The recently concluded Amazon Synod in the Vatican reverberates. Now the Bishop of Osnabruck, Franz-Josef Bode, brings a new idea into play. Indeed, he can imagine a similar bishops' meeting for the European area.
The central theme of such a synod would have to be the question of how Christians in this region can live their faith in the future, he told the Osnabruck diocesan newspaper "Kirchenbote" (Sunday). It should also be a question of what the church needs for evangelization under present and future conditions, said the deputy chairman of the German Bishops' Conference.
The recommendations of the Amazon Synod in October in the Vatican on the ordination of married deacons and on a stronger role for women are not transferable one-to-one to Europe, the bishop explained. But they opened the horizon for a perhaps complementary type of priest with family and profession. "For the role of women in our social and ecclesial situation, the recommendations are tailwinds for previous efforts."
Amazon Synod encouragement for the Synodal Way
For the reform debate planned in the Catholic Church in Germany Synodal Way, the Amazon Synod is an encouragement, the bishop stressed. "Topics that are important for us have also come into further discussion."
Challenges for the synodal journey, according to Bode, are an "evaporation of faith" and a breach of tradition that cannot be denied. "In the foreseeable future, Christianity will find itself in a minority position, to which it must adapt in the long term, creatively and not resignedly."
Problem priest shortage
Another problem, he said, is the shortage of priests, which further distances people from the church and the faith. In addition, he said, the church "will no longer be able to convince unless women play a decisive role in shaping the church more and more in ministries and offices".
Within the bishops' conference, Bode presides over the pastoral commission and the sub-commission on women in church and society. In preparation for the Synodal Way, which will also address the ies of power, ecclesiastical sexual morality and the lifestyle of priests, he chaired the forum "Women in Ministries and Offices of the Church.