Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver expounded on his recent open letter on the German bishops’ “Synodal Way,” in an interview with CNA Deutsch on Friday.
The German bishops’ “Synodal Path” began in 2019 and is ongoing, expected to conclude in February 2022. It includes bishops and lay people, and is meant to address four major topics: how power is exercised in the Church; sexual morality; the priesthood; and the role of women.
While the bishops initially said the process would conclude with a series of “binding” votes, the Vatican told the bishops their plans were “not ecclesiologically valid.”
In his open letter dated May 13, Archbishop Aquila said that the fundamental text produced by the first forum of the synod – on how power is exercised in the Church – revealed an “untenable” view of the Church. His open letter was a 15-page commentary on the synod text.
Below is Archbishop Aquila’s interview with CNA Deutsch:
CNA: Your Grace, your letter came as a great surprise to many people – especially here in Germany. Where does your great interest in the “Synodal Way “come from?
Archbishop Aquila: As the Holy Father’s postponement of the synod on synodality until 2023 to allow for a lengthier preparatory period makes clear, the question of synodality is a very important one for the Universal Church. The letter recognizes the value of synods in some of the questions raised. The concern is about how synodality is being implemented in Germany. There, it is used not only to address local, pastoral issues but to negotiate foundational doctrinal questions of universal import.
The German Synodal Path, as many other bishops have recognized, affects the whole Church because it calls into question fundamental teachings about the nature and structure of the Church as instituted by Jesus. There is one faith, one Lord. “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever” (Hb 13:8).