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Vatican cardinal, unwelcome in Germany, cancels visit

October 04, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Dicastery for Christian Unity, cancelled plans for a visit to Germany, after the president of that country’s episcopal conference said that he would not be welcome because of his criticism of the German Synodal Path.

Bishop Georg Bätzing, the president of the German bishops’ conference, had demanded an apology from Cardinal Koch, after the Swiss prelate, in a June speech, said that the Synodal Path was an unacceptable break from Catholic tradition, and observed that a similar bid to find “new sources” for Christianity had occurred in the “German Christian” movement that supported Hitler.

Responding to Bishop Bätzing’s demand for an apology, Cardinal Koch said that he did not intend to compare the Synodal Path with the Nazi movement, but he stood by his argument that it was “frightening” to see the current movement look for new foundations for Christianity, outside Scripture and Tradition.

After Bishop Bätzing reiterated his complaint, organizers of an ecumenical conference at which Cardinal Koch had been scheduled to speak announced that the cardinal had withdrawn “for security reasons.” A local pastor reported threats of violence.

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