The Catholic Church in Germany is at a point where serious debate -- including on priestly celibacy and the role of women -- and openness to doing things in a new way must encouraged, said the president of the German bishops' conference.
German Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising spoke as the German bishops' conference prepares for a workshop debate to "review" the issue of celibacy for priests.
The abuses these survivors suffered at the hands of priests were not crimes of passion, they said, but cold exploitations of control.
Amid controversy caused by a Vatican official's assertions that priests "have no credibility" in marriage preparation, representatives from dioceses across the United States maintain that both priests and laity have integral roles in the process.
The German bishops' conference said when the bishops meet in September, they will continue to examine the issue of Communion for Protestant spouses of Catholics.
The bishops deem it possible in certain cases to allow the Eucharist to be given to a non-Catholic spouse in a mixed-denomination marriage.