Bishop Franz-Josef Bode © Lars Berg (KNA)
Osnabruck's Bishop Franz-Josef Bode has drawn a positive balance of the first meeting on the reform dialogue Synodal Way. A broad middle and not the extremes would have determined the debate, he said.
In an interview with the diocesan newspaper "Kirchenbote" (Sunday) Bode referred to the Women's Forum. "The interaction of women and men is one of the most important signs of the times," says the deputy chairman of the German Bishops' Conference.
Christ had "become man for us, not man". According to Bode, even "male-biased decisions" in cases of abuse in the Catholic Church "would have been different if women had been involved".
Release celibate life
The bishop announced that the women's forum at the Synodal Way would look at what is already possible today to better position women in the church. At the same time it should not lose sight of the question of ordination offices for women. Bode, together with the theologian Dorothea Sattler from Munster, had led the pre-forum on women's ies.
Bode again spoke out in favor of giving priests the freedom in the future to decide whether or not they want to lead a celibate life. For him, celibate full-time priests and part-time priests with families are conceivable, he said. "I am of the opinion that there can be both forms."
Next synodal assembly in September
The opening event of the Synodal Way of the Catholic bishops and the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) had taken place last weekend. From Thursday to Saturday, 230 clerics and laymen met at a so-called synodal assembly in Frankfurt/Main. It is the highest body of the German reform dialogue.
In terms of content, four themes are central: power, priestly life, sexual morality and the role of women. The next synodal assembly will take place from 3. to 5. September in Frankfurt.