'Synodal way' could call for women deacons

Limburg Bishop Georg Batzing (CNS/Harald Oppitz, KNA)

The new chairman of the German bishops’ conference has said that calling for the ordination of women could be a conclusion of the two-year “synodal way” being undertaken by the Church in Germany. Source: Catholic News Agency.

Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg said in a radio interview this week for International Women’s Day that such a conclusion would require Roman approval.

In an interview with WDR5 on Monday, Bishop Bätzing answered questions on the role and future of women in the Church. He said that if the “synodal way” calls for the ordination of women to the diaconate, Rome would have to grant an indult to allow German bishops to begin ordaining women. In that event, he said, it would be important that the synodal assembly call for the change with “a very strong voice”.

Bishop Bätzing said that if bishops and laity united to present a “strong appearance,” Rome would be more likely to respond positively.

Speaking after his election last week, he said that the role of women “is the most pressing question we have concerning the future” of Church.

“That is where the Church really has a backlog. We won’t be able to wait. Women must be given equal rights,” the bishop said.

Bishop Bätzing also said that Pope Francis “did not take a position” on the possibility of ordaining women to the deaconate, which last year’s Synod on the Amazon recommended for further consideration, and that the subject was open for further discussion.

The two year “binding synodal process” is being conducted by the German bishops in partnership with the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK). Its first full assembly convened in January and its working groups are preparing proposals for reform on matters of Church teaching and discipline on marriage, ordination, clerical celibacy, and sexual ethics.

Bishop Bätzing has said he “fully supports the synodal way,” calling it “at the centre of our considerations” for the Church in Germany”.


Women deacons possible after 'Synodal Way,' says German bishops' chairman (Catholic News Agency)

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