Warning against powerlessness and pessimism

Heinz-Gunter Bongartz (55) is the new auxiliary bishop in the diocese of Hildesheim. On Saturday, the bishop of the diocese, Norbert Trelle, consecrated him as bishop in Hildesheim. Bongartz succeeds auxiliary bishop Hans-Georg Koitz, who retired on 1. May 2010 retired at 75. In his sermon, Bongartz warned Christians against powerlessness and pessimism.

The church should not shy away from a dialogue with those who have turned away from it in disappointment or criticism. He also opposed fears of contact "when it is a question in ecumenism of standing together with our sisters and brothers in the other churches in faith for the world". The new auxiliary bishop also called on people "not to be indifferent to the widening gap between rich and poor".

Until further notice, Bongartz will remain head of the Personnel/Pastoral Care Department in the Episcopal General Vicariate and thus head of the personnel department for priests, deacons and other full-time pastoral employees. Bishop Trelle appointed the cathedral chaplain to this position in 2006. Since 2007, Bongartz has also been the commissioner for the permanent deacons of the diocese.

Also in 2007 Trelle had appointed him as a commissioner for questions of sexual abuse of minors by clergy in the diocese of Hildesheim. Bongartz resigned this office in accordance with the new guidelines of the German Bishops' Conference on the subject of sexual abuse in November 2010. The Auxiliary Bishop will continue to lead the advisory board as Managing Director.

Bongartz was ordained on 5. Born in Gutersloh in March 1955. He began his theology studies in Munster in 1975. After the ordination in 1982 in the Hildesheim cathedral followed until 1985 years as a chaplain in Hildesheim and Hameln. In 1993, he moved to the parish of St. Oliver in Laatzen as pastor. From 1998, he headed the then deanery of Hannover-Mitte/Sud.

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Christina Cherry
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