German bishops’ leader responds to critics of Synodal Path
March 25, 2022
CWN Editor's Note: The president of the German bishops’ conference has responded to criticism of the Synodal Path by bishops in Poland and the Nordic region.
Bishop Georg Bätzing said that the Synodal Path is “a way of conversion and renewal” in the Church. He said that renewal is essential to the cause of evangelization.
In a response to Polish Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, who had charged that the Synodal Path represents a surrender to popular culture, Bishop Bätzing said that the German bishops’ effort, which calls for radical changes in Church teaching and discipline, is a response to the sex-abuse scandal. In a pointed reference to criticism of the Polish bishops’ handling of abuse complaints, Bishop Bätzing noted that abuse was a topic “which you do not mention in your letter.”
“Only if we address the systemic causes of the unspeakable suffering brought upon people by representatives of the Church” will effective evangelization be possible, the German bishop said. He did not explain how the ordination of women or blessing of same-sex unions would address the “systemic causes” of clerical abuse.
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