Bishop George Bätzing of Limburg, head of the German bishops’ conference, has called himself a ‘conservative’ in looking for change in Catholic Church policy on a range of controversial issues according to a December 30th report in CRUX:
- Homosexuality: there is need for church blessings for couples who cannot marry in the Catholic Church at present.
- Female Equality: arguments against the ordination of women are becoming increasingly unconvincing
- Abuse: more transparency is needed
- Shared Eucharist: discussion of this in Germany with Protestant clergy should not be prevented by the Vatican.
- Germany’s ‘Synodal Path’: these ongoing discussions, aimed at restoring lost trust at parish level, should be respected, not suspected, by prelates in Rome.
Bishop Bätzing said he understood the desire of the central church bureaucracy to keep the whole church together but as things were there was a greater danger that ‘the gap between the Gospel and the respective culture’ would become wider.
Commenting on Twitter, Tony Flannery, the Irish priest censured and disabled with four others by Vatican visitators in 2012, remarks: