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The Vatican reportedly sent a letter to German bishops barring church officials' attempts to change doctrine, including the condemnation of homosexuality and the possibility of female clergy members.
Fox News Digital reported that Vatican officials have pressed the "German Synodal Way" to abandon radical propositions, such as homosexual relationships and female priesthood. The letter was apparently made available to the public on October 23, and it rebuked the effort of German bishops to overturn established doctrine.
The report noted that letter was translated from German into English by the blog Rotate Caeli, which stated: "[I]t must be made clear from the outset that these issues are of varying relevance and cannot all be placed on the same level,"
"Some of them have aspects that cannot be put up for discussion, but also aspects that can be subjected to joint in-depth discussion. With regard to others, however, there is no possibility of arriving at a different assessment..."
The letter was reportedly written by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin and subsequently sent to Secretary General Beate Gilles of the German Bishops Conference, according to the Catholic News Agency.
The German Bishops' Conference has insisted on using its voice in the ongoing Synod of Synodality to rewire various church teachings on a variety of social issues, some of which could subvert the unity of the institution.
Within the letter, Parolin referenced a ruling in 1994 by Pope St. John Paul II, which said: "So that all doubt maybe removed concerning this important matter, which concerns the divine constitution of the Church itself, I declare, by virtue of my office of strengthening the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), that the Church has no authority whatsoever to ordain women to the priesthood, and that all the faithful of the Church must definitively abide by this decision."
The letter went on to make mention of Pope Francis' 2013 reiteration of John Paul II's initial ruling: "With regard to the ordination of women to the priesthood, the Church has spoken, and she says: No — St. John Paul II said this, but in a definitive way. This door is closed."
The letter went on to mention that if German officials decided to ordain women into the priesthood, there would be an immediate "excommunication."
The Vatican has also refused to acknowledge the possibility of homosexual relationships.
"Another issue on which a local Church has no possibility of taking a different view concerns homosexual acts," the letter says.
"For even if one recognizes that from a subjective point of view there may be various factors that call us not to judge people, this in no way changes the evaluation of the objective morality of these acts."
The recent development comes as the Catholic Church appears to be declining in Germany, with more than 500,000 people leaving the church, according to the DW. The prevalence of sexual abuse scandals are believed to be partly to be blame.
The Catholic Church has been riddled with sex abuse scandals for decades, many of which were covered up by senior officials within the institution.
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