Aug 19, 2019

All You Need To Know About The German Bishops "Binding Synodal Path" and Why It Poses the Starkest Danger to Church Unity since the 1970's

The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals and bishops against other bishops. ... The Church will be full of those who accept compromises, and the devil will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord. - Our Lady of Akita

When are the first reports due?

September 13, 2019

Has something like this happened in the past? What are the historical parallels to the German Bishops' "binding synodal path?"

Yes, something very similar happened in the past. This conference is a tried-and-true method of spreading new disciplines and doctrines that have been not endorsed by the Vatican to the universal Church.

In the early 1970's the German Bishops Conference was unhappy with the "unimaginative" and "glacial" way that the Church was implementing Vatican II. In response they organised the "W├╝rzburg Synod" that lead to the German Church implementing communion in the hand and extraordinary ministers of holy communion. 

In both cases the Vatican had declined to provide formal endorsements for the practices. But once the German Church began them it quickly spread to the rest of Western Europe and eventually to the rest of the Church. This provided nice cover for Paul VI who did not have to formally endorse sacrilege but could watch as it spread.

Are the German Bishops' using the same method today?

Yes. In fact, they are being more aggressive. They tried labeling the meetings in September a "synod" but were slapped down because a synod has formal rules and processes that come from the Vatican Curia. In response they have termed the meetings a "binding synodal path" which makes it clear their determination to implement the decisions made therein quickly.

In fact they are saying that the reason that the meetings are needed is...because Vatican II is not fully being implemented! Cardinal Reinhard Marx: “I am certain that the great renewal impulse of the Second Vatican Council is not being truly led forward and understood in its depth. We must further work on that. Further adaptations of Church teachings are required.”

They are using the exact same playbook.

What changes are they trying to implement?

What does "changing teaching on sexual morality" mean?

Why do the German Bishops feel so emboldened to act?

Pope Francis has devolved vast amounts of authority to local Bishops' conferences. His views on the relationship between the papacy and local bishops are closer to the Orthodox view of "national Churches" then they are to the Catholic position of "One, Holy" Church.

Has Pope Francis commented on the plans?

What should my takeaway be?

The German Bishops are extremely determined to implement their heterodoxical plans for the Universal Church after this "binding synodal path" is complete. The new policies and doctrine will most likely quickly spread to the universal Church. The Vatican is unlikely to intervene in any meaningful way.