- Battle lines drawn
This week produced the clearest evidence yet that the Synod Fathers are sharply divided between those who are supporting Pope Francis in his efforts to present a more pastoral vision of the Church and those determined first and foremost to emphasise its moral teaching
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- Pope Francis invokes Paul VI's call for the Church to adapt to respond to changing 'needs of our time'
- Bishops pass synod document but fail to agree on three measures for care of remarried or gay Catholics
- Politicians and policy makers back Catholic Social Teaching as solution to economic crisis
- Francis picks Brentwood priest for biblical commission
Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, who, at Pope Francis’s request, is taking time out from his diocese following allegations of major financial extravagance, has admitted to committing perjury on two occasions according to the Hamburg district court prosecution department. The district court has in consequence provisionally stopped the proceedings for perjury against him, and if he pays a fine of 20,000 euros, the case will be considered closed.
This means that the bishop will have a clean (and not a criminal) record. The court’s decision is not subject to appeal and Bishop Tebartz has reportedly signalled that he will pay the fine.
Meanwhile the Limburg diocesan assembly has published a declaration saying that a fresh start with Bishop Tebartz would not be possible as the trust relationship between the bishop and the diocese had been too badly impaired.
Bishop Tebartz, who is currently residing at the Benedictine Abbey of Metten in Bavaria, has signalled several times that he would like to return to Limburg as bishop. He has the backing of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Müller, who has said that the bishop has “Rome’s full support”.