Thoughts about a synod

German bishops © Harald Oppitz (KNA)

In the coming week, bishops in the Vatican will discuss measures against sexual abuse in the church. For the German bishops, this continues to be an ie. Now, in this context, an internal paper has been published.

Just over a week before the start of the so-called anti-abuse summit in the Vatican, the "Zeit" supplement "Christ Welt" has published an internal paper from the ranks of the German Bishops' Conference.

In it it concerns far-reaching consequences from the church abuse scandal on national level. Excerpts from the paper were published in last Thursday's edition of the newspaper.

Christina Cherry
The number of counselors is getting smaller

Council of cardinals shrinks a bit: Pope Francis has dismissed three members of his closest circle of advisers. They are Cardinals George Pell, Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya and Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa. What are the reasons?

The Vatican press office announced the decision to dismiss Cardinals George Pell, Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya and Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa on Wednesday. The three had been part of a group of initially eight, then nine cardinals since 2013 to assist the pope with leadership tasks and curia reform. German Cardinal Reinhard Marx also sits on the panel. The council met from Monday to Wednesday in Rome.

Christina Cherry
New allegations of abuse in chile

Symbolic image of abuse in the Catholic Church © Artur Szczybylo (shutterstock)

The Catholic Church in Chile does not come to rest. Now there is an accusation of abuse against the uncle of President Pinera. Vatican has launched investigation into world's oldest bishop.

The matter is particularly sensitive for Chile's President Sebastian Pinera: The Vatican has launched preliminary investigations against the former president of the Chilean Bishops' Conference, Alter Archbishop Bernardino Pinera Carvallo, according to the Papal Nunciature in Santiago.

Christina Cherry

Pope Francis has announced personnel changes in the council of cardinals for church reform. However, he said he does not want to "let heads roll". The fifth anniversary of the cardinals' council is an occasion to "renew it a little," the pope said.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the German Bishops' Conference, also sits on the nine-member panel. Francis did not give details, according to Reuters news agency (Sunday). The head of the church indicated that he also wanted to renew the top of the central goods administration.

Christina Cherry
Enemy image of homosexuality in the church

For weeks, Pope Francis has been subjected to attacks from Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. Former Vatican diplomat criticizes pope's handling of abuse scandal and castigates homosexuality in church. Now Viganò lays again after.

Interviewer: Viganò's statements about homosexuality seem strange for many people. Why does he claim in a new letter that the homosexual orientation of many clergy is the main reason for sexual abuse of children and young people?

Burkhard Jurgens (journalist and Rome correspondent of the Catholic News Agency):It is interesting that he speaks at all of widespread homosexual orientation by many clerics. I would like to ask Viganò first: "Mr. Archbishop, you have been around a lot, you were nuncio in the USA for a long time. How many clerics in the Catholic Church are actually homosexuals?"I would have liked to have heard from him figures and examples.

Christina Cherry
Get out of your comfort zone

With its synodal path, the Catholic Church in Germany wants to set the course for the future. Archbishop Hebe hopes that the reform process will promote unity. Bishop Wilmer appeals to also address the ie of "mission".

According to Heb, the Catholic Church must "get out of its comfort zone". The planned reform and discussion process of the German bishops could make a contribution to that. Archbishop Stefan Hebe expressed his views at the media reception of the Archdiocese of Hamburg. The so-called "synodal journey" to renew the church is set to begin in December.

Christina Cherry
Bishops agree on unified procedure

Bishop Georg Batzing © Julia Steinbrecht (KNA)

At its fall plenary session, the Bishops' Conference made the ie of abuse one of its top priorities. Bishops agreed in Fulda that payments to victims should begin next year.

At their fall plenary meeting in Fulda, the bishops took a major step forward with regard to payments for abuse victims and were able to reach agreement on many previously unresolved ies. More than ten years after the abuse scandal came to light and two years after the publication of a major study (MHG study), the system for payments should be in place by the end of the year. Accordingly, affected persons can submit applications from January and receive recognition benefits depending on the severity of the abuse of up to 50.000 euros.

Christina Cherry

Thomas Sternberg © Julia Steinbrecht (KNA)

Even after the criticism from Rome, ZdK President Sternberg demands binding resolutions. These should then also be carried to Rome. A split or a German Sonderweg did not threaten in his eyes.

According to the president of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), Thomas Sternberg, the Catholic Church is in a "deep crisis of confidence". Therefore, in the current reform debate, it is not enough just to discuss, Sternberg told the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung" before the fall plenary meeting of the German bishops in Fulda. There, starting Monday, they want to discuss reforms in the church and the further processing of the abuse scandal.

Christina Cherry
Acknowledging a 'grave scandal'

Pope Francis confessed shame in Ireland over Catholic clergy's "heinous crimes" against minors. Officials who responded inappropriately were "a cause of suffering and shame for the Catholic community".

Pope Francis must acknowledge the "grave scandal" caused by the abuse of minors by members of the church "charged with protecting and educating them," the pope said Saturday at the start of his two-day visit. At the same time, he says, the scandal raises awareness of the need to offer young people "prudent accompaniment and healthy values for their growth process".

Christina Cherry
New allegations surrounding sex, lies and sensitive report

US bishops © CNS/Jonathan Newton (CBA) A few days before the start of the plenary meeting of U.S. bishops in Baltimore, new allegations shake the church. At ie is the president of the bishops' conference and a disgraced West Virginia bishop.

Hardly anyone believes in coincidence in this case. Rather, everything looks like the revelations stories by the Associated Press news agency and the "Washington Post" were purposefully placed before the plenary meeting of Catholic bishops in Baltimore next week. It remains open who is behind it.

Christina Cherry