They added, “It is not a good example of communication within the Church, if statements are published that are not signed by name.”
Although one German prelate, Bishop Bertram Meyer of Augsburg, welcomed Rome’s statement, writing the concern for unity was clearly a “virus,” CNA Deutsch to report, “Synodal Way” organizers accused the Vatican of a lack of willingness to communicate: “Unfortunately, the Synodal Committee was not invited to the discussion [with Vatican bodies] until now.”
In its statement on Thursday, the Holy See said: “The ‘synodal way’ in Germany does not have the power to compel bishops and the faithful to adopt new forms of governance and new directions of doctrine and ethics.”
The Vatican notes that it seems “necessary to clarify” this “in order to protect the freedom of God’s people and the exercise of the episcopal ministry”.
The July 21 statement warned: “It will not be permissible to introduce new governmental structures or doctrines in the diocese before an agreement is reached at the level of the universal Church, which would violate the religious community and threaten the unity of the Church.”
In response to Butzing and Stetter-Karp’s reaction, the Secretary-General of the Nordic Bishops’ Conference, himself a German religious, raised the question At issue is whether the process itself suffers from a “communication problem”.