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German Bishops’ assembly discusses the “Synodal Path"

Members of the German Bishops’ Conference take a group photo at the start of their spring plenary assembly in Dresden on Monday Feb 27 2023 (Credit German Bishops’ Conference /Ralph Sondermann/cruxnow)

The German Bishops’ Conference (DBK) held its springtime Plenary Assembly focused on German Church's "Synodal Path” (Synodale Weg)," which is at its final stage.

67 Bishops took part in the assembly from February 27 to March 2 in Dresden.

The Apostolic Nuncio to Germany, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, stressed that synodality in the Church is more "a matter of spirit and style" than "structures" in his welcome remarks to the session on Monday.

“Rather than founding new institutions with the risk of further increasing bureaucracy, it is imperative to revive already existing diocesan bodies, such as the Council of Presbyters, the College of Consultors, the Pastoral Council or the Council for Economic Affairs, in a synodal spirit,” the Vatican representative highlighted.

At a press conference on the same day, Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, head of the German Bishops' Conference, recognizing the process to be complex and not "peaceful", denied the allegations of divisions over the national Synodal Path and that the synodal plans would cause a new schism in the Catholic Church.

“I don’t talk about it (division) because nobody wants it,” Bishop Bätzing insisted.

Before the Synod began on Tuesday morning, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich-Freising, in his homily at Dresden Cathedral, urged having more courage and asked, “Why are we so afraid of what is to come?”

He noted that the German experience with the Universal Church synodal process is only “the beginning of a beginning,” like the Second Vatican Council.

During the meeting, the German Bishops also addressed the current war in Ukraine, World Youth Day in Lisbon, diocesan issues on sexual abuse, and aid to the victims of earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. - With inputs from Vatican News


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