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Bishop Georg Bätzing (left); Irme Stetter-Karp (right)Deutsche Bischofskonferenz/YouTube screenshot

BERLIN (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic laywoman and co-president of the German “Synodal Way” Irme Stetter-Karp has called for the “nationwide provision of abortion” in Germany.

German newspaper Die Zeit published the comments by Stetter-Karp, president of the Central Committee of German Catholics, this week.

Stetter-Karp stated that abortion is “not a regular intervention and should not be treated as such,” but argued that the Central Committee of German Catholics advocates for “ethically responsible action on the part of all those involved.” 

“At the same time, a nationwide provision of the medical intervention of abortion must be ensured,” Stetter-Karp said. “This is not the case at present because gynecological care is lacking in rural areas in particular.” 

RELATED: Archbishop of Denver accuses German bishops of ‘betraying the Gospel’

The Central Committee of German Catholics is co-organizer of the heterodox “Synodal Way,” along with the German Bishops’ Conference. Stetter-Karp is president of the lay committee of the German “Synodal Way” and co-president of the initiative.

Her statement supporting abortion directly contradicts Catholic doctrine, as according to the Catholic Church, abortion is a grave sin, violating the Fifth Commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.” 

In Evangelium Vitae, Pope St. John Paul II employed his full papal authority to publicly condemn abortion as a grave sin, “since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being.”  

In March, the Federation of German Catholic Youth (BDKJ), an umbrella organization of Catholic children’s and youth associations, celebrated the Federal Cabinet of Germany‘s removal of the ban on advertising abortion 

“In some areas of Germany, abortions are no longer accessible,” a spokesperson for the association said. “This puts pregnant women under additional time pressure, making it difficult to decide for or against an abortion.” 

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, condemned Stetter-Karp‘s comments, tweeting, “We cannot remain silent as others advocate for national policies for murdering unborn children. This is a worldwide plague and must be denounced vigorously. 

The “Synodal Way” in Germany has caused global controversy due to heterodox proposals put forth by the program, including reversal of Catholic doctrine on the sinfulness of homosexuality, ordination of women to the priesthood, and “blessings” of same-sex unions.

RELATED: Cardinal Pell: Pope ‘will have to speak’ against dissident German Synod

Synods do not have any authority unless given by the pope. The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly teaches that,The college or body of bishops has no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s successor, as its head.”  

“The college of bishops exercises power over the universal Church in a solemn manner in an ecumenical council,” the Catechism continues. But there never is an ecumenical council which is not confirmed or at least recognized as such by Peter’s successor.” 

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