Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary general of the Synod on Synodality, is not happy with the way Polish, Nordic, and American bishops have criticized the German Synodal Path. He sees it as a “public denunciation” which contributes to additional polarization.
In an interview with the magazine Herder Thema, as reported by the katholisch.de site, he stressed that fraternal correction and dialogue are a good thing. However, he disagreed with the method used by the critics.
“That doesn't help. It just polarizes even more,” the cardinal said. He did not comment on the content of the letters from the Polish and Nordic Episcopal Conferences. Msgr. Grech said he felt that some issues that are being discussed in Germany are also being discussed elsewhere.
The Polish and Nordic episcopal conferences have both publicly criticized the Synodal Path. Both letters are very clear, and Cardinal Grech does not explain why the two episcopal conferences should stop dealing with the faithful of their dioceses and warning them about matters that concern them publicly.
Additionally, bishops around the world have released an open letter published by Archbishop Samuel Aquila. Catholic faithful from all over Germany have also repeatedly expressed, individually or in groups, criticisms of the Synodal Path.
It should be noted that Cardinal Grech did not comment on the criticisms of Cardinals Walter Kasper or Christoph Schönborn or of certain German bishops themselves.
Regarding the Synodal Path itself, Cardinal Grech said he “tries to follow the process.” But it's one thing to follow what's published and another to follow what's actually happening. This is a process.
“Perhaps communication in general could have been better,” the cardinal said. “It would have contributed to a better understanding of what was happening in Germany,” he continued. He nevertheless declared that he had “trust in the Catholic Church in Germany and in the bishops who know what they are doing.”
But at no time does the secretary of the Synod take an interest in the content of the synodal texts and their obvious heterodoxy. On the other hand, Msgr. Grech hides the fact that the fraternal corrections by the Poles and the Nordics do not relate to the subjects discussed, but to the decisions being made.
During the interview, the Secretary of the Synod on Synodality spoke about the future organization of the global synodal process. The results of the diocesan phase will be evaluated by a much wider circle of experts than usual.
Until now, it was customary for one or two theologians to be responsible for drafting a synodal working document. Instead, Cardinal Grech has assembled a group of 24-30 experts who will prepare the first version of the working document during a two-week retreat.
“It will be a synodal and spiritual experience,” the cardinal further explained. The men and women selected come “from all over the world and from different regions” and, for the most part, are already involved in the synodal process.