Two Catholic bishops in Germany, Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen and Heinrich Timmerevers of Dresden, have called for major changes in the church's teachings on sexual morality as part of contributions to a new book called Catholic and Queer.
The debate about the ordination of women to the priesthood in the Catholic Church is intensifying in Germany. At an award ceremony hosted by the German bishops' conference, the head of the German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle called for women to have access to ordained ministries in the church.
German Bishops' Conference president Bishop Georg Bätzing said he favors an intense exchange of views concerning the desire of some same-sex couples to receive the Catholic Church's blessing for their partnerships.
Cologne Cardinal Rainer Woelki's request to Pope Francis follows on reports alleging that in 2015, the cardinal did not report to Rome about a serious case of sexual abuse that had taken place decades before.
Pope Francis has received a remarkably long list of guests from Germany in recent weeks, more than from any other country, which is remarkable especially considering restrictions on visits caused by the ongoing pandemic.
Law professor Charlotte Kreuter-Kirchhof, recently appointed by Pope Francis as a member of the high-level group that oversees the Vatican's finances, said Aug. 10 that she regards it possible that women could serve as priests in the Catholic Church and in top roles within the Vatican bureaucracy.
The leadership of the German Bishops’ Conference has never been hit by so much change at any one time. The secretary of the organisation, Hans Langendoerfer, has said he will step down, weeks after president Reinhard Marx announced his retirement.
New details seem to emerge in a case involving a priest found guilty on several counts of sexual abuse who had held positions in the Munich archdiocese under then Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger — the later Pope Benedict XVI., now Pope emeritus.