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The leaders of Germany's errant Synodal Way are gathering in Rome and have brought their dissident views with them.
Church Militant's Aidan O'Connor takes a closer look at a Church on the threshold of schism.
Sixty-three German bishops are currently in the Eternal City, carrying out their required ad limina visits with the pontiff.
All bishops are required to visit the pope and report on the state of their dioceses, but in recent years, a number of high-ranking German prelates have not seen eye to eye with the Holy Father.
The president of Germany's bishops' conference, Georg Bätzing, recently stated it was "no coincidence that we bishops are now invited to Rome."
In recent years, the nation's dubious Synodal Way, has been under the scrutiny of the Holy See.
The Synodal Way is a collaboration of bishops and German laypeople pushing for female ordination and sexual immorality.
On numerous occasions, the pope has chastised the participating bishops, warning of schism and even stating that "Germany has a great Protestant church, but I don't want another one."
This year, over 100 cardinals and bishops issued a joint fraternal letter criticizing the errant Synodal Way.
Meanwhile, heterodox Bp. Franz-Josef Bode, cohead of the bishops' conference, revealed that he sees the visit as an opportunity to promote female ordination before the pope.
This, after the German bishops' conference overwhelmingly approved a text in September positing that homosexual acts are not sinful.
Bishop Bätzing admitted Monday in Rome, "Preserving unity and at the same time enabling conversion and renewal — that is truly not an easy task for our Church today."
Catholics wait with bated breath to see what the visit accomplishes, but historically, Germany does not have a good track record of reforming Church teaching.
The bishops' meeting with Pope Francis, the champion of synodality, began yesterday and will conclude on Sunday.