"It strikes fear in the hearts of some conservative Catholics: Germany's Synodal Path reform project," writes Renardo Schlegelmilch, a freelance journalist and author based in Cologne, Germany. "Will it cause a schism in the Catholic Church? Is Germany abolishing celibacy against the will of the Vatican?"
In this commentary, Schlegelmilch answers those questions and more, including on if the Germans will change their church in any way.
"It is neither a synod nor a particular council," he writes. "Even though it was established unanimously by the German bishops' conference, it cannot and will not provide binding resolutions, neither on Catholic teaching for Germany (as some fear) nor on anything at all, as every decision must be ratified by each bishop for his own diocese. So first of all: Nothing can nor will be decided against the will of the local bishop."
In a recent video appearance, Hollywood actor Mel Gibson espoused anti-Vatican II views and endorsed a new organization for so-called "canceled" priests whose bishops have removed them from ministry for defying church authorities or expressing controversial opinions.
Gibson, also a producer and director who is reportedly filming a sequel to his 2004 blockbuster "The Passion of the Christ," attacked bishops as "hirelings" and said he agreed with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a former Vatican ambassador to the U.S. who has taken to writing conspiratorial missives alleging a parallel counterfeit church was set up after the Second Vatican Council to eclipse the real church.
"And my question is, who's hiring [the bishops]? I don't think it's Jesus. Is it [Pope] Francis? Who's hiring Francis? Is it Pachamama?" Gibson said at one point in the rambling five-minute video, where he rarely looks at the camera while railing against the post-conciliar church.
"The Eyes of Tammy Faye" portrays a televangelist who transcends her limitations. "She is not a caricature, nor is she a deep person. But she is a deeply loving person," actress Jessica Chastain tells NCR.
If you missed our NCR Live event yesterday, you can watch it here. Host and NCR opinion editor Olga Segura spoke with NCR Vatican correspondent Christopher White and The Tablet Rome correspondent Christopher Lamb about Pope Francis' trip to Hungary and Slovakia, the upcoming synodal process, and U.S. bishops and Communion.
NCR political columnist Michael Sean Winters says that after a year of heated debate about denying Communion to pro-choice pols, the bishops need an off-ramp and Cardinal Blase Cupich's five-point proposal for a eucharistic revival could save the bishops from themselves.