Churches as mediators

European policy ies and the relationship between religions and denominations dominated the Catholic Day in Osnabruck on Friday. Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso called the European Union a community of values. FDP leader Guido Westerwelle and Federal Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble (CDU) also came to Osnabruck.

In initially sunny weather, many thousands strolled through the city center and, in addition to discussion forums and church services, visited the associations, aid organizations and dioceses that presented themselves to the public on the Church Mile with colorful activities. German President Horst Kohler is expected to attend on Saturday. The meeting ends on Sunday.Barroso said the EU is not an end in itself, but plays a role in and for the world. At the same time, the Commission President called for the ability to engage in intercultural and interreligious dialogue. This discussion is the best means against the clash of civilizations and for peace in Europe and the world. In this regard, he highlighted the role of the churches.Margot Kabmann, the Protestant bishop of Hanover, was optimistic about the opportunities in ecumenism. While ecumenism is "not in a honeymoon phase at the moment," much is feasible below the level of a common communion. The Lutherans, for their part, wanted to do everything possible to celebrate the Lord's Supper in a dignified manner so that a joint celebration would eventually become possible."A new situation" in the controversy between Jews and Catholics is seen by the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) after Thursday night's Christian-Jewish community celebration. ZdK Secretary General Stefan Vesper, speaking to journalists in Osnabruck on Friday, recalled the announcement made the previous evening by the top representatives of Christians and Jews to continue the dialogue.During a tour of the city center, Westerwelle described Catholic social teaching as a decisive guideline for political action. At the same time, he praised the Christian commitment: "Charity is not a state service". He also spoke of a further normalization in the relationship between the liberals and the Catholic Church.Hamburg Auxiliary Bishop Hans-Jochen Jaschke called for the ie of sexual violence to be dealt with wholeheartedly in the church. "Silence must not be the right way," Jaschke demanded. It is not enough to transfer pedophile priests; they must be removed from their ministry, the auxiliary bishop said.

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Christina Cherry
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