‘Really not an easy task’: German bishops begin talks in Rome amid concerns over synodal path

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In April, more than 100 cardinals and bishops published a “fraternal open letterAttention that sweeping changes in Church teaching advocated by the process can lead to a schism.

In March, an open letter from the Nordic bishops expressed alarm to the German process. In February, a strong letter from the president of the conference of Catholic bishops in Poland raised serious questions.

Bishop Bätzing has repeatedly dismissed all concerns, instead expressing disappointment of pope francis in May.

Two months later, in July, the Vatican issued another Attention of a new schism in Germany resulting from the synodal way.

Ahead of this week’s visit, Bätzing said he would appear primarily not as the president of the German bishops in Rome, but as bishop of Limburg, CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language press partner, reported.

“The current situation in the Church is very difficult,” the Bishop said.

“It hits me very hard personally that so many people are leaving the Church. In doing so, they vote and show me that they no longer agree with the way the Church presents itself. The reasons are certainly varied and, for the most part, justified. Nevertheless, there are reasons to stay.

Seven years ago, Pope Francis lamented the “erosion” of faith in Germany: During the last visit of the German bishops to Rome in 2015, Pope Francis call on them to pay greater attention to the sacraments and to diligently fulfill their “function as master of the faith”.

“Excessive centralization, instead of helping, can complicate the life of the Church and its missionary dynamics,” the pope warned German prelates in November 2015.

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