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Pope Francis at the end of Mass, October 4, 2023Haynes/LifeSiteNews

(LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis has expressed his “concern” that the Church in Germany is moving away from the Universal Church, but he failed once again to correct the Synodal Way’s heretical teachings on sexuality. 

The German Newspaper WELT published a letter written by Pope Francis addressed to four women, two of them being theology professors. This letter, written in German, led critics of the Synodal Way to praise Francis for condemning the heterodox German synod. But the pope’s criticism has nothing to do with the Synodal Way’s attack on Catholic moral teaching, but rather with undermining the authority of the bishops via the “Synodal Council” the German bishops are trying to set up.  

In the letter, dated November 10, 2023, the Roman Pontiff writes that he shares the “concern about the now numerous concrete steps with which large parts of this local [German] church is threatening to move further and further away from the common path of the Universal Church.”

As a sign that the Catholic Church in Germany is moving away from the Universal Church, Francis mentions “the constitution of the Synodal Committee… which is intended to prepare the introduction of an advisory and decision-making body [the ‘Synodal Council’] that, in the form outlined in the corresponding resolution text, is not compatible with the sacramental structure of the Catholic Church and whose establishment was therefore prohibited by the Holy See in a letter dated January 16, 2013, which I specifically approved.” 

The permanent Synodal Council that the heterodox German bishops envision is a “democratic” governing body consisting of clergy and laypeople with authority over individual bishops. The Vatican forbade the German bishops to set up this Synodal Council in January. However, the head of the German Bishops’ Conference defied the order from the Vatican and went ahead with the “Synodal Committee,” whose sole purpose is the preparation of a permanent Synodal Council. 

READ: Pope forbids permanent ‘Synodal Council’ in Germany while bishops’ conference president remains defiant 

Francis continued his letter: “Instead of seeking ‘salvation’ in ever new committees and discussing the same topics in a certain self-centeredness, in my ‘Letter to the Pilgrim People of God in Germany,’ I wanted to recall the need for prayer, penance, and adoration and invite people to open up and go out ‘to meet our brothers and sisters, especially those who are to be found at the doorsteps of our churches, on the streets, in the prisons, in the hospitals, in the squares and in the cities’ (no. 8). I am convinced that this is where the Lord will show us the way.”  

To the observer who knows little else about Francis, this may sound like a firm rejection of the heretical ideas of the German Synodal Way. However, we must look closely at Francis’s actions (or lack thereof) to see what is happening here. 

The letter would have been one of many excellent opportunities to denounce the heretical documents of the Synodal Way regarding homosexual acts, same-sex “blessings,women’s ordinations, and transgenderism. But Francis refused to do so like he had many times before. 

Some defenders of Pope Francis argue that the Pontiff’s ambiguous reply to the dubia regarding the ‘blessing” of homosexual unions did not actually allow priests to decide for themselves whether or not to “bless” same-sex couples by exerting “pastoral prudence,” despite clear indications that it does precisely that. 

However, both the Archbishop of Berlin and the Bishop of Speyer have introduced “blessings” for homosexual unions, citing Pope Francis’ words as justification. If Francis rejected this interpretation of his words, which contradicts Church teaching, why didn’t he intervene? And why did Francis not rebuke Bishop Johan Bonny, who publicly claimed that Pope Francis approves of the Belgian bishops’ plans to “bless” same-sex couples? 

Because Pope Francis is a master of playing both sides of an argument. He gives his conservative defenders enough ammunition to make a case that he is not officially teaching heresy while giving constant winks and nods to the progressives to go ahead with their sinful practices. 

It is true that the Congregation (now Dicastery) of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) issued a response in 2021, affirming traditional Church teaching by stating that the Church does not have the power to bless same-sex unions. However, since then, every action (or inaction) of Francis in this regard has undermined the teaching of the Church on same-sex blessings that he allegedly holds to. 

He is promoting what Cardinal Gerhard Müller fittingly called the “heresy of practice” by being (at best) ambiguous in his teaching while allowing the modernists in the Church to implement heretical practices, like the reception of communion for unrepented adulterers and same-sex “blessings.” 

READ: Pope Francis signs text affirming Amoris Laetitia allows Communion for divorced and ‘remarried’ 

Pope Francis’s frequent publicized meetings with “Catholic” pro-LGBT groups who openly reject Church doctrine are further evidence of this modus operandi. Francis does not simply fail to rebuke them, but he rather frequently encourages these heretical groups by thanking them for their work and “ministry.” 

READ: Pope Francis welcomes leaders of heretical LGBT activist groups in latest scandalous meeting 

None of the pope’s actions suggest that he is particularly concerned about the Synodal Way’s heretical teaching regarding sexual morals. On the contrary, Francis appears to be endorsing much of it. Instead, he is worried about the bishops giving up their authority to a kind of synodal parliament.  

To understand the Francis pontificate, it is crucial to consider his entire body of work, including his actions that are not officially part of his teaching office, instead of naively reading into vaguely worded documents the orthodox meaning we would like to hear. 


Pope Francis says ordination of women ‘can be the subject of study’ 

Pope Francis allowing same-sex ‘blessings’ shows he wants the German Synodal Way for the whole Church