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Bishop Bäzing offering his inaugural Mass as Bishop of Limburg, September 2016.YouTube screenshot

(LifeSiteNews) — The head of the German bishops’ Conference (DBK) has called for “new ideas” of “how we can found the Church differently.” 

In a sermon on July 23, during the 125th anniversary celebration of a parish church in Koblenz, Bishop Georg Bätzing, who is known as the leader and head of the heretical Synodal Way, said that he believes the Church is in a new “time of sowing.” 

“New ideas are needed about how we can found the Church differently, how we can appeal to people in new ways for the fundamental acts of worship, preaching, and selfless service,” Bätzing stated.  

The heterodox German prelate said there is a “need for courage to experiment” and to resist those who say “that this has never been done before.” 

“The old structure is no longer suitable for the future,” Bätzing argued. “All this does not mean the end of the Church, I am sure of that, but it does mean the end of a certain institutional form of church that was formative for just 100 years, but of which we have the impression that it has always been like this and should actually remain like this.” 

While Bätzing acknowledged that there had been “well-attended church services, intact youth work with scouts and altar boys, many volunteers and also spiritual vocations” in the past, he argued that “there had also been abuse of power and lack of freedom during this time, which had hindered rather than promoted self-determined religious development and genuine faith in God.” 

Bätzing’s remarks on founding the Church “differently” and “self-determined religious development” seem to imply that the Catholic Church is merely a human-made institution that can be adapted according to the Zeitgeist. However, one of the most essential Catholic teachings has always been that the Catholic Church was established by Jesus Christ himself as “His social body” and its teaching can therefore not be changed according to men’s will. 

In his 1943 encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi, Pope Pius XII wrote that the Catholic Church “is to be called not merely a body, but the Body of Jesus Christ.” 

“This follows from the fact that our Lord is the Founder, the Head, the Support and the Savior of this Mystical Body.” 

Quoting his predecessor Pope Leo XIII, Pius XII wrote that “The Church which, already conceived, came forth from the side of the second Adam in His sleep on the Cross, first showed Herself before the eyes of men on the great day of Pentecost.” 

“For the Divine Redeemer began the building of the mystical temple of the Church when by His preaching He made known His Precepts; He completed it when he hung glorified on the Cross; and He manifested and proclaimed it when He sent the Holy Ghost as Paraclete in visible form on His disciples,” Pius XII stated. 

Bätzing says Scripture should be interpreted based on one’s ‘daily life’ 

Bätzing furthermore stated in his sermon that Sacred Scripture should be interpreted according to one’s own “daily life.” 

“Speak of your own experience with God,” the German bishop said. “Start praying, personally and every day. Open the Scriptures, preferably read them together and interpret them from your daily life.” 

“Go out to the people and seek Christ there, in their sorrows and joys. Do not stay among yourselves. Come together to thank God and to be strengthened by the Eucharist,” he continued. 

Bätzing said that his “new beginning” will not be without conflict but “it is worthwhile to dare the new beginning and to trust in God,” so that “[t]he seed of faith can grow.” 

The head of the German bishops’ Conference seems to promote a subjective and modernist reading of Scripture when he calls on people to interpret the Bible from their “daily life.” The protestant dogma of Sola Scripture (Scripture alone) has been condemned by the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent. Instead, the Catholic Church has taught that the Magisterium is the ultimate interpreter of Scripture and that this interpretation must be in harmony with Sacred Tradition. 

The Dogmatic Constitution of the Second Vatican Council Dei Verbum states that “there exists a close connection and communication between sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture. For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end.” 

Dei Verbum furthermore states that “interpreting Scripture is subject finally to the judgment of the Church, which carries out the divine commission and ministry of guarding and interpreting the word of God.” 

A bishop known for his heterodoxy  

Bishop Bätzing is known for his heterodoxy and blatant opposition to Church teaching. He is a thought leader of the heretical “reform project” called the Synodal Way, which has called for changes in perennial Church doctrine on female ordinations and homosexuality. Bätzing said in September 2022 that the “reforms must not stop at Church teaching.” 

READ: Cdl. Müller: German Synodal Way is ‘worse than schism’ and has abandoned ‘essence of Christianity’ 

In May 2022, the head of the German bishops’ Conference issued binding guidelines for all parishes in his diocese of Limburg, coercing priests and other Catholic educators to accept and promote gender ideology and homosexual acts. 

READ: Cdl. Müller: ‘German Synodal sect’ has replaced Catholic faith with LGBT ideology