There are 100 cardinals and bishops who warn of the risk of schism in Germany

Jasjot Singh

There are already 100 cardinals and bishops from around the world who warn of the risk of schism in the Church in Germany, due to the course of the controversial Synodal Path in the European country.

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, issues on which they have expressed, publicly and on various occasions, positions contrary to Catholic doctrine.

On April 11, just over 70 bishops, including Cardinals Francis Arinze, Raymond Burke, George Pell and Wilfred Napier, now joined by Italian Camillo Ruini and Chinese Joseph Zen-ze kiunsent a “fraternal letter” to the bishops of Germany to warn of the danger of schism.

Among the 100 signatories, there are also an Argentine archbishop, two Uruguayans, two Brazilians, some from Hungary and also Ukraine, who thus join the prelates of the United States, Canada, Tanzania and Cameroon, among others.

In the letter, the bishops explain that what happens in the Catholic Church in one country can influence others, thus expressing their “increasing concern about the nature of the German Synodal Way process as a whole and the content of its various documents”.

“The seriousness of these observations stems both from the confusion that the Synodal Way has caused, and continues to cause, and from the potential for schism in the life of the Church which will inevitably lead”, warn the bishops.

The prelates express their concern in seven indications that have their roots in chapter 12 of the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans, especially in the warning not to accommodate to the present world”.

Among the concerns of the cardinals and bishops are that “the actions of the Synodal Way undermine the credibility of the authority of the Church – including that of Pope Francis – Christian anthropology and sexual morality, and the verisimilitude of Scripture.”

They also point out that the texts of the Synodal Way “seem much more inspired by sociological analysis and contemporary politics, including gender ideologies” and that it seems to “reinterpret and undermine the meaning of Christian freedom.”

“The Synodal Way shows more submission and obedience to the world and to ideologies than to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior,” the bishops also warn.

In May 2021, priests and pastoral agents of the Church in Germany blessed homosexual couples in an event entitled “Love Wins” in more than 100 places throughout the country, with the support of several bishops such as the president of the Episcopal Conference, Mons. Georg Bätzing, and in open rebellion against the explicit prohibition of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican, published in March of that year.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich, former president of the German Bishops’ Conference and one of the promoters of the Synodal Way, proposed in February the end of celibacy for priests in the Catholic Church.

On March 31, he said that the Catechism of the Catholic Church “is not set in stone” and that one can “doubt what it says.”

Bishops who wish to adhere to the fraternal letter can write to the mail [email protected]

You can read the full fraternal letter at this link

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