Teaching objection procedure

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A teaching objection procedure or teaching procedure , also known as teaching breeding procedure , is an orderly procedure against ordained clergy in the Evangelical Lutheran churches in Germany , which can result in the withdrawal of the vocation . In the Roman Catholic Church , the " Missio canonica " can be withdrawn after a teaching objection procedure against religious teachers , who can be laypeople as well as clerics .

Church historical consideration

The first doctrinal breeding methods in Christianity are from the 2nd / 3rd centuries. Century known, at that time a procedure was initiated against the theologian Marcion , who was described as a heretic , which ultimately led to his excommunication . In the early church process three stages were defined:

  1. Faith dispute with the accused before a theological expert committee,
  2. Justification of the condemnation and excommunication by the local bishop (see Noet case ) and finally
  3. Announcement of the excommunication by an all-church authority (see case of Paul von Samosata ).

The teaching authority was incumbent in the 3rd / 4th Century the local bishops and was in the 4th / 5th. Century transferred to the synods or councils in exceptional cases . Thus, at the Council of Sens (1141), a didactic breeding process was initiated against the doctrines and books of Peter Abelardus . In some cases, state jurisdiction was brought in to the ecclesiastical instances of the imperial churches. With the denominational state church and the transfer of the “ Jus reformandi ” to the territorial princes ( Augsburg Religious Peace 1555), the situation also changed for Protestantism in Germany. With the index of forbidden books of the Council of Trent (1554–1563) new standards were set with regard to the teaching breeding methods. Since the synod, councils and the curia were the sole judges in the Roman Catholic Church , the judgments were predictable, they regularly led to the condemnation or revocation of the accused (see Lord's Supper Controversy ).

While the theologians' complaints and condemnations were mostly opaque, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith created a “New Rules of Procedure for Examining Doctrinal Questions” in the course of the Second Vatican Council . In 1973 the German Bishops' Conference put in place a teaching objection procedure that was valid for all German dioceses and the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany (VELKD) passed a church law in 1983 on the procedure for teaching events.

Evangelical Lutheran Churches

Should an Evangelical Lutheran theologian come to the personal conviction that he does not (any longer) share central statements of the Bible and the Confessions; or if he can not follow the statements according to his free conscience , he has two options: He can preach and teach contrary to his faith - or follow his conscience and openly confess and proclaim something else. Beyond this alternative, he can try to formulate the faith in a way that he himself (still) considers orthodox , but which, in the judgment of others, exceeds the limits of legitimate diversity of opinion. In such cases, a teaching objection procedure (formerly: teaching (breeding) procedure) can occur.

In the church law on the procedure for teaching objections in the version of January 3, 1983 it says:

"(1) A procedure for teaching objections (teaching procedures) takes place if there are verifiable facts for the assumption that an ordained clergyman or other holder of an ecclesiastical office or commission publicly by word or writing in the presentation of Christian doctrine or in his worship service Action on decisive points contradicts the confession of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and persists in holding onto it, and if previous pastoral efforts have not led to a remedy of the impulses. "

- Church law on the procedure for teaching objections, § 1 (1)

The procedure

According to the teaching regulations of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany (VELKD), the teaching procedure is a procedure against an evangelical clergyman and is initiated on the basis of the above-mentioned provisions of the church law. It is not like a disciplinary procedure . For the Union of Evangelical Churches (UEK), the teaching objection procedure is subject to the common rule of the VELKD.

Doctrinal talk

The ordained clergyman can submit their arguments in writing in this procedure and, if the church leadership decides , in agreement with the Bishops' Conference of the VELKD, defend them in a doctrinal discussion. The doctrinal discussion, which is not open to the public, serves to clarify the facts and to attempt to lead those affected to a theological insight. After this, the church leadership, in agreement with the bishops' conference, decides to stop or initiate a determination procedure. With the decision to open a determination procedure, the first sanctions can be imposed against the person concerned; these are usually leave of absence, removal from office or a reduction in salary.

Determination procedure

The assessment procedure is carried out by a VELKD committee that has been convened. In this public procedure, the person concerned can express himself orally or in writing on the facts, he has the right to inspect the files and can take theological support. If the judging panel comes to the conclusion that a teaching prohibition is to be pronounced, the accused loses “all rights to which he is entitled from ordination and from his church office or commission” (see above-mentioned canon law § 19 (1)). The decision is final. In addition, the right to baptize and to give the Lord's Supper is withdrawn . Ultimately, he is banned from wearing the gown and expelled from service in the church.

Roman Catholic Church

In the order for the award, return and withdrawal of the missio canonica for teachers of the subject of Catholic religious teaching (missio order), which is uniform in all Catholic dioceses in Germany and has been approved by the German Bishops' Conference , it says:

“In the application for the award of the Missio canonica, the promise is to be given to give religious instruction in accordance with the teaching of the Church and to observe the principles of the teaching of the Catholic Church in one's personal conduct ... Anyone who does not meet the requirements for giving Catholic religious instruction according to these regulations more fulfilled ... or if there are reasons to withdraw a missio canonica, a procedure will be initiated against the person concerned. "

- Mission Regulations, Articles 3, 5 and 7

The procedure

A mission commission is set up by the diocesan bishop to initiate and conduct proceedings in each diocese ; it does not negotiate publicly, and witnesses , confidants and experts are permitted. First of all, the person concerned is informed by the responsible local bishop about the initiation of the procedure and asked to comment. For serious reasons, the permit can also be temporarily withdrawn during the procedure; this is final. If the possible reasons for a revocation of the teaching permit persist, the defendant has the right to appeal to the missio commission. The professor has to inform the missio commission.


The missio commission examines the facts and reports the result and a recommendation to the bishop . The professor then makes a decision and informs the person concerned of his reasoned decision in writing. The person concerned has a ten-day period of refusal; if the objection is refused, a complaint can be lodged with the relevant congregation within fifteen days (cf. cann. 1732–1739 CIC ). If the person concerned is withdrawn from teaching, the state authorities must be informed upon conclusion of the withdrawal procedure.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Regulations for the teaching review (June 29, 1997) Text of the regulations
  2. Codes of Canon Law 1732–1739 [1]