The Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) expects the Synod of Bishops in Rome to fundamentally open the church to more regional latitude. President Alois Gluck spoke about this with the Deutsche Presse-Agentur.
"I very much hope that beyond the ies that are more immediately the subject of the synod, there will be a move toward more pastoral freedom," said the outgoing president of the umbrella organization of Catholic laity. The situation in Germany requires different answers than in other regions of the world.
The Central Committee demands that remarried divorcees no longer be excluded from receiving communion. The synod should at least allow that this question does not have to be regulated uniformly worldwide, said Gluck. A large majority of the German Bishops' Conference is now also in favor of allowing remarried couples to take communion under certain conditions after a case-by-case examination.
Crucial weeks for pontificate
"The synod will take on an exemplary significance for the further development of the church," explained Gluck. The meeting will show to what extent the Church's teaching is set in stone or can be further developed. "These four weeks are perhaps fateful for the pontificate of Pope Francis."
The ZdK represents the 24 million lay members of the Catholic Church in Germany. In mid-May, the panel had called for church blessings for same-sex couples, drawing the displeasure of the bishops' conference. Gluck does not expect anything to move on this ie: "The way things are in the attitude toward homosexuality, no new accents are to be expected from the Synod of Bishops that go beyond what is currently written in the World Catechism."
Former CSU politician Gluck has headed the ZdK since 2009. The 75-year-old from Upper Bavaria plans to resign in November. Who will be his successor has not yet been determined. From 4. to 25. October, the bishops from all over the world will deliberate on irritant topics within the Church in the field of family and marriage.