Ackermann rejects criticism

Bishop Stephan Ackermann © Harald Oppitz (KNA)

Victims of abuse in the diocese of Trier accuse Bishop Stephan Ackermann of failing to come to terms with abuse in his own diocese. The lack of an independent reappraisal is also criticized. The diocese rejects the criticism.

In a now published statement, the initiative Missbit complains about "ignorance and passivity" of the bishop, who is also the abuse commissioner of the Catholic German Bishops' Conference. The abuse study of the Bishops' Conference published a year ago recommended an independent reappraisal. In Trier, however, in contrast to other dioceses such as Essen, Cologne or Mainz, this has not yet been addressed.

Christina Cherry

Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz has shown himself to be open to church reforms – for example, on the subject of celibacy among Catholic priests. The topic will also be discussed at the Amazon Synod, which starts Sunday.

"I do not consider married priests in certain regions to be an attack on the universal Church or on the priesthood," he stressed in an interview with the "Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger" (Saturday). On Sunday (6. October), the Amazon Synod will begin in Rome, which is to seek answers to the challenges facing the church in this region. This is also to discuss ways to ensure Mass celebrations in remote areas. The question of ordination of married men to the priesthood will determine "how concrete this may become," Kohlgraf said.

Christina Cherry
Green lungs, hopes for reform and warning of division

It was not to be expected: But when the pope and dozens of bishops from all over the world speak about the Amazon rainforest and the indigenous people there in October in the Vatican, this turns into a political ie in many respects.

Most recently, the world political as well as internal church backdrop of the special synod for Amazonia had become even more significant.

Burning rainforests, a possible bursting of the world's largest trade agreement between Mercosur and the EU, diplomatic entanglements between Brazil and France to the question of whether there will soon be married priests in the Roman Catholic Church or pagan influences in the liturgy. In the months leading up to the special synod, all of this has repeatedly caused controversy – and therefore attention.

Christina Cherry
Church wants to pay abuse victims higher compensation for pain and suffering

At the conclusion of their spring plenary session, the Catholic bishops passed a resolution of principle on the amount of compensation to be paid to victims of abuse. Other topics: Canon law, euthanasia, synodal journey and Syria war.

Victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy can expect significantly higher compensation for pain and suffering in the future than before. In Mainz, the German Bishops' Conference (DBK) passed a resolution in principle to this effect, which was presented by its abuse commissioner, Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier, at a press conference this Thursday.

Christina Cherry
Breaking the silence

Sorensen: "It's important to talk about it." © Taigi (shutterstock)

A pastor abuses a former confirmation student – over many years. She has been fighting for a long time to come to terms with the past. Now, together with church representatives, she is publicizing the case in the former congregation of the now deceased.

Katarina Sorensen tells how she was abused in the 80s and 90s: by the Protestant pastor Jorg D. – a man whose youth work not only fascinated them at the time.

Christina Cherry
Gaining land for the pope

After months under prere, Francis can end the youth meeting in Panama on a positive note. The audience was kind to him, the host wanted to cut a good figure. A win-win situation.

After a good four-day stay at the Catholic World Youth Day in Panama, Pope Francis began his journey home to Rome on Sunday evening. At 6:27 p.m. (local time), the plane, a B788, of the Colombian airline Avianca took off from Tocumen International Airport. They are scheduled to arrive in Rome at 11:50 a.m. Monday afternoon.

Christina Cherry
A threat to school education

Sydney's bishop wants to protect church schools from discrimination lawsuits © Manuel Lopez

Sydney's Archbishop Fisher warns of possible discrimination lawsuits against church schools. He made his comments in light of the lawsuit filed by a teacher who was fired for her advocacy of gay marriage.

Lawsuits by "activists" for same-sex marriage "directly threaten the future of faith-based schooling in this country," Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher, chairman of the bishops' commission on Catholic education, told The Australian news portal this Tuesday.

Christina Cherry

A few weeks ago, a public study of clerical abuse in Pennsylvania sparked horror. Now new figures are also becoming known for Germany. A shock for many Catholics.

It was probably one of the darkest years in the recent history of the Catholic Church in Germany. At the end of January 2010, the abuse scandal started rolling and plunged bishops, priests and laity into a deep crisis of confidence. The scandal also opened the way for a new culture of dialogue within the church and triggered a debate on reform.

Christina Cherry

The Belgian judiciary has again made raids in Catholic dioceses in the country. In Antwerp and Hasselt, interviews were conducted and documents were seized. The church reacted with irritation.

The investigations were ordered by Brussels examining magistrate Wim de Troy and were related to allegations of child abuse, Belgian media reported Monday (16.01.2012).

De Troy had also ordered in June 2010 the searches at the Belgian Bishops' Conference and the Archbishopric of Mechelen-Brussels, which have since been ruled inadmissible by the courts. Files and computers had been confiscated, including all confidential documents of the church abuse commission. The latter subsequently resigned in protest. Meanwhile, reviewing bodies ruled that the searches were unlawful. The confiscated material is to be returned and may not be used by the judiciary.

Christina Cherry
Regional church rehabilitates homosexual pastor persecuted under the nazis

Nazi march © KNA

Berlin pastor Friedrich Klein was dismissed from ministry by the Protestant state church in early 1943 for homosexuality. 77 years later, Klein was publicly rehabilitated at a memorial service on Tuesday.

The Protestant Church in Berlin was the first church in Germany to publicly rehabilitate a homosexual pastor who had been persecuted under the Nazis. At a memorial service in Berlin's Immanuel Church on Tuesday, the bishop of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia (EKBO), Christian Stablein, read out a statement from the church leadership restoring the public reputation of pastor Friedrich Heinrich Klein.

Christina Cherry