New president elected

New president elected

The Evangelical Church in the Rhineland has a new senior minister. The state synod, which met on the Internet because of the Corona pandemic, elected Thorsten Latzel, director of the Protestant Academy in Frankfurt am Main, as its president.

He succeeds Manfred Rekowski; the clergyman, who had leukemia, retires at 63 at the beginning of March.

Large majority of voices

Latzel received 113 votes in the first round of voting. His opponents, Erfurt theologian Reiner Knieling (57) and Siegburg Superintendent Almut van Niekerk (53), received 17 and 57 votes, respectively. Latzel is the first president to come from a regional church other than the Rhineland church.

The new president is the brother of Bremen pastor Olaf Latzel, who was fined by the local court (not yet final) for homophobic remarks and removed from ministry. Thorsten Latzel had clearly distanced himself from his brother and emphasized that homosexuality was "as normal as chewing gum".

Working on church reform processes

The theologian, who comes from Wittgenstein in South Westphalia, worked on the topic of church reform processes at the Church Office of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) from 2007 to 2013. He was particularly concerned with the question of how the church can appeal more to the 20- to 40-year-old generation.

"It is important to me that we as a church can have a say on the big ies at eye level," the new president told the synod. He burns for a church that is a "cosmopolitan community with free faith."

On the future tasks of the church, Latzel said it was important to rebuild the structures of the church in the face of a smaller, older and poorer church. He wants to think of the church consistently in terms of people, says the new president. "What can we do to strengthen people in their life and faith??"

Statement on the debate on assisted suicide

Immediately after his election, Latzel, when asked, also commented on the current debate about assisted suicide. They say the church respects when people say they want to end their lives themselves. "But I don't think it's our job to make such an offer ourselves in the church and diaconal institutions."Nevertheless, Latzel welcomed the fact that Hanover's Bishop Ralf Meister and Diakonie President Ulrich Lilie had initiated the discussion on assisted suicide. Both take the view that church institutions should not refuse to accept suicide.

With more than 2.45 million members, the Rhenish regional church is the second-largest of the 20 member churches of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). Its territory – largely the former Prussian Rhine Province – includes parts of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse and Saarland.

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Christina Cherry
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: