Consultation on future can begin

Consultation on future can begin

Participants at the start of the synodal assembly's deliberations (archive) © Harald Oppitz (KNA)

Now the chairpersons have been determined: The last working group to elect two chairpersons was the forum on priestly lifestyles, with Bishop Felix Genn of Munster and Stephan Buttgereit, Secretary General of the SKM-Fachverband fur Menschen am Rande.

This was announced by the organizers on Tuesday in Bonn. With the Synodal Way, the German Catholic bishops and the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) want to discuss the future of church life in Germany.

One goal is to regain trust lost after the abuse scandal. The initiative, which has never existed in this form in the Catholic Church, was originally planned for an initial two years. Because of the Corona pandemic, however, the Synodal Way will end in February 2022 rather than October 2021, according to current plans.

The next steps along the way:

The four forums are to prepare the content of the synodal assemblies, the highest body of the Synodal Way. In addition to working group on priestly lifestyle, forums address sexual morality, power, and role of women.

The chairs of these working groups are Bishop Helmut Dieser of Aachen and Birgit Mock, vice president of the Catholic German Women's Federation (sexual morality), Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen and Claudia Lucking-Michel, vice president of the ZdK (power), and Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabruck and theologian Dorothea Sattler of Munster (the role of women).

The next important step on the Synodal Way will be five regional conferences to be held in early September in Berlin, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Ludwigshafen and Munich.

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