The countdown is on: Only 12 days to go until the Katholikentag in Mannheim. More than 60.000 Christians from all over Germany will come to over 1.200 events expected. For weeks now, bright red, giant backpacks in Mannheim's city center have been attracting attention to the huge event. our site is still looking for this site on its Facebook page.de ambassadors for Mannheim.
The major themes of the 98th. The major themes of the 98th German Catholic Congress have long since been decided: a departure for internal church reforms, a departure for social debates on climate change, demographics and the European debt crisis. The Christian meeting will be hosted by the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) and Robert Zollitsch, who is also chairman of the German Bishops' Conference and Archbishop of Freiburg. He initiated the dialog process on the future of the church. Keywords hot abuse crisis, priest shortage, falling numbers of Catholics. It's fermenting at the grassroots. Zollitsch relies on genuine dialogue, fair exchange and honest assessment of the situation. One problem, however, is that the dialogue process is associated with many and very different expectations.
Winfried Kretschmann, Minister President of Baden-Wurttemberg and a ZdK member for many years, puts it this way: "Dialogue only makes sense if it is not clear from the outset what may or may not come out. I would like my church not to take criticism as disloyalty – which it likes to do – but to understand it as concern."
Broad spectrum from "Church from below" to "Pius Brothers"
Traditionally, a broad spectrum of Catholic groups and initiatives are represented at the Catholic Days, which have been organized every two years since 1848. From left-wing, reform-oriented groups like "Church from below" to conservative groups like Youth 2000, spiritual movements and pro-life groups. They all advertise their goals on the traditional "church mile". It remains to be seen whether the arch-conservative Pius Brotherhood, which is currently struggling with the Vatican over reintegration, will play a role.
Critical groups have announced an alternative program to the official agenda. The main topics of discussion will be celibacy, the role of women in the church, abuse and sexual morality. Two professedly gay, defrocked priests want to celebrate a service on the fringes of the meeting, where evangelical Christians, divorced remarried people and "homosexual lovers" are expressly invited to receive communion.
Catholic Day aims to set ecumenical impulses. So there are significantly more Catholic-Protestant events than in previous years. Centers dedicated to dialogue with Judaism and Islam. Mannheim mosques and the Jewish synagogue open their doors. Mayor Peter Kurz (SPD) announced that the people of Mannheim want to be cheerful hosts. And he hopes that the "question of the ability of religions to engage in dialogue", as it characterizes Mannheim with citizens from 170 nations, will play a central role.
No problem republic ready for violence
Organizers give the all-clear on security ies. Mannheim has a lot of experience with large events, moreover, a problematic audience ready for violence is hardly to be expected. The organizers put the budget for the five-day event at 8.5 million euros, divided between participant contributions and fundraising, the diocese, the bishops' conference, the city and state and federal subsidies.
In order to make the topic of environmental protection, to which numerous forums and biblical discussion groups will be devoted, a concrete reality, the organizers are relying not only on reusable tableware and organic and fair-trade products, but also on climate-friendly travel. Already at the registration in the Internet a climate calculator suggests a CO2 levy, which is to flow into projects of the Catholic development aid organization Misereor or into the planting of a "Katholikentag forest" at Lake Constance. The motto of a new beginning should also take shape with such projects. The red Katholikentags backpacks are programmatically fully packed.