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Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen is one of the two leaders of the forum which adopted the new documentBistum Essen / YouTube

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February 9, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — German bishops and laity on the so-called Synodal Path are pushing for an expanded role for women in the Church, including preaching during Mass and even female ordination, according to a working document recently published in an unofficial but accurate English translation. The document also demands elections for leadership positions, as well as “a new council,” in an effort to promote a synodal structure of the Church.

In addition, the document appears to embrace what can be called relativism: “A handling of complexity that is attentive and sensitive to ambiguity can be regarded as a basic signature of intellectual contemporaneity — and also encompasses today’s theology. For theology, too, there is no one central perspective, no one truth of the religious, moral and political world, and no one form of thought that can lay claim to ultimate authority.”

“In the Church, too, legitimate views and ways of life can compete with each other even in core convictions,” the text continued. “Yes, they can even at the same time make the theologically justified claim to truth, correctness, comprehensibility and honesty, and nevertheless be contradictory to each other in their statements or in their language.”

The wide-ranging document was adopted on December 3 by Forum 1 of the Synodal Path, which is concerned with power and the separation of powers within the Church. One of the two leaders of the forum is Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen. While some members of the forum, among them Overbeck, can be characterized as willing to change Church teaching, others — like Bishop Florian Wörner, an auxiliary in Augsburg, and Marianne Schlosser, a theologian teaching in Vienna, Austria — are more conservative. Most members, however, are not well known.

Other forums include Forum 2 on priestly lifestyle, and Forum 3 on the role of women. Forum 4 focuses on the Church’s moral teachings, specifically regarding sexuality.

The document has not yet been voted on by all participants in the Synodal Path, which includes a number of bishops and laity opposed to the proposals made in the text.

“The question of the admission of women to ordained ministry, which will also be discussed in the Synodal Path’s Forum 3, is also a question of power and separation of powers because of the exclusivity of access,” the document stated.

“Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, stated that the Church has no right to ordain women to the priesthood,” Forum 1 admitted in the text. “However, due to new insights into the witness of the Bible, into the developments of Tradition, and into the anthropology of gender, the coherence of his argumentation and the validity of his statement are often questioned.”

“It is necessary to reconnect again the witness of Scripture and Tradition with the signs of the times and the sense of faith of the people of God,” the text continued. Earlier, it had built up “the signs of the times” and “the sense of faith of the people of God” as important interpretative keys to argue for changes to the Church’s teaching.

Accordingly, “Forum 1 proposes that the church in Germany, during the Synodal Path, should also give a reasoned vote on the question of the admission of women to ordination, which includes an invitation to the universal Church and the Apostolic See to study anew the questions raised, and to find solutions.”

Given that the demand for female ordination directly contradicts what Pope John Paul II said less than 30 years ago, the document also asked for other — less outrageous — changes: “The Apostolic See is requested to respect the formative rights of diocesan bishops that serve to organize local pastoral ministry and promote evangelization. Examples include the preaching of qualified faithful, commissioned for this ministry, in the celebration of the Eucharist and the organization of parish and community leadership.”

Regarding leadership positions in the Church, the document stated, “For the Catholic Church, it is important that decision-making processes are tied back to the interests and ideas of the faithful, which are rooted in their sense of faith.”

“An essential form of participation is the right to vote,” the document pointed out. “Whoever is entrusted with a leadership office in the Catholic Church must be elected for this purpose by the people of the Church, if necessary through elected representative bodies. As long as universal Church law does not provide for elections, suitable forms must be found under diocesan law for the people of God to participate effectively in the selection of persons to assume a leadership office in the Church.”

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PETITION: Urge Catholic bishops to refuse Holy Communion to pro-abortion Biden
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PETITION UPDATE (3/15/21) - 

Reports suggest that the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Conference (USCCB) is preparing a vote on what to do about pro-abortion Joe Biden (and, presumably, other abortion-promoting politicians) who continues to present himself (themselves) for Holy Communion.

Public excommunication would be a suitable response for Biden's obstinate, public and grave sin of scandalously promoting abortion.

Please continue to SIGN and SHARE this important petition.

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PETITION UPDATE (2/4/20)

Since Joe Biden was sworn-in on the 20th of January, he has wasted no time in signing Executive Orders to destroy the protections which former President Trump offered to the unborn and to the innocence and modesty of children of the United States.

In one executive order, Biden rescinded the Mexico City Policy prohibiting the federal government from spending taxpayer monies on abortion and the promotion of abortion.

And, in another executive order, Biden seeks to force girls' athletic programs, restrooms, and locker rooms to accept gender-confused males.

Since the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was shamefully silent throughout the presidential campaign on the pre-eminent issues of abortion and gender ideology, and what Biden vowed he would do as president, it is cold comfort that their pro-life office is now speaking up about this Administration's wilful disregard for human life and for God's design of human nature (i.e., two biological sexes).

Stated plainly, Joe Biden is as bad as he said he would be, and the bishop, acting in unison (as the USCCB) have an obligation to the Lord (first) and to the faithful (second) to refuse Holy Communion to this grave public sinner.

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by dialoguing with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

A man who continues to use the church as a backdrop for statements about how "Catholic/religious" he is, but, at the same time, is now doing everything in his power to protect the murder of the innocent, needs to publicly repent before dialogue can begin.

The bishops should not dialogue with or congratulate someone who has publicly betrayed the Church's teaching and who is leading others astray.

It's an embarrassment and a scandal for the bishops to continue to allow him to receive Holy Communion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition today!

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PETITION UPDATE (12/10/20)

Prior to the election on November 3, the U.S. bishops did not address Joe Biden’s anti-Catholic position regarding faith and morals as a unified body.

The USCCB, the organization to which every U.S. bishop belongs and which is staffed and led by bishops, remained disgracefully silent in the run-up to the election.

What were the bishops afraid of, losing their charitable tax status with the IRS, or being deprived of fat checks from the HHS (immigration programs) and USAID (foreign aid programs)?

Or, were they just too cowardly to clearly declare Christ's law to be above man's law and risk the ire of a Joe Biden as president?

Either way, the bishops’ lack of clarity in this regard is a terrible scandal in itself and probably greatly contributed to the possible election of a pro-abortion, anti-Catholic Catholic to the presidency.

Given the fact that exit polling shows Catholics split their vote 50-50 for Trump and Biden, even a slight deviation in the heavily-Catholic swing-states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania could have produced different results.

The bishops could have spoken out against Biden’s pro-abortion stance collectively, but, again, they were overwhelmingly and shamefully silent.

Because of this, they will be at least partly responsible for the policies advanced by a Biden administration, in the event that Biden is sworn into office.

However, the bishops can, even now, mitigate the damage done by their inaction by taking the following steps: 1) Speak with one voice, as the USCCB, and plainly condemn Biden's pro-abortion stance; 2) Publicly advise Biden not to present himself for Holy Communion because of his scandalous position on abortion and homosexual "marriage;" and, 3) Tell Biden to publicly repent of publicly promoting the wilfull murder of the preborn, sins against nature, and diminishing the natural family.

Thankfully, some individual bishops have spoken out forcefully on Biden's scandalous behavior, and his standing in the Church.

On November 9, Archbishop Strickland of Tyler, Texas tweeted: “A dark cloud has descended on this nation when the USCCB and Planned Parenthood speak in unison in support of a Biden-Harris administration that supports the slaughter of innocents by abortion for all 9 months of pregnancy.”

Additionally, Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, Colorado and Archbishop Charles Chaput have both declared publicly that Joe Biden “should not receive Holy Communion."

But, to add insult to injury, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C. has said that he will give Holy Communion to Biden because “it’s a matter of the responsibility that I have as the archbishop to be engaged and to be in dialogue with him, even in those areas where we obviously have some differences.”

And, Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington, Delaware and Bishop McElroy of San Diego also congratulated Biden in statements, but they have not indicated whether or not they would administer Holy Communion to him.

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by dialoguing with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

A man who uses the church as a backdrop to make sickening political advertisements about how "Catholic/religious" he is, but, at the same time, says that he will do everything in his power to protect the murder of the innocent, needs to publicly repent before dialogue can begin.

The bishops should not dialogue with or congratulate someone who has publicly betrayed the Church's teaching and who is leading others astray.

It's an embarrassment and a scandal for the bishops to continue to allow him to receive Holy Communion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition today!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/us-bishops-concerned-about-pro-abortion-biden-previously-hailed-him-as-second-catholic-president

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abp-aquila-backs-call-for-pro-abortion-catholic-joe-biden-to-be-denied-holy-communion?utm_source=top_news&utm_campaign=standard

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/former-philly-archbishop-biden-not-in-full-communion-with-the-catholic-church

https://www.thesoutherncross.org/news/bishop-mcelroy-offers-prayers-and-congratulations-to-president-elect-biden/

https://www.ncronline.org/news/politics/us-catholics-weigh-mixed-reaction-biden-win

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PETITION UPDATE (9/29/20)

Cardinal Raymond Burke has stated that Democratic candidate Joe Biden should not receive Holy Communion because of his support for abortion.

In an interview for Thomas McKenna's Catholic Action for Faith and Family podcast, Cardinal Burke states the following (starting around 5:00):

First of all, I would tell him [Biden] not to approach to receive Holy Communion, out of charity toward him, because that would be a sacrilege and endanger the salvation of his own soul.

But, also, he should not approach to receive Holy Communion because he gives scandal to everyone, because if someone says, 'I'm a devout Catholic," and, at the same time is promoting abortion, it gives the impression to others that it's acceptable for a Catholic to be in favor of abortion.

Of course, it's absolutely not acceptable, and never has been, and never will be.

We give thanks for Cardinal Burke's frankness and clarity. And, we call on every U.S. Catholic bishop to follow Cardinal Burke's lead and call out Joe Biden for his bloody-minded hypocrisy on the issue of abortion.

To reiterate: You cannot be a Catholic and support abortion.

Thank you for continuing to sign this urgent petition.

___________________________________________________________________________

PETITION UPDATE (8/17/20)

The Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, keeps claiming to be Catholic but has said he will do everything in his power to support abortion.

And, with his pick of California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, Biden has just cemented abortion into the Democrats' 2020 presidential ticket.

Indeed, Harris is vehemently pro-abortion.

During her time as attorney general of California, Harris played a key role in defending Planned Parenthood over its sale of aborted baby parts (which violated multiple federal laws, according to undercover video of abortion industry personnel).

And, last year, Harris unveiled a plan to essentially force pro-life states to seek permission from the federal government before pro-life laws can take effect.

Additionally, Harris has dangerous views on religious liberty and freedom of speech.

Harris displayed anti-Catholic bigotry in the confirmation hearings of Judge Brian Buescher. Harris cited his membership in the “all-male society” the Knights of Columbus and its stances against abortion and same-sex “marriage” as grounds for rejecting Buescher for a federal district court in Nebraska.

And, David Daleiden, head of the pro-life investigative group Center for Medical Progress, wrote that from his firsthand experience, he considers Harris the “greatest threat to First Amendment civil rights our country has ever seen.”

Joe Biden has seriously erred by taking on Kamala Harris as his running mate, further distancing himself from the truths of the Catholic Faith, especially that every life is sacred from conception till natural death.

Please CLICK HERE to read an article which details one U.S. bishop's warning about the Biden-Harris ticket.

And, please continue to SIGN and SHARE this petition.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Of course, these two things are incompatible: you cannot be Catholic and pro-abortion.

And, a "Catholic" politician's responsibility in this regard is absolute: On pain of serious sin, he or she can never promote abortion because abortion is the wilful murder of innocent preborn human beings, and also because doing so causes grave scandal to the Church and the faithful.

Please SIGN this urgent petition asking the bishops of the United States to refuse to give Holy Communion to Joe Biden until he publicly repents from his scandalous promotion of abortion.

Biden recently promised to “codify Roe v. Wade” as president, adding, "my Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate a woman’s protected, constitutional right to choose."

And, since starting his latest run for the presidency, Biden also flip-flopped against the Hyde Amendment, saying that he would allow federal funds to be spent on abortion - a position he claimed to be against for more than 40 years.

In short, Joe Biden will do everything in his power to enable and defend the wilful murder of innocent preborn human beings.

So, this should not be a hard decision for our U.S. bishops. In fact, in another circumstance, it was already done by an Illinois bishop.

Indeed, Bishop Paprocki, of Springfield, Illinois, invoked Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law to withdraw Holy Communion from two Illinois state politicians who had worked to enact radical new abortion legislation in 2019.

Canon 915 states: "Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."

Of course, no-one, least of all the bishops, wants anyone to be deprived of Holy Communion.

A politician who publicly and obstinately advocates for the murder of innocent preborn babies puts himself out-of-communion with the Church and her teaching. 

Pro-abortion politicians should not think that they can advocate for the murder of the unborn and receive the Body of Christ at the same time. This would be to defile the Eucharist while giving scandal to the faithful.

Depriving politicians of Holy Communion is not just meant to prevent scandal; it is also designed to bring a grave public sinner to repentance. In this way, such an action is meant to be for the good of their souls, too.

Thank you for SIGNING this urgent petition which calls on the U.S. Catholic bishops to refuse to admit Joe Biden to Holy Communion until he publicly repents from his scandalous promotion of abortion.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Joe Biden: I support abortion ‘under any circumstance’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/joe-biden-i-support-abortion-under-any-circumstance

Catholic priest denies Joe Biden Holy Communion for pro-abortion stance - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-priest-denies-joe-biden-holy-communion-for-pro-abortion-stance

Cardinal McCarrick and the Concealing of Rome’s Position on Denying Communion  - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-mccarrick-and-the-concealing-of-romes-position-on-denying-communio

**Photo Credit: Joshua Roberts / Getty Images

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The most prominent leadership office in the Church is that of bishop, followed by that of parish priest. In other words, Catholics in Germany could vote for a new bishop in their dioceses, should the Synodal Path’s proposal be accepted.

Other ways to increase participation in the Church’s life include the building up of synodal structures. While this applies even to the local parish level, on the level of the universal Church, the document demanded “a synodal forum … an assembly of the universal Church, a new council, in which believers within and outside of ordained ministry deliberate and decide together on questions of theology and pastoral care as well as on the constitution and structure of the Church.”

It appears the bishops and members of the laity pushing for these reforms during the Synodal Path are willing to change the Church to fit categories established by modern democratic states.

“A look at the democratic societies of the present day in politics, in economy and administration, in education, as well as in associations and societies, reveals vested rights and organized processes of participation, characterized by elections and separation of powers, by accountability, control, and limitation of terms of office, by participation and transparency,” the document stated. “If the Catholic Church wants to remain faithful to her mission, inculturation into societies characterized by democratic processes is necessary.”

According to a report by The Pillar, a senior official at the Congregation for Bishops said the document is under review by the Vatican. It remains to be seen if the Vatican will intervene regarding a mere working document which has not yet been approved by the participants in the Synodal Path.

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