One woman and one man each at the helm

One woman and one man each at the helm

Symbolic image: two forums on the Synodal Way have elected their presidents © Harald Oppitz (KNA)

Reform dialogue in the Catholic Church in Germany continues to take shape. Two of the four forums working on the central themes of the Synodal Way have now elected their chairpersons – one woman and one man each.

At the first meeting of the forum "Living in Successful Relationships – Living Love in Sexuality and Partnership," Birgit Mock, the ZdK's spokeswoman on family policy, and Bishop Georg Batzing of Limburg were elected chairmen, as the German Bishops' Conference and the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) announced in Bonn on Friday.

The forum "Women in Ministries and Offices in the Church" is chaired by Munster theologian Dorothea Sattler and Osnabruck Bishop Franz-Josef Bode. Both duos had already led the preparatory forums on the ies.

By May, the other two forums, "Power and the Division of Powers in the Church – Sharing and Participating in the Mission" and "Priestly Existence Today" will also have met and elected their chairpersons.

Forums do not meet in public

The working groups, each consisting of about 35 members, are to advance the reform dialogue in terms of content and to prepare submissions for the synodal assembly. The Synodal Assembly is the highest body of the Synodal Way and will meet for the next time at the beginning of September in Frankfurt. Unlike the synodal assembly, the forums do not meet in public.

Bishops and laity had launched the Synodal Way in December. The goal of the two-year initiative is to regain trust lost in the wake of the abuse scandal.

Already in the run-up there had been working groups on the four central topics of the dialogue: Power, priestly life, sexual morality and the role of women. The groups had helped prepare the first synodal assembly in Frankfurt, which took place almost four weeks ago. The personnel composition of the forums was also determined there.

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