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Wanted: New balance of power and authority

How does synodality work in the Catholic Church? This is the question being asked at a scientific conference organised by the Theological Research Centre of the University of Erfurt in cooperation with the Catholic Academy of the Diocese of Dresden-Meissen, the Catholic Academy of the Diocese of Magdeburg and the Catholic Forum in the State of Thuringia on Friday, 22 January 2021. It is entitled "Voll(e) Macht? Church Synodality in the 21st Century", will take place digitally and begin at 9 am.

Synodality is a pressing issue in the Catholic Church in the midst of a massive crisis. Calls for synodality and synod in the church are resounding louder than ever in Germany. At the same time, there is a historic date for the conference: 50 years ago, the synod of the diocese of Dresden-Meissen ended. It set many impulses for Catholicism in the GDR and is regarded today as an attempt to re-position the church in the modern society of the GDR, albeit one that was distant from the church and the faith. Under changed conditions, the "Synodal Way" wants to undertake such a re-location again today. Structures as well as content need academic expertise and dialogue with church practice. How can church decision-making processes be shaped in the future, what can the Catholic Church learn from others, what image of the church is at stake? A new balance of power and authority is sought.

Researchers and church representatives from Catholic, Old Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox theology are invited to the conference. Among them are the church historian Franz Xaver Bischof, the church lawyer Sabine Demel and the ecumenist Andreas Krebs. Ilse Junkermann, Bishop of the Evangelical Church of Central Germany until 2019, and Georgios Vlantis, Orthodox theologian and Executive Director of AcK Bayern, will join him in conversation. Former Bundestag President Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert, Berlin, will present his plea for more synodal structures in the Church from the perspective of a politician and committed Catholic. Journalist and theologian Joachim Frank will probe the media's public perception and expectations of current church reform processes. Doctoral students from the University of Erfurt will lead discussion forums following the lectures. The theme day is also part of the jubilee of the diocese of Dresden-Meissen. The programme and registration information can be found at: https://www.katholische-akademie-dresden.de/volle-macht.

Journalists are requested to accredit themselves via the registration form at www.ka-dd.de/volle-macht. The action code "Press" allows you to attend the event free of charge. Dr. Thomas Arnold (thomas.arnold@bddmei.de| Tel. 0351/31563-350) will be happy to answer any questions you may have.