This Controversial German Bishop May Soon Be Vatican’s Doctrinal Head| National Catholic Register

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Bishop Heiner Wilmer, who has been a vocal backer of the German Synodal Way’s most controversial proposals, is reportedly Pope Francis’s ‘probable’ pick to head the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Bishop Heiner Wilmer.
Bishop Heiner Wilmer. (photo: Sabrina Becker / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Jonathan Liedl VaticanJanuary 23, 2023

Just weeks ago, the appointment of a controversial German bishop to the influential role of prefect of the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith was reportedly blocked by concerned cardinals, who urged Pope Francis against the appointment. Now, Bishop Heiner Wilmer is once again reported to be the Holy Father’s pick to head the Vatican’s office for doctrine.

Bishop Wilmer, who heads the German Diocese of Hildesheim and lamented four months ago that the German Synodal Way failed to approve a text calling for radical changes to Church teaching on sexuality, was reportedly under strong consideration by Pope Francis to succeed Cardinal Luis Ladaria as the prefect for the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith back in December. But an intervention from a number of high-ranking prelates, including, allegedly, the late Cardinal George Pell, questioned the doctrinal soundness of Bishop Wilmer, and reportedly dissuaded the Pope from moving forward with the selection — at least temporarily.

Now, according to the traditionalist Italian website Messa In Latino, Bishop Wilmer’s candidacy is under strong consideration by the Holy Father once more. An open letter from the website’s editorial board to Pope Francis describes Bishop Wilmer’s appointment as “probable.”

Pope Francis’s reported interest in Bishop Wilmer comes in the midst of the Vatican’s ongoing standoff with the German episcopacy over the controversial Synodal Way, a non-binding process in the German Catholic Church that is seeking heterodoxical changes to ecclesial governance, sacramental ordination, and teaching on sexuality. 

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This Controversial German Bishop May Soon Be Vatican’s Doctrinal Head| National Catholic Register

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