German bishops assure Vatican but vow to proceed with reform

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Germany’s Catholic bishops are vowing to continue their controversial reform process after a week of tense meetings with Vatican officials seeking to put the brakes on proposals to ordain women, bless gay unions and rethink church teaching on sexuality. The head of the German bishops conference said fears of schism, or a separation from Rome, has never been an option but that the German reform is going ahead. One outstanding matter that was discussed, but not resolved, concerns the fate of Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, who has faced strong criticism for his handling of sexual abuse cases. The bishops told Pope Francis the status quo was untenable and that a decision over his fate must be made.