A “painful process of maturation”

Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier has called on the church to renew and mature in God's way. "It is in this horizon that I see the manifold upheavals that we are currently experiencing in our German dioceses," Ackermann said Sunday evening in the main Protestant church of Sankt Michaelis in Hamburg.

"And the burdensome, far-from-completed confrontation with the offenses of sexualized violence committed by priests, religious and other church employees – painful as it is – also contributes to the purifying renewal of the church's mission. In this sense, we have to accept this painful task willingly," said Ackermann, who is also the abuse commissioner of the German Bishops' Conference.

The bishop went on to say that even Pope Benedict XVI's. The keyword "de-worldliness" should be understood in the sense of purification and maturation of the church's witness. "This is not about wantonly destroying functioning church structures or recklessly withdrawing from social commitments," said Ackermann. Rather, the pope calls on the church to be vigilant and at the same time more calm in situations in which it is necessary to let go of the familiar. He expressed himself in the vesper service of the 39. Saint Ansgar week of the Catholic Church in Hamburg, which is traditionally celebrated in the "Michel" due to lack of space.

A Herculean task
"Michel" pastor Alexander Roder referred in his greeting to the common Herculean task of the churches today: "More and more people have never heard of Jesus Christ," could do nothing with terms such as grace, redemption and mercy and defined their existence on earth without a thought of a creator God, said the Protestant chief pastor. This task must be approached by the churches in a hopeful, faith-filled, ecumenically open and joyful manner.

As exemplary witnesses of faith Roder named the four Nazi opponents venerated as "Lubeck martyrs", the chaplains Johannes Prassek, Hermann Lange, Eduard Muller and the Protestant pastor Karl Friedrich Stellbrink. Presented Hamburg Archbishop Werner Thissen with Jesuit Karl Frick's 1928 ontology, which Prassek used during his student days. "May this book keep the memory of the Lubeck martyrs alive," the chief pastor emphasized.

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Christina Cherry
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