Georg Bätzing

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The Most Reverend

Georg Bätzing
Bishop of Limburg
Bishop of Limburg
Bätzing in 2009
ChurchRoman Catholic
PredecessorFranz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst
Ordination18 July 1987
Consecration18 September 2016
by Rainer Maria Woelki, Manfred Grothe & Stephan Ackermann
Personal details
Born (1961-04-13) 13 April 1961 (age 63)
Coat of armsGeorg Bätzing's coat of arms

Georg Bätzing (born 13 April 1961) is a German Catholic theologian who has been Bishop of Limburg since 2016 and chairman of the German Bishops' Conference since March 2020.

Early life and career[edit]

Bätzing was born in Kirchen and grew up in Niederfischbach.[1] He was an altar boy, sang in the church choir and served as an organist there.[2] After his Abitur, he entered the major seminary of the Diocese of Trier. He studied theology and philosophy at Trier University and Freiburg University,[3] graduating in 1985.[4]

As deacon he was assigned to Sankt Wendel. He was ordained a priest in Trier on 18 July 1987 by Bishop Hermann Josef Spital [de].[5] He worked as assistant priest (Kaplan) at the pilgrimage church Maria Heimsuchung in Klausen and in the parish of St. Josef [de] in Koblenz until 1990. He then was vice-rector (Subregens) of the Trier major seminary until 1996.[6] That same year he received his doctorate and became rector (Regens) of the seminary.[3][7] One of his functions was the organization of the Heilig-Rock-Wallfahrt in Trier in 2012, a pilgrimage to the most important relic of the Trier Cathedral, the seamless robe of Jesus, which was displayed in the cathedral from 13 April 2012 for the first time since 1996.[8]

On 1 November 2012, Bätzing was appointed vicar general of the Diocese of Trier.


In 2016, he was elected by the Limburg Cathedral chapter (Domkapitel) to succeed Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst as bishop of Limburg. He was appointed by Pope Francis on 1 July 2016.[6][7] He was consecrated by Archbishop Rainer Woelki of Cologne on 18 September 2016.

Since 3 March 2020, Bätzing has been chairman of the German Bishops' Conference.[9]

In May 2023 Cardinal Parolin, Cardinal Ouellet and Cardinal Ladaria Ferrer wrote a letter to Batzing as chairman of the German Bishops on the Synodal Way. It stated that the German bishops “are not empowered to create a governing or decision-making synodal assembly” made up of clergy and laity. [10]


In 2019, Bätzing said that he would support a voluntary celibacy of priests.[11] Bätzing supports the ordination of women in the Catholic church.[12][13]

He has supported the secular legalisation of civic marriage between homosexual people who are "faithful in their relationship".[14]

Bätzing is a proponent of intercommunion with Protestants and he gives the Holy Eucharist to any Protestant who asks for it.[15][16]

In 2021 he, told KNA on that he was “not happy” that the Vatican had now decided to participate so determinedly in the debate on blessings for homosexual couples. He added that “It suggests that one wants to end the ongoing controversial theological discussions [on the subject] in various parts of the World Church, including in Germany, as soon as possible,”[17]

In March 2022, in an interview with Bunte, he stated that sex outside of marriage is not a sin[18][additional citation(s) needed] and that same-sex relationships are "OK if it's done in fidelity and responsibility".[18][additional citation(s) needed]

In May 2022, Bätzing expressed disappointment that Pope Francis had not changed the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding homosexuality and women's ordination. Citing the public departure of Andreas Sturm, the former vicar general of the Diocese of Speyer who had left the Roman Catholic Church to join the German Old Catholic Church, Bätzing said that he too would consider leaving the church if he "got the impression that nothing would ever change."[19]

In November 2022, Bätzing spoke at a news conference at the end of a week of talks between Pope Francis and Vatican officials on one side, and all of Germany's bishops on the other. Their focus was on the progressive Synodal Path, a series of conferences of the Catholic Church in Germany to discuss a range of contemporary theological and organizational questions concerning the Catholic Church, as well as possible reactions to the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church in Germany. "As far as the ordination of women is concerned, for example, (the Vatican's) view is very clear, that the question is closed. But the question exists and it has to be elaborated on and discussed," Bätzing said. "All these questions are on the table (of the German Synodal Path) and all attempts to cancel them will not have success," he said. "Popes have tried to say the question (of women priests) is closed but the fact is that the question exists. Many young women say 'a church that refuses all of this cannot be my church in the long run.'"[20]


Doctoral dissertation:

  • Kirche im Werden. Ekklesiologische Aspekte des Läuterungsgedankens, Trierer theologische Studien 56, Trier: Paulinus, 1996, ISBN 978-3-7902-1284-6

Spiritual writings and published homilies

  • Die Eucharistie als Opfer der Kirche (1986)
  • Suchbewegungen (2000)
  • Helfer im Einsatz Gottes (2001)
  • Der Kreuzweg Jesu Christi (2003)
  • Bleib doch bei uns, Herr (2005)
  • Das Leben ausloten (2006)
  • Gott der kleinen Leute (2007)
  • Es gibt keine größere Liebe (2007)
  • Nachgefragt. Hilfen zum Verständnis des christlichen Glaubens (2008)
  • Beten üben. Anleitung zu einer christlichen Gebetspraxis (2009)
  • Das Trierer Christusgebet. Entstehung, Auslegung und Praxis eines Elementes bistumseigener Gebetstradition (2010)
  • Jesus Christus, Heiland und Erlöser. Impulse auf dem Weg der Erlösung (2011)


  1. ^ "Georg Bätzing wird Bischof von Limburg / Papst Franziskus ernennt Trierer Generalvikar" (in German). Diocese of Limburg. 1 July 2016. Archived from the original on 7 July 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Autor: Georg Bätzing" (in German). Diocese of Limburg. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Other Pontifical Acts, 01.07.2016". Holy See Press Office. 1 July 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Georg Bätzing wird Bischof von Limburg" (in German). Diocese of Limburg. 1 July 2016. Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Auf 25 Jahre Priesterdienst zurückgeblickt / Domkapitular Dr. Georg Bätzing aus Niederfischbach feiert beim Gebetstag" (in German). Niederfischbach. 9 August 2012. Archived from the original on 28 August 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Nomina del Vescovo di Limburg (Germania)". Bolletino (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 1 July 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Georg Bätzing wird neuer Bischof in Limburg". Die Zeit (in German). 1 July 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  8. ^ ""Wir zählen jetzt rückwärts auf die Wallfahrt zu" / Ein Jahr vor der Heilig-Rock-Wallfahrt: Vorfreude im gesamten Bistum" (in German). Niederfischbach. 13 April 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  9. ^ SWR Aktuell (3 March 2020). "Bätzing ist neuer Vorsitzender der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz" (in German). Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  10. ^ Vatican weighs in on German plan for governing 'council' of laity and bishops 24 January 2023
  11. ^ "Bätzing: Zölibat wertvoll – aber besser freiwillig". (in German). 2019-02-20. Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  12. ^ "Bischof Bätzing ist neuer Vorsitzender der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz". (in German). 2020-03-03. Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  13. ^ "Limburg Bishop Georg Batzing elected president of German bishops' conference". National Catholic Reporter. 2020-03-03. Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  14. ^ Fritzen, Florentine (12 April 2020). ""Das Leben wird wieder aufblühen"". Franfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  15. ^ CNA (2021-02-26). "Head of German Catholic bishops: 'I do not deny Communion to a Protestant who asks for it'". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  16. ^ CNA (2021-03-03). "Leading German Catholic bishop cautions priests against intercommunion". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  17. ^ "German bishops 'not happy' with same-sex blessing rule". The Tablet. 2021-03-16. Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  18. ^ a b CNA (2022-03-04). "German bishops' leader calls for change to Catechism on sexuality". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2022-03-09. Bishop Georg Bätzing agreed with the journalist's assertion that "no one" adhered to the Church's teaching that sexuality should only be practiced within marriage, saying: "That's true. And we have to somewhat change the Catechism on this matter. Sexuality is a gift from God. And not a sin."
  19. ^ "German bishops' leader expresses disappointment in Pope Francis". Catholic News Agency. 24 May 2022. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  20. ^ Pullella, Philip (2022-11-19). "Women priests, homosexuality, not closed debate in Church, German bishop says". Reuters. Retrieved 2022-11-19.

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