On Friday and Saturday, the German Bishops' Conference continues the dialogue process of the Catholic Church with a meeting in Hanover. About 300 participants discuss the responsibility of the Church in a free society under the motto "The Civilization of Love". The Catholic News Agency (KNA) lists important stages of the dialogue process launched in 2010 to restore trust in the Church after the abuse scandal.
The president of the Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, proposes a "broad process of reflection" by bishops, priests and laity at the autumn plenary meeting in Fulda. The paper should also deal with the image of the priest, the upheaval in the parishes, the responsibility of the laity, but also with the language of preaching and questions of family, partnership and sexuality.
5. November 2010: Under the title "The Church's Way to the Future," representatives of the Bishops' Conference and the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) agree on two joint work projects to examine how the Gospel can be proclaimed in today's conditions.
Topics include the "interaction of priests and laity in the church" and the "presence of the church in society and the state".
21. January 2011: Prominent Catholic CDU politicians call for the addition of "married, proven men" to the priesthood. German Curia Cardinal Walter Brandmuller resents "interference" by politicians in the ie of compulsory celibacy for priests. He said they were not entitled to "take a stand on an internal church ie".
4. February 2011: More than 150 theology professors from German-speaking countries vote for profound reforms in the church. In a memorandum entitled "Church 2011: A necessary departure," they plead, among other things, for greater participation of the faithful in the appointment of ministers, the ordination of married people to the priesthood as well, an improved ecclesiastical legal culture and more respect for individual life decisions.
9. February 2011: In response to the professors' reform paper, some 250 priests and lay people publish a counter-memorandum under the title "Petition pro Ecclesia". In it, they criticize theologians who have done great harm to the church. They appeal to bishops to publicly counter the "distorted image of the Church" painted by theologians and to defend traditional beliefs and the Christian image of marriage and the family.
17. March 2011: At their plenary assembly in Paderborn, the bishops adopt a framework for the dialogue process at the level of the Bishops' Conference. After that, there will be a series of ecclesiastical congresses until 2015. In addition, several major events are to be included: the Pope's visit, the National Eucharistic Congress in Cologne in 2013, and the two Catholic Days in 2012 and 2014
8. July 2011: In Mannheim, the Bishops' Conference launches its dialogue process with a conference under the heading "Believing in Today. About 300 representatives from dioceses, religious orders, universities and associations will meet for this purpose.
14. August 2011: A delegation of German bishops informs the Pope in Castel Gandolfo about the dialogue process. Benedict XVI.
Honors project as spiritual path to renewal.
25. September 2011: Pope Benedict XVI. Calls Catholics to unity and Christian humility during his visit to Germany.
Does not directly address dialogue process.
5. April 2012: Pope Benedict XVI. Ies Easter rejection of clerics' demands for reform. Disobedience is no way to renew the church, he said. His criticism was directed at the Austrian "Priests' Initiative," which advocates, among other things, for the admission of married priests and for remarried divorcees. Reform initiatives by priests have also been formed in several German dioceses, such as the archdioceses of Cologne and Freiburg.
16. May 2012: At the Katholikentag in Mannheim, bishops and Catholic laity affirm the need for reform in the church. The motto of the Christian meeting is "Daring a new departure".