From Thursday September 8 to Saturday September 10, 2022, the fourth and penultimate assembly of the German Synodal Path took place in Frankfurt, which was an opportunity to measure the determination of part of the Church of Germany to go to the end of a process that tends to schism.
During the first day, a dramatic change occurred, with the rejection of the text on sexual morality, thanks to the refusal of 21 bishops who voted against the text and represent enough of a minority to block the text, as reported in the previous article. But the second day looked like a catch-up session, with the adoption of several texts opposed to Catholic doctrine.
Preparation of a New Ecclesiastical Governing Body
On Saturday, September 10, the Synodal Assembly approved in second reading the text which provides for the creation of a “synodal council.” Said council is described as an “advisory and decision-making body” which “shall advise on major developments in the Church and in society, and shall take fundamental decisions of supra-diocesan significance on pastoral planning, future perspectives and budgetary issues of the Church that are not decided at the level of the dioceses.”
In other words, a good part of what belongs exclusively to the diocesan bishop, and which requires the power of jurisdiction linked to ordination or consecration, will be placed in the hands of lay people, in defiance of Canon 127 of the new code, which is also cited as a reference.
It is a way of organizing a “Permanent Synodal Path,” which will have exorbitant powers beyond any canonical justification. It is indeed specified that “the resolutions of the Synodal Council shall have at least the same legal effects as the resolutions of the Synodal Assembly.”
The text does not say so, but the discussion in the Assembly sought to clarify the place of this Council in relation to the episcopal conference, and it has not yet been decided whether the latter will be above or alongside the bishops. This revolution was approved by 92.5% of the delegates and 43 bishops -- six of the bishops voted against it.
Three Documents Voted on at First Reading
Before separating, the Assembly again examined in first reading three explosive texts.
The Synodal Assembly is “aware of the at times precarious situation in which non-heterosexual priests find themselves and wishes to help break with the taboos and normalize their situation.” The stated objective is that “it is not sexual orientation -- regardless of whether or not a person has come out – but human and professional aptitude that decides on access to and continuance in the Church’s ministry.”
This will require modifying the normative texts which prohibit access to the seminary and the priesthood to non-heterosexual subjects. This is what is explicitly asked of Rome.
This other text of the Fourth Forum calls for the pure and simple integration of all “genders” in the Church, in particular transgender people. This must be reflected in the baptism registers which must be allowed to be modified on this point, at the request of the interested parties.
But also the possibility for all to access “all ordained ministries and pastoral vocations in the Church,” without exception. The basis is always the same: questionable “scientific” knowledge, which is in no way a source of Revelation.
This last text plans to expand the possibility of preaching to women and lay people – which already exists in Germany since the Würzburg Synod – but also of baptism and celebrating marriages by laity. And it even asks for the “revival” (?) of lay confession “in the context of spiritual accompaniment.”
Finally, it also considers “the importance of the blessing and anointing of the sick in view of all pastors who work in the care of the sick.” And the text concludes its requests: “All the fullness of the pastoral practice already exercised in the history of the Church is to be rediscovered.”
Finally, what remains of what is Catholic in the Church, the episcopal function, the priesthood, sexual morality, and even human nature with its finality, in these German Synodal Path texts—almost nothing.
All the deviations of the modern world in the moral realm – with a few exceptions – and all that concerns the Sacrament of Holy Orders are now in pieces. The model of the Christian is human science in its most questionable aspect. For these are not the so-called exact sciences, but ethical theories imagined by thinkers opposed to Catholicism.