Cardinal Kasper backs German laity’s effort to block Synodal Path
January 27, 2023
CWN Editor's Note: Cardinal Walter Kasper has given his support to an initiative by German lay Catholics to reject the German bishops’ bid to form a permanent “Synodal Council,” in defiance of Rome.
“I fully agree with the statement of the lay initiative New Beginning (Neuer Anfang),” said Cardinal Kasper. The group had protested a statement by Bishop Georg Bätzing, the president of the German bishops’ conference, downplaying the importance of a letter from Pope Francis warning against the establishment of the Synodal Council.
Bishop Bätzing indicated that the German hierarchy would move forward with the initiative, awaiting clarification. The New Beginnings group insisted that the papal directive itself was quite clear in saying that the Church did not allow for diocesan bishops to surrender their proper authority to a committee.
Cardinal Kasper agreed, saying:
Each bishop was conferred the pastoral office in his diocese at his episcopal ordination in the succession of the apostles. He cannot subsequently renounce the exercise of this sacramentally conferred authority, in whole or in part, by self-commitment to a Synodal Council, without violating the responsibility conferred upon him personally.Cardinal Kasper said that efforts to reconcile the Synodal Council proposal with the bishop’s authority relied on “dishonest and self-contradictory trickery.” The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.
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