Another decisive Vatican ‘no’ for German reformers

The Vatican has underlined that lay Catholics may not participate in the election of a bishop and has thus turned down another of the German synodal path initiative’s reform proposals.

Last September, the German archdiocese of Paderborn took up the synodal path initiative’s reform proposal titled “Involvement of the faithful in the appointment of the diocesan bishop.”

By drawing lots, it chose 14 lay Catholics who would join the 14 members of the cathedral chapter in selecting a list of candidates that the chapter submits to the Pope.

The way bishops are appointed in German dioceses differs according to the rules laid down in the concordats between different German states and the Holy See.

In Paderborn, the 14 members of the cathedral chapter draw up a list of possible candidates and submit it to the Vatican. The Vatican then chooses three names from the list and sends them back to Paderborn. The chapter then selects one of the three candidates as archbishop.

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