Cardinal Reinhard Marx demands more power and influence for women in the Catholic Church.

“The ministries in the Vatican can easily be led by women, why not?”, said the chairman of the Catholic German Bishops’ Conference on Friday at the Protestant Kirchentag in Dortmund.

Women would not necessarily be cardinals, and neither would they be priests or deacons, said Marx, cautioning that on these levels he sees no movement at the level of the Catholic universal church at present.

No special “German way”

Marx also advocated for more synodal participation in the Catholic Church in Germany. However, there could be no special German way. One can not ignore the requirements of the universal Church, for instance as regards the ban on the ordination of women or compulsory celibacy , Marx added.

Marx continued to ask for patience on the subject of communion between Protestants and Catholics, promoting instead small steps on the issue on the theological level.

The Archbishop of Munich and Freising drew an extraordinary comparison:

“Do we really believe that Jesus is standing at the door of the Protestants, and then they sit down for the Lord’s Supper and then Jesus says: No, I will not sit down with you. We can’t imagine it, right?”

Against this background, he hopes that before the next ecumenical Kirchentag “a few more signals can be set”. In any case, in many places ecumenical relations are already a real-life reality above and beyond mutual invitations to the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper.

Talking about God in a deeper way

Earlier in the day, during a bible study, Marx had said that when Protestants and Catholics learned to speak in a deeper sense of God, some of the church-divisive problems might resolve themselves.