Bishop Wilmer Calls for ‘Significant Changes in Sexual Morality in the Catholic Church’

The bishop of Hildesheim, Germany, who may still be named prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, recently published a letter stating that “it has become clear that we need significant changes in sexual morality in the Catholic Church.”

Shortly before Christmas 2022, it seemed likely that Dr. Heiner Wilmer, SCJ, bishop of Hildesheim and a prominent proponent of the German “Synodal Way,” would be named prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith in succession to Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, SJ. Bishop Wilmer’s statements on a number of doctrinal and moral matters drew the concerned attention of senior churchmen in Rome and elsewhere; these men, including the late Cardinal George Pell, made their concerns known to Pope Francis; and the announcement of Bishop Wilmer’s appointment, which was reportedly planned for December 19, did not take place.

The Wilmer appointment, however, remains a live option, according to Vatican sources. It thus seems appropriate to draw to the attention of all concerned a letter Bishop Wilmer sent to his diocese on March 13, shortly after the Synodal Way adjourned its final assembly after endorsing a new governing structure for the Church in Germany, liturgical blessings for same-sex “unions”, a reformulation of the Catholic ethic of human love, and the reconsideration of the admission of women to Holy Orders.

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