Suggestions for the universal church

Suggestions for the universal church

Bishop Franz-Josef Bode hopes the reform process in the Catholic Church will lead to concrete steps toward ordaining women as deacons. He would also like to see impulses from the Synodal Way on compulsory celibacy and the blessing of homosexual couples.

For Osnabruck Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, it is important to strengthen the position of women in all areas of church life. He would like to see women involved in parish and supra-parish leadership functions far more than they have been up to now, he said in an interview with the Evangelical Press Service (epd).

Women should be responsibly involved in the preaching ministry of the church. "If we could achieve this total package, then the culture of men and women will change, and then we will also discuss theological ies differently," emphasized the bishop, who leads the Women's Forum at the synodal Way.

With the "synodal way" the bishops want to initiate reforms together with lay people and external experts in the course of dealing with the abuse scandal. The consultation process began on 1. The project started in December and is scheduled to run for two years. German bishops have partly different opinions on women's ies.

Pastoral accompaniment of homosexual couples

In moral-theological questions, the basic principle of love should be the standard for all human relationships, including partnership and sexuality. "We should approach this area in a more positive way, closer to the people and closer to life," Bode said. Then also a blessing and pastoral accompaniment of homosexual couples should be an ie.

Bode warned, however, against endangering the reform process with maximum demands. He said it makes no sense to insist that women must eventually be ordained to the priesthood, or conversely, that nothing should change at all. Innovations could only be achieved step by step and, in the case of world church questions, in constant contact with Rome.

However, particular churches of the world church could give suggestions that could lead to changes. He said the Amazon Synod showed that with its vote in favor of ordaining married men to the priesthood. There is also a shortage of priests in Germany. Therefore, it must be considered whether there could be married men here who exercise the ministry of a priest in a civilian profession.

For ecumenism with the Protestant Church, the Catholic reform process is a new challenge, said Bode. "We must become even more aware that more unites us than divides us."The question of the unity of the church will then be posed anew. "I find this very exciting."

Cardinal Woelki: The question of women has been decided

For the Archbishop of Cologne, Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki, the question of women is not one that lies within the decision-making power of the bishops. "Also, the priesthood is not invented by men, but goes back to the Lord's mandate. If we take this seriously, it becomes clear that the question of the priesthood of women is therefore also not a question that lies within our power of disposal. Pope John Paul II. The Holy See decided on this ie with all binding force for the entire Church as early as 1994, and Pope Francis has repeatedly reaffirmed this decision of his predecessor," he said in a sermon for the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on 8 May. September 2019.

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Christina Cherry
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