German dioceses push ahead with lay leadership, ignoring Vatican
May 19, 2023
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CWN Editor's Note: German dioceses are moving forward with plans to establish governing boards that include lay leadership, despite Vatican warnings against such plans.
“Our ‘Rottenburg Model’ is not up for discussion,” said Bishop Gebhard Fürst of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, referring to a proposal for lay representation in all diocesan governing bodies. He said the plans were “a clear consequence of the Second Vatican Council.”
In Osnabrück and Paderborn, Church leaders are also setting up governing boards that include lay Catholics. In Osnabrück, whose Bishop Franz-Josef Bode resigned in March, a panel of nine priests and nine lay people is assessing the future of the diocese.
The Vatican has cautioned that such panels violate the principle that the bishop, as successor to the apostles, has the sole ultimate responsibility for setting diocesan policies.
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