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*Image: Bishop Georg Bätzing at the German bishops’ spring meeting, February 2021. [Sascha Steinbach/EPA]

By Stephen P. White, The Catholic Thing, April 23, 2022

Stephen P. White is executive director of The Catholic Project at The Catholic University of America and a fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Stephen P. WhiteLast week, 70 bishops from around the world wrote to Bishop Georg Bätzing, the president of the German Bishops Conference, to express growing concerns about the direction of the German “Synodal Path.” (More bishops have since added their names to the letter.) This was the latest in a string of such interventions urging the Germans to pump the brakes. Bishop Bätzing’s response, published three days after the initial letter, is unlikely to quell any of those concerns.

Indeed, Bishops Bätzing didn’t seem particularly concerned with engaging criticism so much as waving it off. He actually expressed “astonishment” at his brother bishops’ concerns about the Synodal Path, which is a little strange given that similar and related concerns were expressed publicly by the Nordic bishops just last month. . .and by Polish bishops (on more than one occasion). . .and even by Pope Francis himself. …

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