Essen Catholics ask Rome if the German Church is in schism

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The three Catholics from Essen who present the “dubium” belong to lay ministries.

Newsdesk (June 11, 2021 16:51, Gaudium Press)It is more of a symbolic act, as the authors themselves acknowledge, but one of high significance.

Today, Acidigital reported that three Catholics in the German diocese of Essen had sent a “dubium” (doubt) to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The move calls to mind the Responsum ad dubium issued by the CDF last March when the Vatican dicastery responded that the Church has no authority to bless same-sex unions.

This time, the “issue” raised by three Essen Catholics is whether the Church in Germany is in schism; in Essen’s jurisdiction, the bishop openly supports the blessings denied by the Vatican.

“Great concern for unity”

What motivated these Catholics to turn to the Doctrine of the Faith? “A great concern for unity,” answers André Wichmann, who, along with two other people, filed the dubium

“From my point of view, division has already happened,” he said, alluding to requests for the ordination of women, blessings of homosexual unions, laypeople preaching at masses, etc. Wichmann stresses that both he and the two cosigners of the doubt are people who “have been involved in community life in various ministries for many years.”

For the three signatories, the process of separation from the German Church “has been going on for many years,” and has polarized local congregations. “It has not always been easy to profess the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It has not always been easy to defend a liturgy celebrated according to the books of the Church,” he added, expressing the pressure they have received to the contrary.

They know that they “have no right to an answer” from the Roman Congregation but wanted to direct the doubt as a symbolic gesture. However, “we very much await an answer from Rome, also to remove the doubts of many faithful and thus promote trust,” he declared.

Themes polarizing the universal Church

Wichmann warned about the risk of creating a sharper “polarization and division on the German Synod Path.” “The discussions here in the Catholic Church in Germany take place separately from the Universal Church. Many of the questions raised must be decided in the Universal Church on the basis of the Magisterium,” he emphasized.

“By dealing with questions that contradict the Magisterium and thus taking an idiosyncratic [own] path, the Synodal Way also inevitably disappoints the expectations of Catholics for whom the Catechism and the Magisterium constitute a basis,” concluded Wichmann.

Read MoreMundo, a Igreja Alemã está em cisma, Católicos de Essen perguntam a Roma, Preocupação com a Igreja na AlemanhaGaudium Press

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