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Bishop Franz-Josef Bode Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

OSNABRÜCK, Germany (LifeSiteNews) — The vice president of the heretical German Synodal Way and the German bishops’ conference (DBK) has resigned from his position as bishop of Osnabrück, Germany. 

Bishop Franz-Josef Bode said in a video message on March 25 that Pope Francis has accepted his resignation and that he  therefore was resigning that day.  

“The decision to step down has already matured in me over the past few months,” Bode said in the video. 

“Particularly in dealing with cases of sexualized violence by clerics, for a long time, I tended to focus more on the perpetrators and the institution than on the victims. I misjudged cases, often acted hesitantly, and sometimes made the wrong decision,” he said. 

I have not lived up to my responsibility as bishop on these points. 

The interim report published last September on sexualized violence in the diocese of Osnabrück, which was published in September last year, once again made this clear to me and to the general public,” Bode continued. “I expressly acknowledge my responsibility and my personal mistakes, and today I can only once again ask all those affected for forgiveness.” 

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Liberal bishops around the world continue promoting heterodox views on homosexuality, female priests, divorce, contraception, and more — advancing anti-Catholic positions that jeopardize the salvation of souls.

Such bishops often sideline, ignore and even persecute traditional Catholics who simply ask that the Faith be preserved and passed on to their children.

But traditional Catholics cannot be silenced any longer, which is why we are uniting in this international boycott of modernist bishops and dioceses until the deposit of Faith is upheld by the hierarchy again. 

SIGN: We will not fund modernist bishops or priests who undermine the Catholic Faith, but rather direct our contributions towards faithful clergy and orders that work for the salvation of souls.

There are countless examples of bishops working against Christ's Church in calling for divine law to be ignored in favor of sexual, doctrinal and liturgical deviancy, even trying to clamp down on Catholics who practise the Faith. 

Just last year, Cardinal Cupich banned traditional prayers after Mass, and more recently has curtailed the Traditional Latin Mass in his diocese. 

The attack on the Faith is out in the open, with modernist bishops causing scandal in countless ways:

We have seen enough. Now is the time to show true Catholic unity against those who undermine the Faith - do not be bullied into submission by these men who would disfigure Christ's Church.

JOIN THE BOYCOTT & SHARE! Tell everyone you know to STOP giving money to bishops who attack the Catholic Faith.

"We therefore commit to a financial boycott of modernist bishops until the hierarchy resolves to uphold the entire deposit of Faith."

If the bishops refuse to uphold and protect the teaching of Christ's Bride, the Catholic Church, then we must refuse to support them until they repent. 

Thank you 

P.S. — Demanding that liberal bishops be held to account through financial boycott will help save the Church from doctrinal and pastoral ruin. This is the first step in restoring the Faith for future generations. Our time is now, so please join us by signing today!


Photos: Pope Francis. Flickr. Long Thiên; Cardinal Cupich. Flickr. Goat_Girl; Collection Plate: Lisa F. Young/Shutterstock

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READ: Report claims VP of German bishops conference knowingly promoted abusive priests 

The 72-year-old German prelate also named his worsening health condition as a reason for his resignation. 

In September 2022, an interim report on sexual abuse cases in the Bode’s diocese, compiled by a group of historians at the University of Osnabrück, severely incriminated the German bishop. The report stated the following: 

[…] in the first decades of his [Bode’s] term in office, individuals who have been accused [of sexual abuse] on several occasions, even those whose dangerousness could hardly be doubted, were left in their offices or appointed to offices that made further opportunities for committing crimes possible, e.g. as […] parish administrator or even entrusted with leadership tasks in pastoral care for young people.

The interim report contained “case studies of 15 priests and one deacon accused of perpetrating sexual violence against minors or those in need of protection. 

Though many were calling for his resignation at the time, Bode refused to step down after he was incriminated by the abuse report. He said in September that he had decided to devote all my energies in my remaining term to the tasks and duties already indicated by the interim report and also to face the results of the final report in two years.” 

In his video message from March 25, Bode addressed the issue of his delayed resignation by saying that “[t]he measures announced at that time are now so far along in their implementation that they can take their course and have an effect even without my leadership service in this diocese. 

Shortly before his resignation, Bode had implemented heretical practices that were approved by the German Synodal Assembly earlier this month. This included official “blessings” of homosexual and divorced and civilly remarried couples, laypeople administering baptisms and giving sermons during Holy Mass, as well as “queer pastoral care” for “transsexual” individuals. 

READ: German bishops approve same-sex ‘blessings’ by 38 to 9 vote in contravention of Church teaching 

According to a spokesperson of the Diocese of Osnabrück, Bode had already offered his resignation to Pope Francis back in January 2023. 

LifeSiteNews reporter Dr. Maike Hickson reacted to Bode’s resignation by saying that “[h]ere the German Synodal Path claimed they needed to change the Church’s teachings because of clerical sexual abuse, yet the key modernist bishops failed in that field themselves! Might show that they just used the suffering of the victims for their own agenda. 

Bishop Franz-Josef Bode: A history of heterodoxy 

Bode is a notorious modernist who was an integral part of pushing the heretical Synodal Way in Germany. The equally heterodox Bishop Georg Bätzing, head of the DBK and the Synodal Way, called Bode his “closest ally on the Synodal Path.” 

Bode has been in high-level positions in the Catholic Church in Germany for decades. He became Bishop of Osnabrück in 1995 and the following year took on important tasks in the DBK. From 1996-2010, he was chairman of the DBK Youth Commission and colloquially known as the “youth bishop.” He then became chairman of the DBK Pastoral Commission and its sub-commission “Women in Church and Society.” 

From 2017 until his resignation, he was vice president of the DBK. On top of that, he was one of the DBK delegates to the 2015 General Assembly of the World Synod of Bishops in Rome. In 2019, the DBK appointed Bode as the responsible leader of the preparatory forum for questions of sexual morality within the framework of the German Synodal Way. In dialogue with the Central Committee of German Catholics, Bode was also responsible for the issues of sexuality and sexual morality. He was one of the two vice presidents of the Synodal Way. 

The German bishop was well-known for his heterodox positions and actions. He claimed that the Catholic Church could give Communion to non-Catholics in mixed marriages and publicly supports blessings for same-sex couples, as well as female ordinations.In February 2020, the German prelate made international headlines withscandalous statement, saying “For us, Christ became a human being, not a man.” This led to a public correction by his fellow Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, who described the statement as “ridiculous & heretical.” 

At the end of last year, Bode allowed laywomen to administer baptism in his diocese and advocated for opening “the priesthood to married men, including those with a civil profession.” He also publicly supported the German government’s plans to legalize marijuana consumption, despite the Catholic Church’s clear condemnation of drugs.