The Metropolitan Chapter of the Archdiocese of Paderborn (Germany) announced that the laity will participate in the election of the new archbishop.
“The metropolitan chapter responsible for the bishop’s election is confident that broad lay participation will be possible in the election of the new archbishop,” the archdiocese said June 10.
A Metropolitan Chapter is made up of priests, called canons who form the council or senate of a bishop or archbishop.
Until now, the procedure for electing bishops has followed the Prussian Concordat of 1929. Consequently, both the metropolitan chapter and “the diocesan archbishops and bishops of Prussia present lists of canonically fit candidates to the Holy Father.”
According to these lists, “the Holy See appoints three people for the chapter from among whom it must choose the archbishop or bishop in a free and secret ballot.”
The announcement by the Archdiocese of Paderborn comes after its pastor, Msgr. Hans-Josef Becker, asked Pope Francis on June 10 to be relieved of his duties, after having turned 75.
The resignation has not yet been accepted.
A form has been “decided, according to the specifications of the Synodal Waywhich allows the widest possible participation of the faithful in the search for candidates for the successor of Archbishop Hans Josef Becker within the framework of legal requirements”, indicated the local Church.
The new procedure has not yet been made public.
The rector of the Paderborn Cathedral and who heads the metropolitan chapter, Msgr. Joachim Göbel, said that the first thing to do is to inform those involved and then “present this path in detail to the public.”
The Synodal Way is a controversial multi-year process that began in December 2019 and involves bishops and lay people from Germany to address issues such as the exercise of “power”, sexual morality, the priesthood and the role of women in the Church, topics on which they have expressed, publicly and on various occasions, positions contrary to Catholic doctrine.
Translated and adapted by Diego López Marina. Originally published in CNA Deutsch.