Catholic Church in search of direction © By Gurzoglu (shutterstock)
The "team" has now been determined: Eleven women and five men are working in the forum "Women in Church Ministries and Offices" to prepare the dialogue on the future of the Catholic Church in Germany. Who all belongs to it?
The five men include Osnabruck Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, who as head of the Women's Commission of the German Bishops' Conference also chairs the forum, as well as Bishop Michael Gerber (Fulda) and Archbishop Stefan Hebe (Hamburg).
The eleven women include, among others, Minister of Culture Monika Grutters (CDU), the professors Birgit Aschmann (Berlin), Dorothea Sattler (Munster), Marianne Schlosser (Vienna) and Agnes Wuckelt (Dusseldorf) as well as the religious superiors Scholastika Jurt (Koblenz) and Katharina Ganz (Zell am Main).
"Providing answers to the questions of the time"
The exact composition can be found in an overview on the website of the German Bishops' Conference on the "synodal way".
They are joined by members of the Bishops' Conference and the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK). The goal of the "synodal journey" is to regain trust lost after the abuse scandal and provide "answers to the questions of the day".
First roadmap presented
The chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, and ZdK President Thomas Sternberg presented an initial roadmap for the reform dialogue at the beginning of July. The starting signal for the actual reform talks is to be given at the beginning of December for the First Advent. The first big meeting is planned for spring 2020. The Bishops' Conference and the ZdK want to lay down the rules in a statute by the fall. The dialogue is initially scheduled to last two years.
Four forums under the leadership of Bishops Karl-Heinz Wiesemann (Speyer), Georg Batzing (Limburg), Felix Genn (Munster) and Franz-Josef-Bode (Osnabruck) are responsible for preparing the content. The topics are power, participation and separation of powers, ecclesiastical sexual morals, the way of life of priests and the role of women. The line-up of the first three forums had already been published in mid-July, the women's forum had been established additionally.