“I remain skeptical”

Berlin dogmatics professor Georg Essen warns against a failure of the reform dialogue of the Catholic Church in Germany. "Even though I sincerely support the goals, I remain skeptical".

He said this in an interview published Tuesday by the Catholic News Agency (KNA). "The Synodal Way is overloaded with expectations that can hardly be fulfilled," said the executive director of the Institute for Catholic Theology at Berlin's Humboldt University.

Thus, the reform dialogue "could result in even more perplexity, frustration and resignation, which would be bitter," stressed the professor of systematic theology. "After all, all the ies are being taken up that have been postponed and sat out since the 1970s, and today with a much stronger polarization of positions."

"At the same time, the church magisterium immunizes itself against all reform movements," Essen criticized. The Synodal Way reflects the "dead end of the Roman Catholic Church". "She has been in the 19. The Church has been given a dogmatic and legal framework in the twentieth century that completely blocks it because it can no longer get over its own fossilized traditions," Essen said. He deplored "a latent hostility of the Roman magisterium to science towards theology, when for about 100 years it has uncoupled itself from scientific findings, for example, with regard to sexuality".

Essen rejected the accusation that the synodal path has too little theological depth as "audacity". "Those who claim this should actually say that it is not the theology that they themselves believe to be correct."In fact, "many of our most distinguished theologians" are involved in the Synodal Way.

On the ie of the abuse scandal, which was an impetus for the Synodal Way reform dialogue, Essen said the abuse and its cover-up by officials was "a damage to the Catholic self-understanding that we don't yet know how to deal with further". This would give the abuse crisis "a dramatic dimension". The church is threatened by "a decay of legitimacy the likes of which we have never seen before.".

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Christina Cherry
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