September 13, 2019: Vatican: German Synod Plans ‘Not Ecclesiologically Valid’

In a letter sent to German bishops last week, the Vatican has said that plans for a binding Church synod in Germany are “not ecclesiologically valid.” 

Plans for a “binding synodal process” were first announced by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German episcopal conference, earlier this year. 

CNA reported last week that draft statues for the planned “Synodal Assembly” were approved in August by the executive committee of the German bishops’ conference, ahead of a final hearing at a full meeting of German bishops, set to be held Sept. 23-26. CNA also reported that small working groups connected to the synod have already begun discussing a series of controversial Church topics.

In a Sept. 4 letter addressed to Cardinal Marx, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, said that plans for a Synodal Assembly must conform to guidelines issued by Pope Francis in June, especially that a synod in Germany could not act to change universal Church teaching or discipline. 

Cardinal Ouellet also sent Cardinal Marx a four-page legal assessment of the German bishops’ draft statues. 



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