The Catholic bishops in Germany have again entrusted Archbishop Stefan Heße of Hamburg with the chairmanship of their “Migration Commission”.

As such, he has done “excellent work” so far, said the chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Limburg Bishop Georg Bätzing, on Thursday at the end of the autumn general assembly of his organization in Fulda.

Pope Francis recently rejected Hesse's request to resign from the office of Archbishop of Hamburg.

Numerous breaches of duty in dealing with cases of abuse had been proven to him from previous activities.

Bätzing spoke of a “good new start for him, which is certainly necessary.

We will support him in this. ”About the situation in the Archdiocese of Cologne, Bätzing said,“ We ​​are waiting for a decision “which will be made in Rome”.

One week before the start of the second general assembly of the “Synodal Way” reform project, Bätzing described the discussions among the bishops about individual texts as “controversial, but good”.

All bishops agree that the shape and actions of the church need to change in not a few places.

Their "essence" should not be called into question.

In his view, the Catholic Church still has a long way to go when it comes to coming to terms with sexual abuse: there are currently around a thousand open cases in the system of recognition benefits. At the same time, Bätzing said that they had "taken steps forward again" on this issue. For example, a standard personnel file regulation has been adopted that will come into force on January 1 of next year, as well as a model regulation that creates the legal framework for processing commissions to inspect files. "These are very important promises that we made in 2018 and are now keeping," said Bätzing. A fundamental change in the system of recognition services, which has been criticized in particular by victim initiatives, is not planned, he said.

The Mainz Bishop Peter Kohlgraf struck self-critical tones in view of an "unmanageable flood of texts".

Two years ago they failed to “reach an agreement about the way in which what should be achieved in the end”.

He does not recognize many of the questions raised by Pope Francis with regard to the Synodal Way in Germany and the universal Church "with such intensity".

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