The Liturgical Emperor of the Vatican intervened to block the resolution of the German Synod Way calling for baptism of the faithful and preaching of sermons during Mass in Germany.
In a letter dated 29 March to the President of the German Bishops’ Assembly, Cardinal Arthur Roche (pictured) said neither was possible.
CNA Deutsch reported that the written intervention by Secretary of State Descastery for the Vatican’s Divine and Sacramental Discipline was addressed to Bishop Georg Betzing of Limburg.
Bishop Georg Betzing’s seven-page letter also reminded German bishops that liturgical translations must be checked and approved by the Vatican.
On the issue of preaching, Roche writes that the reason the laity cannot preach at Mass regularly is not because they need “better theological preparation or better communication skills.”
He emphasized that this does not mean that there is inequality among baptized Catholics, but rather that “there is discernment by the Spirit that produces different complementary and different charisma.”
Cardinal refuses to allow congregation to be baptized
The Cardinal also rejected the introduction of regular baptism of the laity, already practiced in some German parishes.
He wrote that it was impossible under canon law to justify this, for example by taking advantage of the shortage of priests.
Lay members may baptize validly only in exceptional circumstances, such as when there is a danger of death or “not only in painful circumstances of persecution, but in mission areas or other special needs”. The cardinal explained.
“Based on the available data from the Pope’s Almanac on clergy, it does not appear that such a situation exists in any of the dioceses in the area of the German Bishops’ Conference,” he said.
In response to Roche’s correspondence, a spokesperson for the German Bishops’ Conference on Thursday said bishops would continue to seek dialogue with Rome on these issues.
A spokeswoman for the powerful incumbent German Catholic Central Committee (ZdK) told katholisch.de that the Vatican letter was a welcome sign of Rome’s interest in the Synod’s results in Germany.
“The meeting in Rome has been postponed and is a matter of genuine interest to the Catholic civil society in this country,” said Britta Bass.
She added: We already have a clear shortage of priests. “
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https://cathnews.co.nz/2023/04/03/vatican-rejects-german-plans-for-laity-to-preach-homilies-conduct-baptisms/ Vatican rejects German plan for congregants to be preached or baptized