Three Catholics from the Diocese of Essen have addressed a formal dubium to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at Pentecost. The question, already raised by certain bishops and theologians, as to whether the Catholic Church of Germany has already separated from the rest of the universal Church, is addressed there.
“We are three Catholics from the Diocese of Essen. We have been involved in parish life for many years in various ministries. For many years, we have experienced the growing polarization in local communities.”
One of the three initiators, André Wiechmann of Bochum, told CNA that the “great concern about unity” made them wonder if a schism had not already taken place. “From my point of view, the split has already taken place,” added Wiechmann.
These are above all the requests for the ordination of women, the blessing of homosexual partnerships despite the explicit prohibition of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as well as the fact that the laity “continue to demonstrate in a demonstrative manner the prohibition of preaching in the Eucharistic celebration” which prompted Wiechmann to formulate the dubium.
Along with other believers, they realized that many people shared their concerns. The group knows it has “no legal right to a response” from Rome. “The Church’s roof is on fire north of the Alps,” the initiator told CNA.
For Catholics faithful to the Magisterium, the “synodal path” harbors the danger of greater “polarization and division,” Wiechmann explains:
“The discussions here, in the Catholic Church in Germany, are held separately from the universal Church there. Many of the topics raised have to be decided in the universal Church, on the basis of the Magisterium. By dealing with topics that contradict the Magisterium and thereby undertaking an idiosyncratic path, the Synodal Path also inevitably disappoints the expectations of Catholics for whom the Catechism and the Magisterium form a foundation.”
"We therefore very much hope for aa answer from Rome,” said Wiechmann, “also in order to take away the doubt of many believers and thus promote trust.”
1. The Synodal Path in Germany requires the ordination of women to the priesthood, although Pope John Paul II declared in Ordinatio sacerdotalis that the Church has no authority to ordain women priests: this doctrine requires the definitive consent of the faithful;
2. the Synodal Path in Germany also promotes the change and adaptation of the sexual morals of the Church;
3. By blessing homosexual couples, they have acted against the explicit prohibition of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: the offense of Canon 1371, §2 has therefore established;
4. The form of intercommunion practiced during the Ecumenical Congress held in Frankfurt am Main from May 13 to 16, 2021 clearly exceeded the limits of Canon 844, §4, and therefore the offense of religious communion prohibited according to Canon 1365 has been completed;
5. the laity continue to manifestly ignore the prohibition on preaching at Mass, despite the fact that, according to Canon 767 §1, the homily is reserved for priests and deacons…so that no diocesan bishop can entrust a layman with preaching the homily in the Eucharistic celebration.
So is there a schism within the meaning of Canon 751?