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(LifeSiteNews) — Bishop Georg Bätzing, the head of the German Bishops’ Conference, responded to the new synodal document revealed by the Vatican on Thursday by calling it an “encouragement” for the Church in Germany and the Synodal Way. 

Bätzing wrote in a press release that the new document from the Synod on Synodality shows that “the Synodal Way of the Church in Germany is to be understood as part of a synodal dynamic that has taken hold of the entire Church.”  

“The issues we address in the four forums and at the synodal assemblies are also being discussed in other parts of the church,” the German prelate continued. 

“Therefore, in many parts of the Church, an active role for women in the Church’s leadership structures, their preaching ministry, and a diaconate for women is advocated, and in a number of local churches also the ordination of women to the priesthood (cf. no. 64),” Bätzing stated, referencing the Vatican synod document. 

READ: US bishops’ synod report ignores Catholics’ strong support for Church teaching, criticism of Pope Francis

“The working document also explicitly points to the situation of LGBTQ persons and people in same-sex unions, who often experience rejection in the Church (cf. 39, 51),” the German bishop added. 

Bätzing concluded his statement by saying that he views the document as an “encouragement for the Church in Germany. 

The working document can therefore also be read as an encouragement to the Church in Germany to seek dialogue with the other particular churches even more strongly than before, especially with regard to synodality. It is an invitation to listen to each other on the worldwide synodal journey and to go the further stage together.

Bätzing is the head of the heterodox Synodal Way, which openly seeks to change perennial church teaching on matters like homosexuality and women’s ordination. A document approved by participants of the Synodal Way claims that sodomy is “not a sin” and “not to be judged as intrinsically evil.” Bishop Bätzing has said that Catholic teaching on homosexuality “must be changed” and was responsible for a working document of the Synodal Path that endorsed masturbation and contraception

READ: The ‘Synodal Way’ wants to reverse Catholic teaching on homosexuality. Here’s why that’s impossible

The Vatican has unveiled the new document to guide the next stage of the Synod on Synodality, which presents calls for more inclusion of the divorced and “re-married,” LGBT groups, and proposes the possibility of a “female diaconate.” 

The 45-page document was presented at a press conference at the Holy See Press Office on October 27 by the Synod on Synodality team: Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich (relator general of the Synod), Cardinal Mario Grech (general secretary of the Synod of Bishops), Professor Anna Rowlands, Father Giacomo Costa (consulter of the General Secretariat of the Synod), and Monsignor Piero Coda (secretary general of the international theological commission). 

The document of the Synod on Synodality appears to have the same trajectory as the heterodox Synodal Way, which has been widely criticized as heretical and schismatic by orthodox Catholics, including high-ranking bishops like Cardinals George Pell, Kurt Koch, Gerhard Müller, and Walter Brandmüller. 

Cardinal Müller has referred to the Synod on Synodality as a “hostile takeover of the Church” that would destroy the Catholic Church if it were successful. 

RELATED:

Joint head of Germany’s Synodal Way: Reforms ‘must not stop at Church teaching’

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