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Turbulent scenes and votes for homosexuality, women’s ordination at German Synodal Way

AC Wimmer By AC Wimmer for CNA

Bishop Georg Bätzing, Irme Stetter-Karp, Bischop Franz-Josef Bode at the “Synodal Way” meeting on Sept. 9 2022 in Frankfurt, Germany. / Synodaler Weg / Maximilian von Lachner

CNA Newsroom, Sep 12, 2022 / 10:00 am (CNA).

With votes supporting changes to the Church’s teaching on issues including homosexuality and the ordination of women, the German Synodal Way concluded its assembly in Frankfurt on Saturday under a cloud.

The three-day event was overshadowed by turbulent scenes and early departures over the handling of contentious issues, reported CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner.

Auxiliary Bishop Florian Wörner of Augsburg told CNA Deutsch he wondered “whether we mean the same thing when we talk about synodality. I continue to perceive an alarming gap between what Pope Francis says about it and what we experienced in Frankfurt. Too often, instead of factual arguments, emotions came into play to create moods and achieve certain goals.”

Wörner warned: “Before taking decisions with far-reaching consequences for the life of the Church in Germany, we should work out how synodality truly works.”

After bishops blocked a pro-LGBT document in a secret ballot on the first day, some disappointed participants protested loudly. Organizers sharply criticized the outcome and implemented changes, including an end to secret ballots. Bishops raising concerns were decried as “whiny” by Irme Stetter-Karp, one of the presidents of the process.

One day later, only eight bishops voted against a document calling for a “re-evaluation of homosexuality.” Another eight bishops abstained from voting, while 40 of the 56 bishops present — more than 83% — supported the document.

More than a vote for ordaining women

On Friday, the Synodal Way adopted a text on the role of women in the Church. The document calls for “fundamental equality of all believers.” It adds this “means placing the question of women’s access to sacramental ministry in the context of the fundamental renewal of the theology of ministry.”

The 32-page-text makes a case for introducing female deacons and proposes bringing to the Vatican the fundamental question of ordaining women.

When it came to the vote, the result was a clear majority: Some 92% of participants of the Synodal Way voted to adopt the text, reported CNA Deutsch. Among the bishops, almost 82% (45 bishops) were in favor of the text, while about 18% voted “no” (10 bishops). Five of the 60 bishops present abstained.

With this being a matter determined for the Catholic Church, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode acknowledged “that would be a very high-level decision and a binding one; but even the highest decisions of [Ecumenical] Councils are historical decisions of the Church.”

Bode is vice president of the German Bishops’ Conference and vice president of the Synodal Way. Speaking on Saturday afternoon at a press conference after the event’s conclusion, he emphasized that even ecumenical councils had a context.

The German bishop told journalists that council decisions, too, “are always made at a point in time in history and there, too, tradition remains alive and we will still have to give the work of the Holy Spirit the space for something to develop. But that’s a question that then, I think, can be addressed by the development of dogma — there is that, there is also dogma history, that’s what people talk about in theology — I would be happy first of all if it were addressed at all in such a broad way. And then we’ll see.”

Gender, ‘non-heterosexual priests,’ and other votes

On Saturday afternoon, three further documents were approved at their first reading: one making a case for normalizing the “situation of non-heterosexual priests,” one about “dealing with gender diversity,” and one dealing with the “proclamation of the Gospel by women in word and sacrament.”

All texts will be considered in second reading at the next (and so far final) synodal assembly in spring of 2023 and could then be officially adopted.

Whether any of the votes of the German process, which is not a synod, will be adopted as Catholic practice, though, is an entirely different question. From its outset, the Synodal Way — also known as the Synodal Path — has come under intense scrutiny and criticism.

This has not dissuaded organizers from moving toward creating a permanent process: On Saturday, participants voted to create a Synodal Council that would permanently oversee the Church in Germany.

At the Frankfurt meeting on Sept. 10, the suggestion won almost 93% of all votes. Only five bishops rejected the document, CNA Deutsch reported.

Having passed its second reading, the call for a Synodal Council is now considered an official resolution of the Synodal Way.

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  1. Hi ho, hi ho, y’all clap yer hands for the German block party! Not synod, but sin-nod…

    Bishop Franz-Josef Bode announces that all things, even ecumenical councils, have a “context!” The “tyranny of relativism” under a new name! The sin-nod apparently would normalize McCarrick’s actively homosexual priests, plus radical secularism’s gender theory, and ordination of women as priestesses (resuscitating what, according to Tacitus, was the “barbarian” German attribution “to many of their women prophetic powers and, as the superstition grew in strength, even actual divinity”).

    Behold, the “fundamental equality of all believers”! The German bubble-universe would define the mythical Procrustean Bed as dogma. If too tall, then vestments to be shortened by a head; if too short, then a stretch on the rack (as Maltese Cardinal Grech literally explains about lengthening moral theology, “to stretch the grey area”).

    And, what about that dead white dude, John the Baptist who, in the presence of Christ, found himself “not worthy to untie the straps of His sandals” (Lk 3:16). Culture-bound reject! Obsolete! Never even heard of today’s high-heeled shoes that don’t even have straps! And what, too, about synthetic polyester pants on the altar? After all, during an earlier Reign of Terror a prostitute, the ordained Goddess of Reason, danced nude on the altar of Notre Dame.

    That went well. And, now, open-collared Bishop Batzing also has a problem…it’s about eating crow and not about a white dove with a German accent:

    “Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful” (Pope St. John Paul II, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, 1994).

  2. A weather vane the German Synodal Way gains momentum bishops falling in line with the trend. Turbulence though welcome is overstated. Surprisingly, perhaps not, Cardinal Kasper offered a powerful theological rebuttal [recent article shown here]; Thomas Aquinas could not have done better [an exaggeration].
    Kasper’s strong arguments, citing both ecclesiology and theology have referential content to themes openly proposed by Synod on Synodality [SS] relator Cardinal Hollerich [member of the three Synodal Francis aficionados including Cardinals Grech and Farrell] though there hasn’t been word in rebuttal from Kasper. Perhaps SS is the more elite corps of the German suicidal march toward a Hazel Motes Church of Christ without Christ as described by some on Flannery’s classic Wiseblood and by some in Germany and without.
    Unfortunately, as much as I’m edified by Cardinal Kasper’s repudiation of the Synodalweg, and here I hope I’m wrong, that he really may be using a foil strategy, downplaying of heterodoxy, while similarly playing the keys ever so expressively in a not uncommon dissonance.

    • In June, Kasper remarked that:

      “there could be no ‘Synodal Council,’ given Church history and theology: ‘Synods cannot be institutionally made permanent. The tradition of the Church does not know a synodal church government. A synodal supreme council, as is now envisaged, has no basis in the entire history of the constitution. It would not be a renewal, but an unheard-of innovation.’”

      Is Kasper actually opposed to a permanent and rolling synod or, by offering this wording, is the same ol’ Kasper deliberately rendering such a thing thinkable and, through a “foil strategy,” advancing the innovative (!) “new paradigm” where a rolling council or process replaces the deposit of faith? As with Hollerich, and with Grech who reassures that they only want to “stretch the grey area” (as in moral theology).

      The orchestration seems abundantly obvious to this reader. Too much like smoke-and-mirror politicians.

      But, as with Councils, synods also are only what the Church DOES, and not what the Eucharistic Church IS. Unless, of course, nominalism and historicism are the new doctrine…as in the still-okay but exploitable Evangelii Gaudium (2013): “realities are more important than ideas; time is greater than space; [and] unity prevails over conflict; and the whole is greater than the part.”

      • You described well what is too evident [despite hope for otherwise] to ignore, never mind dismiss as some do who believe the Church cannot be misguided. All done peripherally and by stealth. What with the agenda of the great Synod orchestrated by Cardinal Hollerich produced by His Holiness and the theater of absurd come to life, should I say come to an abhorrent finale?

    • German Catholicism is no longer recognizable if this Synodalweg represents the majority of Germans, which it appears to.
      “Catholics in Germany seek to remain faithful to the Church’s magisterium. These doctrinally faithful Catholics consider themselves a small minority within Germany. ‘The schism is coming out in all its brutality’, said Bernard Meuser, a founder of the lay group Neuer Anfang” (Ed Pentin NCReg 02.21.22).
      At this critical stage a public admonition to the Synodalweg should be pronounced by His Holiness Francis. The universal Church must hear from him, that this sinful, heretical path will not be tolerated. Otherwise, it will be perceived as an informal approbation of the serious, soul killing errors held by Synodalweg, and its majority supporters in Germany – and elsewhere in the universal Church. Fear of aggravating a break with Rome is no longer an issue – the break is evident. They are not simply in schism, which is defined as an obstinate disagreement on an issue with the Roman pontiff. What’s occurred in Germany is apostasy.

      • Father Morello:
        As an 80-year-old practicing Roman Catholic I am very distressed to find that the spirit of Luther and Calvin are still alive and actively functioning in Germany. I firmly believe that the sitting Holy Father comes only through God Almighty. The Holy Father speaks on behalf of Almighty God, His only Son Jesus our savior and all Roman Catholics here on earth. How difficult is that to accept for ordained mortal men? I am sorry to say that SCHISM, again, is in the air and on the rise in Germany. All that we mortals can do is pray and hope that The Holy Roman Catholic remains intact! However, I do feel revolution within is well on it’s way.
        PRAISE GOD FOR HIS MERCY in this matter!

        • We pray for that Henry, that is all the faithful need to pray for Christ’s Mystical Body, again suffering crucifixion. Tomorrow is the Feast day Exaltation of the Holy Cross. At this trying time Christ calls us to share the bearing of the Cross with Him. A priority intention is to pray and offer sacrifice for those whose souls are in jeopardy, many being misled to believe that what was always judged sin has now become acceptable. This intention gives us a cause to fight for that is purely charitable, and most pleasing to God. It brings interior joy rather than despondency.

    Golden words indeed from the Holy Father ,in the above homily 6 years ago to the date and Feast Day of today , narrating beautifully what encounter is…’Each encounter returns people and things to their place.’ – Thus men and women to be in their place and roles ..
    Encounter which involves compassion,’that returns to each person , their dignity as children of God , the dignity of living ‘, on how ‘every time that Jesus finds pain , a sinner ..he looks at them .. returns them to His Bride ‘.

    Came across recently, in the above the rather surprising words on what false pity that make persons rebel against God’s Holy Will can do as well – given on the meditation of Wedding at Cana –
    ‘ Marriage is the substance from which life of all human generations arise …There are so mnay souls that find themselves filled with passions , weak, afflicted , unfortunate and wretched . Although they pray and pray, they obtain nothing becuase they do not do what my Son asks of them – heaven it seems is irresponsive to their prayers . And this is the cause of sorrow for your mother , for I see that as they pray , they greatly distance themselves from the source that contains all blessings , namely the Will of my Son .’

    The focus given by the Holy Father on our Bl.Mother , her intercession to help overcome the effects of the rebellions of the human will .. to bring other in conformity to the Divine Will …and same as measure of holiness , such as the beatification of Bl.John Paul 1 recently ..
    the reverse too , such as the prayers of the rebellious, moving them away from God..
    ? what we are seeing in Russia, Germany .. the pandemic itself , in our contraceting culture as the chastisement of keeping persons away from each other ..even the stars said to move away from each other ..

    Thank God for our Mother and the intercession of holy angels and Sts , that we can offer ourselves to the Heavenly Father , through all the wounds of Jesus Christ , with sorrow deep and true , adoring His Wounds – esp.also on the Feast of the Holy Cross .

    • What he give the impression of believing when he reads from a prepared script and what he actually believes are two different matters, actually many different matters because they are subject to his changing moods of the day, the week, the month, the year, as well.

  4. The documents approved will be voted on in spring 2023; however the document on changing the sexual ethic and morals of the church teachings failed 60/40% did not get two thirds majority. A lot of great holy things happening in Bavaria by young adults and new evangelization (Adoratio 2021 @ home, Bishop Stefan Oster and Eucharistic adoration). Just like the first reformation brought forth the Holy Spirit to strengthen the Church, so even in this evil age “all time, all ages” belong to Christ who sends the Holy Spirit to renew.

    • That’s very good news Miss Edith. Thank you so much for sharing this!
      So many important saints have come from Germany. I know they are praying for the future of the German Church & for Germany’s young people.

    • Good news Edith. I assumed the document on sexual ethics, although rejected earlier was still included in the final. Also, the faith in Bavaria, the largest [I believe] Catholic region as you say is growing. I had an internet friend, Alexandra, a young Bavarian lady who had a wide, impressive breadth of knowledge. She later entered a contemplative community. She mentioned Bishop Oster of Passau as a highly commendable Catholic bishop. Hopefully Woelki, Voderholzer and other German prelates will restore Catholicism.

      • Father Peter, the main document of “Sexualmoral” had a 61 yes and 39 no and did not get the two third approval necessary. It is still a disastrous and rebellious majority of German Bishops adopting all other documents. We shall see how it continues in spring 2023. I grew up in Bavaria and I am happy that under the banner of Mary many good things are happening there. I read the German SSPX news too because they bring it as it is at God bless you

  5. There are two ways for a Pope to lead the Body 0f Christ’s Church into hell. One way is for a Pope to directly lead the Body of the Church into hell. The other way is for a Pope to fail to anathematize evildoers who do lead the Body of the Church into hell.

    Jesus Commands His Church, that if her hand, foot or eye, of the Body of His Church is its downfall, Apostolic Successors are Commanded by Jesus to ‘cut them off’ from the life of the Body of the Church and cast them into hell. Jesus teaches that it is better to throw a limb/member of the Body of His Catholic Church into hell than to have evildoers lead the whole Body of His Church into hell by their evildoing.

    Matthew 18:5
    “Whoever welcomes one such child for my sake welcomes me. On the other hand, it would be better for anyone who leads astray one of these little ones who believes in me, to be drown by a millstone around his neck, in the depths of the sea. What terrible things will come on the world through scandal! It is inevitable that scandal should occur. Nonetheless, woe to that man through whom scandal comes! If your hand or foot is your undoing, cut it off and throw it from you! Better to enter life maimed or crippled than be thrown with two hands or feet into endless fire. If your eye is your downfall, gouge it out and cast it from you! Better to enter life with one eye than be thrown with both into fiery Gehenna.

    the formula of anathema which ends with these words: Wherefore in the name of God the All-powerful, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of the Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and of all the saints, in virtue of the power which has been given us of binding and loosing in Heaven and on earth, we deprive N– himself and all his accomplices and all his abettors of the Communion of the Body and Blood of our Lord, we separate him from the society of all Christians, we exclude him from the bosom of our Holy Mother the Church in Heaven and on earth, we declare him excommunicated and anathematized and we judge him condemned to eternal fire with Satan and his angels and all the reprobate, so long as he will not burst the fetters of the demon, do penance and satisfy the Church; we deliver him to Satan to mortify his body, that his soul may be saved on the day of judgment.” Whereupon all the assistants respond: “Fiat, fiat, fiat.” The pontiff and the twelve priests then cast to the ground the lighted candles they have been carrying, and notice is sent in writing to the priests and neighboring bishops of the name of the one who has been excommunicated and the cause of his excommunication, in order that they may have no communication with him. Although he is delivered to Satan and his angels, he can still, and is even bound to repent. The Pontifical gives the form for absolving him and reconciling him with the Church. The promulgation of the anathema with such solemnity is well calculated to strike terror to the criminal and bring him to a state of repentance, especially if the Church adds to it the ceremony of the Maranatha…
    …He who dares to despise our decision, let him be stricken with anathema maranatha, i.e. may he be damned at the coming of the Lord, may he have his place with Judas Iscariot, he and his companions.
    Quoted from:

    Matthew 18:17 Fraternal Correction
    “If he ignores them, refer it to the church . If he ignores even the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. I assure you, whatever you declare bound on earth shall be held bound in heaven, and whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be held loosed in heaven.”

    Matthew 11:20 Reproaches to Unrepentant Towns.
    Then he began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum: ‘Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.’ For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

    The eyes of the Body of Jesus’ Church are our Catholic leaders.
    Luke 11:34
    The lamp of the body is your eye. When your eye is sound, then your whole body is filled with light, but when it is bad, then your body is in darkness. Take care, then, that the light in you not become darkness.

  6. “If it ain’t broke, dont fix it”, goes an old saying.One which too few Popes have heeded, with disastrous results for the church. V2 resulted in an emptying of our churches, a crisis level loss of religious priests and nuns, and a battlefield regarding the Latin Mass which continues. Now we have the absurd synods of…whatever its supposed to be. With Germany, as I have predicted, schism is on the horizon. Nothing less. They seem VERY intent on sexualizing the church. Too few Bishops voted against their proposals. And what to say of the outright cowardly Bishops who “abstained” in the votes for gay relationships and women priests. Why? Was the potential for sin and loss of traditional teaching not evident enough to them? Its a sad, sad day for the church. Especially since I do not expect the current pope to do a single thing to stop this precipitous slide to oblivion. He never seems to be able to take a stand for the church when it really matters. Look at his non-action with Biden, Pelosi, gay rights, or this. My feeling is that the Germans will barrel ahead with this into schism and found a new “liberal” church, which might as well be Protestant. ( Although, one notices that the super liberal Protestant denominations are losing members fast and furious. So, betraying your principals in favor of “niceness” is evidently not the way to go for a healthy church.) The only thing that MIGHT stop them is a truly clear and fierce set down by the Pope telling them such changes in the church will not be allowed, either globally or in Germany alone. Not if they wish to remain in union with the Catholic Church. Immediate discipline is called for and some unambiguous meetings with the German Bishops to lay down the law before this goes any further. Having said that, sadly, I do not expect any such meetings to happen.I imagine the heart of Jesus is bleeding right now.

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