Pope Francis carves out various topics from the Synod on Synodality

Bishop Genn heads Vatican expert group on the episcopate

Vatican City - The Pope does not want to put some important issues of church reform to a vote at the Synod on Synodality. He has outsourced them to study groups that will meet until 2025. Some of them include German-speaking experts.

Published  on 09.07.2024 at 15:16  – 

Münster's Bishop Felix Genn will lead the Vatican consultations on the future of the episcopate. This is according to a Vatican paper published on Tuesday on ten specialist groups for church reform issues. In February, Pope Francis had decreed the exclusion of certain topics from the Synod on Synodality to be held in October.

Genn is listed as the coordinator of Group 7 in the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. It is entitled: "Some aspects of the form and ministry of the bishop in a missionary synodal perspective".

Six cardinals also involved

Together with eleven other experts, including six cardinals, Genn is to discuss selection criteria for future bishops in particular, as well as possible changes to the regular reporting visits to the Vatican. He will be supported by another German, canon law expert Markus Graulich, Undersecretary of the Vatican Dicastery for Legislative Texts, on special issues relating to the judicial function of bishops, which has been entrusted to a subgroup.

The Dutch canon law expert Myriam Wijlens, who teaches in Erfurt, will deal with the future role of Vatican ambassadors(nuncios) abroad. The topic of ecumenism will be addressed by two Swiss representatives: Lawrence Iwuamadi from the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey and the Dutchwoman Astrid Kaptijn, Professor of Canon Law at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.

Other study groups will deal with relations with the Eastern churches or evangelisation in a digital environment. The role of women in church ministries will be dealt with separately by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Synod Secretariat. (KNA)