Enabling encounters away from the virtual world

Enabling encounters away from the virtual world

According to the theologians Gregor Maria Hoff, Julia Knop and Thomas Soding, the Corona crisis has led to a digitalization push in the Catholic Church. However, the opportunities are also faced with dangers.

Thus they warn in a now published impulse paper. The Internet must not become a "projection screen for church images that work with exclusions". The danger of "filter bubbles developing and hate speech entering the church" must be averted.

At the same time, the theologians demand that spaces of encounter continue to be kept open away from the virtual world, for example for economically weak, health-challenged, lonely and old people. The restrictions on fundamental rights such as freedom of religion and freedom of assembly imposed in the fight against Corona should not become a permanent state of affairs. "The public presence of the church is due to its mission."

Second plenary session postponed due to pandemic

The impulse paper is to provide a basis for further deliberations at the Synodal Way to the Future of Church Life in Germany. Because of the Corona pandemic, the originally scheduled second plenary meeting of the initiative was postponed.

Instead, for the 4. September regional conferences are planned in five different locations, each with about 50 participants.

Role of women in the church

In the morning, synod members want to talk about the challenges for the reform dialogue resulting from the pandemic. In the afternoon, an exchange of views is on the agenda for two of the four forums that are to prepare the content for the synodal assemblies.

Specifically, the two forums on the role of women in the church and sexual morality. Both working groups, for their part, have published a status of their interim work on the Synodal Way homepage.

Confident for further meeting

The two other forums on power and the separation of powers and priestly lifestyle will present their deliberations at the latest at the next synodal assembly on 2. to 4. February 2021 in Frankfurt present.

The organizers said they were confident that this meeting could take place even under the changed conditions caused by the pandemic.

Deepening previous debates

The regional conferences scheduled in response to the pandemic are unable to pass resolutions. They are about deepening the previous debates with special consideration of the experiences from the fight against Corona.

One goal of the Synodal Way, launched by the Catholic bishops and the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), is to regain lost trust for the church after the abuse scandal.

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Christina Cherry
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