As German Synodal Assembly begins, lay Catholics express anger at Vatican

Against the background of lay Catholics’ anger about a Vatican decision not to censure Cologne clergy for mishandling abuse cases, German Catholics — bishops, clergy and laity — gathered in Frankfurt for the start of the three-day Synodal Path Assembly.

But before discussions began on the agenda, the leadership decided to allow an hour to clear the air after the Vatican decided to reinstate bishops accused of mishandling abuse.

“We can’t just continue with our agenda — we need a discussion,” said Limburg Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the German bishops’ conference and co-president of the assembly. Without mentioning names, he said he understood everyone who was “desperate and stunned” by the Sep 24 Vatican announcements.

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