German bishop quits synodal forum endorsing ‘polyvalent sexuality’

CNA Staff, May 28, 2020 / 04:32 pm (CNA).- An auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Cologne has announced he is no longer participating in the “Synodal Forum” on sexuality that is part of the “Synodal Path” underway in Germany.

Bishop Dominikus Schwaderlapp told the newspaper Die Tagespost on May 28 that the forum was trying to cast into doubt fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church on sexual morality by referring to sexuality as “polyvalent.”

The forum’s final working paper was operating on the assumption that the teachings of the Church on sexual morality required “further development,” the bishop said, adding that such an approach  did not do justice to the Catholic view of the “divine gift of sexuality.”

Schwaderlapp told CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language partner agency, that whilst he was withdrawing from the Synodal Forum, officially titled “Life in Successful Relationships,” he still would be a participant in the “Synodal Process.”

“Over the last 50 years in particular, the magisterium of the Church has produced precise statements on questions of sexual morality. In doing so it has deepened and developed the teaching of the Church.”

“’Further development’ can never mean destroying what is there, rather it should build on it. In particular, the Holy Popes Paul VI and John Paul II made a binding statement that sexuality, from the point of view of creation, comprises two meanings that are inseparably linked: the transmission of life and the communication of love,” Schwaderlapp told CNA Deutsch.

Members of the Synodal Forum had been expected to accept the basic premise of a “polyvalent sexuality”, the bishop said, which would predicate a change in the Church’s teaching. No general debate of the presented paper been provided for, Schaderlapp said, which led to his decision to renounce his membership in the forum.

Speaking to CNA Deutsch, the bishop reflected on the papal documents Humanae Vitae and Familiaris Consortio.

“These texts are not ‘food for thought’ but magisterially binding documents,” he said.

The bishop expressed concern that the approaches of the “Synodal Way” are missing the real concerns of Catholic people. He asked whether the “existential questions of the people” were really being dealt with in the process.

“Which of these questions are still relevant when we lie on our deathbed and prepare for the encounter with the heavenly judge – hopefully we will do that then? It seems to me that quite different questions are relevant then, for example, ‘How hard have I tried in my life – day after day – to love God and my neighbour?'”

It was not the alleged “clinging to tradition,” he said, that has alienated people from the Church, “but because we [the Church] are too concerned with ourselves and do not give answers to the existential questions of humankind.”

The bishop stressed that it is precisely in questions of morality and identity that the Church “really has something to say.”

Schwaderlapp also offered the view that “the widening gap between the Church’s teaching and the life of the faithful also tells us that the challenging understanding of sexuality as a gift from God has – at least in Germany – in recent years been criminally neglected. This must change, and urgently so.”


If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


  1. May God bless him.

    It seems to me that any bishop who is willingly participating in this shameful forum should be replaced by those who have the decency to refuse to do so.

  2. The kingly “synodal path” weareth no clothes!

    If Bishop Schwaderlapp were to now issue a well-crafted pastoral letter, on his own authority and in collegiality with the universal Church, more German “bishops” could also escape the synodal-path/wide-road into the deepest pits of hell.

    The tissue of lies would evaporate overnight. Sometimes a minority of one is a majority. Russian folk literature offers a proverb: “One word of truth outweighs the whole world.”

  3. A German church that produced Benedict XVI, Cardinals Gerhard Müller, Joachim Meisner, Walter Brandmüller cannot be as devoid of authentic Christian belief as some seem to think. Bishop Dominikus Schwadwerlapp does well to remain in the aberrant synodal process as distinct from the current forum, a needed faithful voice among the Apostates who hold the upper hand in their Conference and Synod. Apostastic endorsers of the sexually disturbed, zealots of unprincipled Liberty similar to many of our nominal Catholic politicians. As with Cardinal Reinhard Marx present Chairman Bishop Georg Bätzing carries the torch for the Pontiff’s new epochal church. A polygonic dismantling of the Mystical Body both in structure and doctrine. Peter Seewald, journalist and confidant to Benedict XVI is writing a book on the former pontiff in which he referenced as previous Benedict’s vision of a reduced body of the faithful, a remnant loyal to Christ. America is not far from the German experience and come November a watershed moment events may move rapidly in Germany’s polygonic direction. Hierarchy, commissioned by ordination as defenders of the faith must become aware of our drift away from orthodoxy, and do well to consider strengthening ties with peers for sake of safeguarding the faithful in anticipation of the coming Storm.

    • Remember,Father, the old saying “God has no grandchildren”. Just because those whom you mentioned were faithful sons, does not mean that those who have come after them have that same love for truth. The truth must be taught, believed and renewed in each generation.

1 Trackback / Pingback


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.