“She won't get rid of me”

Father Rainer Maria Schiebler with a lamb in his arms © Matthias Balk

The Rev. Rainer Maria Schiebler reaffirmed his love for the Church during an appearance at the Munich Press Club. This will not get rid of him despite all the negative headlines, said the priest, who is known beyond Bavaria.

Rainer Maria Schiebler, well-known pastor and best-selling author, describes himself as happy. Even though his dog died three weeks ago and the Catholic Church currently has its back to the wall, he is a convinced Catholic Christian, explained the priest Rainer Maria Schiebler (58) on Tuesday at the Munich Pressclub. Standing in front of a full church on Sundays in his parish of St. Maximilian, he says, is simply "awesome".

Church needs affection

The clergyman compared his relationship to the Catholic Church with the relationship of his mother to him. This one never despaired of her son, he said, even when he brought home bad grades. She had said to herself, "What you love, you can never lose from your hands and certainly not from your heart." This attitude, which both parents would have had toward him, he had toward his church.

Despite all the negative news, for him it is true: "This church will not get rid of me, just as it will not get rid of this Jesus of Nazareth."The more the church behaves in this way, the more it needs his affection, Schiebler emphasized.

"Church is there to open up"

Asked whether celibacy should be abolished for priests, the priest said: "The Church is not there to abolish it, but to open up."Celibacy is a law: "One word from the Pope and it would be gone."

He himself has chosen this way of life because it represents an ideal for him. In his view, there is a need for both the "prophetic existence" of an unmarried priest who feels this life is a gift, and the married priest. It goes only with voluntariness and not with obligation.

Access to the ministry for women

According to Schiebler, the church has a problem with love, sexuality and women. "We have to lose the fear that there are strong women."The pastoral care can be maintained in the future only if the access to the office is opened.

Therefore, he said, it was a long overdue question of the mature treatment of women that they be included in the church office.

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Christina Cherry
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