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70 bishops caution German episcopate on Synodal Path

April 12, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: More than 70 bishops from around the world—most of them from the US—have signed an open letter to the Catholic bishops of Germany, warning of “our growing concern about the nature of the entire German ‘Synodal Path.’”

The letter argues that the German bishops’ plans for radical changes in Church teaching and discipline will create confusion and could cause schism. They argue that the initiative appears to be “largely inspired not by Scripture and Tradition — which, for the Second Vatican Council, are ‘a single sacred deposit of the Word of God’ — but by sociological analysis and contemporary political, including gender, ideologies.”

The letter strongly criticizes the approach taken by the German bishops in their Synodal Path, saying that it is “the work of experts and committees: bureaucracy-heavy, obsessively critical, and inward-looking. It thus itself reflects a widespread form of Church sclerosis and, ironically, becomes anti-evangelical in tone.”

The letter is signed by four members of the College of Cardinals: Cardinals Francis Arinze, Raymond Burke, Wilfred Napier, and George Pell. Also signing are fifteen archbishops and dozens of bishops.

Among the American prelates to sign the letter are Archbishops Charles Chaput, Salvatore Cordileone, Joseph Naumann, and Alexander Sample; and Bishops James Conley, Thomas Daly, Donald Hying, Thomas Olmsted, Thomas Paprocki, Joseph Strickland, and Thomas Tobin.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Apr. 12, 2022 9:04 PM ET USA

    Notice that the 4 cardinals are among the most orthodox in the Church, as are the cited U.S. prelates. A definite sign of fraternal correction. Maybe the laymen won't have to save the Church by ourselves after all.