Scandinavian Bishops “Deeply Concerned” with German Synodal Path Content

The bishops of Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Denmark have expressed concern about “the orientation, method, and content of the German Synodal Path.

Newsroom (11/03/2022 1:37 PM, Gaudium Press) Recently, the Polish bishops criticized the reforms underway in Germany, saying they were “deeply concerned” and warning that one should not “give in to the pressures of the world or the models of the prevailing culture.” This could “lead to moral and spiritual corruption.”

The Scandinavian bishops are warning Bishop Batzing about the direction much of German Catholicism is taking.

Meeting in Plenary Assembly, the bishops of Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Denmark sent an open letter to the Bishop of Limburg and the other German bishops, expressing their concern about the content of the German Synodal Path. The letter was signed by Cardinal Anders Arborelius of Stockholm, Bishop Erik Varden of Trondheim, Bishop David Tencer of Reykjavik, and Nordic bishops’ conference president Bishop Czesław Kozon of Copenhagen, among others. 

“In the legitimate search for answers to the questions of our time, we must nonetheless respect boundaries set by topics that stand for unchangeable aspects of the Church’s teaching,” the Nordic prelates stress.

They also point out that defending, explaining and putting into credible practice Catholic teaching based on divine revelation and authentic tradition” and that “We can hardly expect a new fullness of Catholic vitality to follow from the impoverishment of the content of our faith.”

And they warn: “We all hope for a revitalization of Catholic life and the mission of the Church. However, there is a risk that to the extent that we remain caught in the paradigms of the thought process and structural change, we will end up conceiving the Church as an object project of our action. The synodal process presupposes the image of the Church as a pilgrim People of God. It is evident that such a people must be sensitively organized“.

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For our synodal discernment to be fruitful, it must be enriched and guided by other dimensions. It seems essential to us, precisely at this moment, to focus on the sacramental mystery of the Church” The Church is also a “mystery of communion: communion of humankind with the Triune God; communion among the faithful; communion of all the particular Churches with the Successor of Peter,” the Bishops noted. 

“We find that Catholics who constitute and carry the life of our parishes and communities instinctively sense this sacramental mystery but are not necessarily the ones inclined to fill in questionnaires or participate in group discussions,” they wrote. 

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj

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