An Alternative Site for the Synodal Path

September 08, 2021
Regensburg Cathedral

The Diocese of Regensburg, whose bishop is Msgr. Rudolf Voderholzer, has launched a site on the Synodal Path, entitled “Synodal contributions,” intended to provide space for independent voices and criticisms of the elements of the process already in place across the Rhine. It also allows the publication of alternative documents opposed to the official synod schemas.

Bishop Voderholzer, who has never hidden his opposition to the Synodal Path, presents this new site by asking: “What must happen so that the fact of being Church, of being Catholic, does not appear as a stain of which we must be ashamed?”

He continues: “What can we bring so that the fact of being a Christian once again becomes a reason to walk upright,” to give glory to God, and to be “an important contributor to the construction and cohesion of society?”

“These goals unite all Catholics in Germany. These goals also underpin the ‘Synodal Path’ project,” he explains, but “we are increasingly convinced that [this process] will not reach its goal if it continues along the path it has taken so far.”

Thus the bishop of Regensburg is radically calling into question the process begun, and proposes to counter it with the site he is hosting: “On this site you will find, among other things, alternative texts, commentaries and Vatican statements on the themes and forums of the Synodal Path, in which we make our view known.”

What follows is interesting: “the arguments presented here were brought into the process of the Synodal Path. However, because of the prevailing majority there, they have not been and are not being taken into account so far.  ‘We,’ that is, the members of the Synod Assembly and Synod Forums, have now come together as a group on this path.”

That is, it refers to those who feel that “sound doctrine” has not been taken into account and that the Synodal Path is going straight into the wall. Bishop Voderholzer then describes the content of the site: “Sympathetic readers will find arguments there that can deepen the discussions and possibly provide help to get closer to the truth than the votes allow.”

The site already offers an alternative document: “Authority and responsibility - Theses on the reform of the Church” that offers an alternative to the schema resulting from the first preparatory forum, “Power and distribution of powers in the Church - joint participation and sharing of the missionary mandate.”

It is to be hoped that this initiative will be able to stop the German Synodal Path, the pursuit of which has been seriously hampered by the health situation. It seems the number German bishops opposed to the process can be counted on the fingers of one hand.