With open talk of schism, will German bishops mar the rest of Pope Francis’s reign?

A significant phalanx of German bishops, united with prominent lay activists, seem intent on revisionist change to come from their “Synodical Way” project, which the Vatican has sought to suppress, so far without success.

The German go-it-alone demands set up an inevitable showdown with the Holy See. The global repercussions were captured in a blunt Wall Street Journal headline April 16: “Can Pope Francis Head Off a Schism?” One week earlier a headline in the conservative National Catholic Register declared that “U.S. Theologians Echo Fears of Schism in Catholic Church in Germany.”

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