German Bishops Disagree With Theologian Manifesto

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BERLIN, Germany, FEB. 8, 2011 (Zenit.org).- In response to a manifesto signed by 143 theologians, calling for the ordination of women and the abolition of priestly celibacy, the German bishops are expressing disagreement.  

A communiqué issued Friday by the secretary of the German Bishops' Conference, Jesuit Father Hans Langendörfer, responded to the memorandum entitled "Church 2011: A Necessary Turn," which was endorsed by 143 docents of German, Austrian and Swiss theological faculties.

Making reference to the recent scandal of sexual abuses, the theologians call for reform in several sectors of the life of the Church.

Father Langendörfer acknowledged the importance of dialogue with the theological world, but noted that "in essence, the memorandum gathers once again ideas already often debated."

"To this degree it's not much more than a first step," he said.

The communiqué asserted that "on a series of questions the memorandum is in disagreement with the theological convictions and statements of the Church at the highest level."

It added that the topics in need of "further clarification" will be considered more profoundly in the episcopate's next plenary assembly.