19 December 2023, The Tablet

The Synodal Path and the Catholic Church in Germany

by Alexander Unser

The Synodal Path and the Catholic Church in Germany

Alexander Unser looks at the background to the Synodal Path in Germany and gives an overview of the current developments in Germany that are connected to it.

Pope Francis’ vision of a synodal church is currently shaping debates within the Church like no other topic. At the end of October, the first part of the Synod of Bishops ended in Rome, which focused exclusively on what a synodal church could look like. In the run-up to this synod, the so-called Synodal Path taken by the Catholic Church in Germany also attracted international attention – some in a positive way, others in a highly critical manner.

Even though I was not a delegate to the Synodal Path, I closely followed the publicly streamed debates. In addition to information on the working methods and results of the Synodal Path, I would like to offer a hermeneutical framework that helps to understand the Synodal Path of the Catholic Church in Germany. To do this, we must return to the recent past, especially 2010 and 2018.


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