Where the spirit of windthorst and remmers blows

20 years ago, the German bishops met in Lingen. At that time, the focus was on conflict counseling for pregnant women. Abuse will dominate deliberations this year. Lingen seems to be good for difficult topics.

This time, the Catholic pastors are meeting in a rather small town: the German Bishops' Conference is coming to its spring plenary meeting from 11 to 11 September in Osnabruck. to 14. March in Lingen, Emsland. The committee, which currently consists of 26 diocesan bishops and 41 auxiliary bishops, deliberates in the Catholic Social Academy "Ludwig-Windthorst-Haus" (LWH) of the Osnabruck diocese. Together with staff, advisors and the press cortege, the high clergy will form a stately group that can be sure of the attention of the residents of Lingen.

Christina Cherry

At the end of his visit to Germany, Pope Benedict XVI. exhorted the Catholic Church in Germany not to rely on worldly privileges and to fulfill its mission in the world more consistently. At the same time he turned against demands for a superficial inner-church reform and a pandering to the world.

The head of the church expressed his views in an eagerly awaited keynote speech on Sunday afternoon in the Freiburg Concert Hall before several hundred full-time and part-time church officials as well as representatives of other religions, the media and public life. Federal President Christian Wulff, Baden-Wurttemberg's Minister President Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) and Federal Minister of the Interior Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU) were also present.

Christina Cherry

Today, the Cologne diocesan association of the Catholic Women's Community (kfd) invited interested women to its traditional "Political Afternoon. This year the motto is "Justice for Women – Worldwide and Locally. In keeping with the association's jubilee motto "For God's sake – worth living" on the occasion of its 90th anniversary, this time the focus of the event will be a talk with religious Sr. Dr. Lea Ackermann, whose personal commitment "for God's sake" is considered exemplary and has received many awards.

Christina Cherry

Swiss flags © shutterstock

He defends himself: Swiss Bishop Charles Morerod rejects accusation of cover-up in sexual abuse case. Justice and media "did not follow the same timetable," a recent statement said.

Morerod, according to the statement ied Sunday evening by the diocese of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg, "emphatically denies having covered up abuse or covered up for the perpetrators". Several investigations are underway, and justice is "preferred to haste," he said. Preliminary measures have been taken, it said; the "necessary decisions" will be made as soon as the results of the investigations are known.

Christina Cherry
Bishops' resignations called for

Symbolic image of abuse: teddy bear in a church pew © Harald Oppitz (KNA)

An Internet documentary sparked horror in Poland. A poll has now found that more than half of respondents are calling for the bishops to resign. The blame lies not only with the individuals, but especially with the institution.

In light of the abuse crisis, 54 percent of Poles in a poll favored the resignation of the country's Catholic bishops. 20 percent, however, rejected this, according to a survey by the Pollster polling institute published by Polish media on Monday. According to the survey, the remaining 26 percent did not yet trust themselves to make a statement.

Christina Cherry

Gene Robinson is one of the Anglican Church's most controversial bishops. Five years ago, the ordination of the self-confessed homosexual as bishop of New Hampshire triggered protests around the world. Because of the dispute over the ordination of homosexuals and women as bishops within the Anglican world communion, the Lambeth Conference, currently meeting in Canterbury, is under the threat of a schism in the church. Robinson spoke with Catholic News Agency (KNA) about his church, ecumenism and why he came to Canterbury without an invitation.

Christina Cherry

Pope Francis, he said, has rediscovered the "social and political dimension of the Gospel". This pleases Heiner Geibler, who said on our site interview talks about the hopes he has for this pontificate.

Interviewer: Mr. Geissler, you are a critic of the Catholic Church. What do you think of the pope's recent statements on the role of women and the treatment of homosexuals?

Geissler: It is high time! He said what Jesus would have said as well. Jesus broke taboos that were much worse. It has swept away the taboos and embraced people who have been socially ostracized, and that includes homosexuals, who are also fellow human beings for whom the Church must be there.

Christina Cherry

The Social Service of Catholic Women (SkF) demands a more far-reaching reform of sexual criminal law than envisaged by the federal cabinet. The bill would not do justice to the fundamental right to sexual self-determination.

The draft closes gaps in protection, but it still follows the basic idea "that an assault is only punishable if the perpetrator uses violence and the victim resists," the SkF explained in Dortmund on Monday.

Absence of opposition was formulated only as an exception. Thus the bill would not do justice to the fundamental right to sexual self-determination and would not comply with the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence. "Here we see an urgent need for improvement," says the SkF, which is the provider of women's shelters, intervention and counseling centers for victims of violence.

Christina Cherry
Taize - spiritual miracle after the war

The Swiss Roger Schutz developed a vision of a better way during the Second World War. And that he then began to walk consistently – in a small, seemingly insignificant village in Burgundy.

The founder of the Taize community, the Swiss Frere Roger Schutz (1915-2005), wanted to find a new way in Europe's darkest years. During World War II, he chose the hill of Taize in Burgundy to live communion in a new way: Brotherhood and connectedness, between generations, peoples, but also between denominations.

Christina Cherry

Father Nicodemus Schnabel © Stefanie Jarkel

Donald Trump wants to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. In an interview, the prior-administrator of the Dormitio Abbey in Jerusalem, Father Nicodemus Schnabel, talks about solutions, problems of Christians and what could change because of Trump.

Interviewer: How important are the bishops' visits for Christians in the Holy Land?

Father Nicodemus Schnabel (prior-administrator of the Dormitio Abbey in Jerusalem): I think they are enormously important. First of all, there are only two percent Christians in the Holy Land anyway, and these are then also divided into 50 denominations. So it is a very colorful Christian picture. There are the long-established, the Arabic-speaking Christians, and alongside them the many new Christians, migrant workers and refugees. That is, there is a lot going on. Christianity, after all, began in the Holy Land. At the beginning of the year, it is important to make it clear to world Christianity – as much as everyone loves Rome – that Jesus Christ was born, died and rose in the Holy Land. To keep looking at the roots of our faith, at the region of origin, is first of all good for world Christianity, and the small minority of Christians gets a kind of soul massage and feels that they are not forgotten.
Interviewer: What are the ies that are particularly pressing on the minds of Christians this year??
Father Nicodemus: There are an incredible number of ies. You have to distinguish which Christians we are talking about. On the one hand, there is the challenge for the Palestinian Christians who have lived there for centuries, who perceive that they are becoming fewer and fewer. This is, of course, due to emigration. They are often highly qualified and can emigrate. But they also have the fewest children. This is a very big factor in the demographic development of Christians. The feeling of the two huge majority religions, the big, strong Judaism and the big, strong Islam, convey to the Christians to sit between the chairs. We as foreign Christians, as "professional Christians" who live there, have the task to convey that they need not be afraid and do not fall into a "ghetto trap", nestle in as a small minority and close themselves off to the majority religions. Rather, we encourage to go out. That's a lot of psychological work, to break out of this spiral of fear and to go against the fears of becoming less and less interested in Christianity. Encouragement and strengthening is one challenge.

Christina Cherry