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New President of the German Bishops’ Conference speaks about the “German” Church

Bishop Georg Bätzing makes no secret of his enthusiasm for the so-called Synodal Way. He mentions it repeatedly. Again and again.

Limburg Bishop Georg Batzing speaks during a March 3, 2020, news conference in Mainz after being elected as the new president of the German bishops' conference. Bishop Batzing succeeds Cardinal Reinhard Marx, pictured at left. (CNS photo/Harald Oppitz, KNA)

Mainz ( Georg Bätzing follows Reinhard Marx. The Bishop of Limburg is taking over the office of President of the German Bishops’ Conference from the Cardinal of Munich. The “new guy” is a protégé of Cardinal Marx, whom he knows very well from their collaboration in their time in Trier. He knows how to speak courteously. And he stands for Marxian continuity. His first press conference right after his election made that clear. Supposedly he was completely surprised and had not counted on being elected—although the day before the Bishops’ Conference met the rumor could be heard that he was the clear favorite, especially of the bishops from Southern Germany.

It is to be hoped that this will prove to be a good choice. The Marx-protégé is backing togetherness. He wants, he says among other things, to speak to everyone, to take everybody seriously, for everyone deserves to be heard. A good start. Actual practice will show to what extent a lived reality can develop in the Church from this theory in principle. For the Church, we may nevertheless hope, is truly predestined to demonstrate—to a society which frequently draws boundaries and excludes, which operates more with overall condemnations than with a tried and true ability to discuss matters—how dialogue works and what makes a real culture of debate possible.

Who can tell right now what Bätzing means when he says that the spectrum of societal convictions is reflected in the college of bishops?! Surely the Bishop of Limburg knows that it is not the primary task of bishops to reflect societal opinions. The standard for those who as pastors are teachers in matters of faith and morals is not even the promulgated opinion, but rather the Son of God, Jesus Christ. By the way, He did not appear in the first statement of the new President. Unfortunately. Instead the President spoke right at the start about the “German” Church—a term which is theologically incorrect but in fact not something conjured out of thin air. Of course from the Catholic perspective that doesn’t exist at all, but rather “only” the universal Catholic Church instantiated as the Church in Germany.

Bätzing made no secret of his enthusiasm for the so-called Synodal Way. He mentions it repeatedly. Again and again. And he is convinced that in that endeavor all the emphases have been placed correctly. The study on abuse showed the way. Strange that not one of the journalists present ever asks whether perhaps there shouldn’t be above all a New Evangelization, or what the new President thinks about the mission work of the Church in (!) Germany. This dimension was entirely lacking—at least during the first appearance of the Conference President.

Meanwhile, in the newspaper Die Tagespost, [a weekly Catholic newspaper with subscribers in several German-speaking regions,] we read:

Bätzing took over as successor of Karl Cardinal Lehmann the presidency of the ÖAK (Ecumenical Working Circle) and was involved in the final redaction of the [Conference’s] just-published study on the Last Supper. He sees in that document an important and practicable step along the way to a visible unity of our two churches [i.e. the Catholic Church and the Lutheran-Evangelical Church], Bätzing emphasized when the document was made public. The bishop indicated moreover that there is no longer any obstacle between Protestants and Catholics to a common celebration of the Last Supper. He says that the discussion now must be brought into the Magisterium.

That too could be exciting and somewhat problematical for the Church in Germany. For until now it was still considered true that, for the valid consecration of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, sacramental ordination to the priesthood is required.

On the day of the election of Georg Bätzing as speaker and moderator of the college of bishops [in Germany], then, several questions arise. But the most important thing is to express a hearty wish for good luck and blessings, so that for the Church of Jesus Christ, who alone is and must remain the valid and true standard for the Church—even and especially in Germany—many blessings and much clarity may be made possible through the work of a bishop who surely means well and, according to his own statements, wishes to exclude no one.

Translated from German by Michael J. Miller

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About Martin Lohmann 1 Article
Martin Lohmann is a German theologian, historian, journalist, and television moderator.


  1. In the interests of “real cultural debate” with the schismatic “German Church” how, exactly, is one still to distinguish between the internecine noise of the “binding Synodal Path” and the legendary intestinal flatulence of the bound-up Huns of yesteryear?

    For example, the synodal path’s certain redefinition of sexual morality—indeed, the elementary rudiments of human plumbing—is certainly not unrelated to the composition of the synod itself—the bishops’ conference within the universal Church is now joined at the hip (only a figure of speech!) with the provincial and radicalized Central (read excentric) Committee of German Catholics (ZdK).

    The awaited noise from the Synodal Soundtrack will be the death rattle of the Catholic Church in Germany. But, the mandatory state/church income tax—with automatic excommunication for non-payment (“apostasy”!)—will prop things up a bit longer for well-positioned.

  2. “although the day before the Bishops’ Conference met the rumor could be heard that he was the clear favorite, especially of the bishops from Southern Germany.”

    The churches in Southern Germany must be in worse shape than I thought.

  3. The “German Church”, brought to you with all the integrity of the people who certify diesel engine emission tests at Volkswagen.

  4. martin luther, the patron saint of the mitres trying to finish off what poor martin tried to do…
    thankfully, they’re headed to the same heretical end as their ‘patron saint’

    • Well said, “jmjt”! The “German” Church is the most willfully failed Church in the entire planet and in all of Catholic History, yet they have the blind arrogance of feeling absolutely superior and “authoritative” to impose their total willful failure on the rest of the Universal Church. How is that even possible?

      German Protestant Founder, Martin Luther, enthroned total humanistic failure as “authority”, “legitimacy” and “holiness”by hiding that total failure behind the Holy Spirit and calling it “guidance” by the Holy Spirit. That’s why now we have an estimated 35,000 Protestant denominational failures that multiply at 10 new ones every week, like a virus. Worship of Failure is highly addictive and spreads faster than any Ebola or Coronavirus, etc.

      What can be more addictive than celebrating your sinful stubborn failures and calling them “holy” and “great for all the world”, de facto turning the latrine of our sins into a “holy” cathedral? Nothing!! Time for us Real Catholics to stop being accomplices of failure and stop the Mediocrity Coronavirus right where it’s starting in Germany. Time for the Political Martin Luthers of Glorified Failure to stop always counting on Catholics to support them!

  5. The Corona virus afflicting Italy said to have originated in Germany .. and thus , hopefully , the fasting declared for today would bless them too , to be set free from the spells afflicting them .
    That could include the ‘error ‘ of tie ups with places/ persons related to divisions and conflicts against The Church , such as through the Icon of Holy Wisdom representing The Lord as a female ( unsure if this is true indeed ) and the effects of such that we see to this day .
    Our Lord came to fill the yearning in hearts to see The Father , since the enemy ploys and efforts are in that very realm ..women can always have the equality of desiring to see The Face of The Father and join The Lord , in areas such as His fasting , also as penance for all unholy soul ties , with any and all who brought errors , into that very realm ..
    To counter any effects of death spirits related traits of denying own Fatherly roles in those around, by the hardening of own hearts to deny the God given role to women would not be the way to set things right .
    The effects of pagan spirits and spells that brought the evils of the not so distant past in that land that might need to be undone as well – again a good means for women to be powerful , by taking up , along with the Holy Father , his long standing devotion to Our Lady , Undoer of Knots as well as to St.Joseph , to help multiply our own efforts of showing gratitude to the Father, for His care and providence in our lives , in such an abundance of ways .

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