church!

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Apr. 29, 2013 6:26 PM ET USA

    The people who don't like the Gospel ethic are always trying to stick the camel's nose in the tent. There was talk years ago of having instituted ministries of cantor, and that bombed because they would be open to women and confused with ordination. And any talk of non-annulled but divorced receiving communion is pie-in-the sky because of the clear words of the Gospel.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Apr. 29, 2013 5:51 PM ET USA

    "...on these controversial subjects?" What controversy? The matter of female ordination is closed and the decision is to follow over 2000 of consistent practice. Where is the controversy there? As for divorced Catholics receiving Communion, many do now. And each time they do, they objectively commit a gave sin of sacrilege. Where is the controversy there except to ask what business German Catholics have lobbying for sinful practices, intensively or otherwise?

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Apr. 29, 2013 5:06 PM ET USA

    Germany used to be home to the most stalwart and faithful Catholics to be found anywhere. What happened?

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Apr. 29, 2013 3:47 PM ET USA

    I was under the impression that we already reached a decision on "these controversial issues." It seems that the liberal side wants to keep "discussing" until it gets what it wants.