Friday, May 20, 2011
Nur noch 27 aktive Priester in Aachen - AZ-Web.de
Plus another twelve retired priests who can be occasionally called upon.
In Aachen, there was an enormous row when Bishop Mussinghof pushed parishes together with little consultation.
Bisdom sluit veel kerken in Limburg - Binnenland - Algemeen - Nieuws - Stentor
Roermond - The Diocese of Roermond is to close before 2020 dozens, possibly even hundreds of churches and the present three hundred fifty parishes are to be brought together into federations, each with an average of six parishes.
This is the blueprint of the Diocese for the policy over the next ten years. A spokesman for the Diocese of Roermond Friday confirmed reports in the newspapers in Limburg. Churches will close, especially in urban areas.
The evaporation of the church of the people.
Since 1992, all 44 churches closed in Limburg. "We expect the number of closures will increase rapidly in pace," said the spokesman for the Diocese. The reorganization is the result of what he called "the evaporation of the church of the people".
The 8 percent of Catholics regularly attending Mass now falls in 2020 to only 4 percent. The number of priests will fall from around two hundred now to 120 in 2020, the Diocese of Roermond expects.
The current parish boards will be amalgamated in the future into a federation board, which has its own budget and will distribute it among the parishes. These federations decide what happens in their area, including whether and how churches close.
Village churches will be kept open if possible as they are central to the community and because no other churches are close as in urban areas.
In the late sixties of the last century, church attendance in Limburg reached a peak according to the spokesman. At that time, 80 to 90 percent of the faithful to Mass regularly. In the early seventies, their number dropped to 60 percent, and continued reducing dramatically to 8 percent now.
Fewer people can afford the cost of keeping open churches. "If there is no-one who can afford the costs, the conclusion is inevitable," the diocese said Thursday.
Four months before the visit to Germany by Pope Benedict XVI. there is a clear disagreement between the Chancellery and the Vatican about the location of the planned face to face meeting between Chancellor Merkel and the Pope.
A meeting in the chancellor's office has been rejected by the Vatican, reports the "Rheinische Post" (Friday edition), citing a government sources. A role will have been played by Merkel's criticism during a press conference in 2009 at the government headquarters of the attitude of the pope to the Holocaust-deniers Bishop Richard Williamson and her invitation to the head of the Catholic Church to issue a "unambiguous" clarification. Chancellor Merkel has rejected a meeting at the Apostolic Nuncio, the Vatican Embassy in Berlin .
The government now tend to prefer the Catholic Academy as an "independent third place," the newspaper reports. A spokesman for the German Bishops' Conference said however: "We are still looking for a meeting place."
The ghost of Williamson comes back to haunt the Vatican, as he was bound to during the Papal Visit to Germany in September.