A lay Catholic initiative has protested in Munich against the reform dialogue of the Catholic Church in Germany. Also present was the former papal ambassador to the U.S., Archbishop Vigano. He had called on Pope Francis to resign in 2018.
The outcome of the Synodal Way could be "nothing other than the establishment of a church separate from Rome," according to a statement released over the weekend by the Acies Ordinata initiative. According to a reporter for the U.S. magazine National Catholic Register, believers of different nationalities gathered for silent prayer in front of the Theatinerkirche in the center of Munich. According to the report, among the participants was Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who had called on Pope Francis to resign.
Calls for clear positioning
Historian Roberto de Mattei told the portal "Corrispondenza Romana," a platform for conservative critics of the pope, that Munich was chosen because Cardinal Reinhard Marx had his official residence there. The statement calls on Pope Francis to be clear: "He does not disapprove of the positions of the German bishops, nor of their goal of extending the 'binding' decisions of their 'synodal way' to the whole Church. 'If he shares their doctrinal deviations, he should have the courage to say so openly,' it says.
The German bishops are urged to "be honest enough to bring the 'synodal path' to its logical conclusion, namely the foundation of a new church with a German-Amazonian face, separate from the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church". Finally, German Catholics should stop paying church tax, which is the "necessary financial basis for carrying out the 'synodal way'".
Austrian activist Tschuggel among Protestants
Also present at the Munich protest, according to the National Catholic Register, was Austrian activist Alexander Tschugguel. He had stolen several wooden figures by an indigenous artist from a church and thrown them into the Tiber River during the 2019 Amazon Synod in Rome in protest of alleged idolatry. The former papal ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, made his first public appearance in Munich in about a year and a half. In August 2018, Vigano accused Pope Francis of a lax approach to moral transgressions and homosexuality among the clergy.
With the two-year Synodal Way, the bishops in Germany and the Central Committee of Catholics want to regain lost trust after the abuse scandal. The first plenary meeting will be held in Frankfurt at the end of January.