Saturday, February 18, 2012

Augsburg Diocese: Protesters against Bishop hug Churches

Bistum Augsburg: Protest gegen Bischof Zdarsa wächst - Politik - Aktuelle Politik-Nachrichten - Augsburger Allgemeine

The protests of Catholics against the reorganization of parishes perceived as "imposed from above" in the Diocese of Augsburg is taking shape. The initiative calls on the faithful, on the 4 March, the second Sunday of Lent, to form a human chain after the service and thus to "embrace" their church. "We want to give the diocese a message that we are not in agreement with their plans to restructure the diocese ," says Max Stetter from Stadtbergen, a retired parish priest and spokesman for "Being the Church Today - Augsburg pastoral discussion forum ."

"There is much confusion and turmoil here in the diocese. This is not coming from some grumblers on the margins, but from very many Catholics who have been working year in year out and day in day out for their church, "says Stetter. The "Church Embrace" protest will give the silent a voice. A response in the form of a protest rally in the center of Augsburg is not ruled out. The Augsburg Bishop Konrad Zdarsa has announced that he will explain the restructuring of the diocese in 207 units in his pastoral pastoral letter for the first Sunday of Lent (February 26). Until then, no public statement is possible. In the Council of Priests, he had recently heard reports about the "worries and fears of many believers," in the diocese.

On Facebook, a kind of counter-action to "Church Embrace" has been launched: "Prayer for Bishop Konrad". Zdarsa will be prayed for on Shrove Tuesday. The discussion about him has been aimed "well below the belt". It considers the accusation against Zdarsa - formerly Bishop of Görlitz that the structural reforms used DDR methods to be "tasteless and crude."

The spokesman for the diocese, Mark Kremser described the "prayer for Bishop Konrad" as a private initiative. About the "Church Hug," he says. "We welcome anyone who embraces the Church,". If the protest wants to show the demonstrate to the leadership of the Diocese the displeasure of the faithful, "the initiators have chosen the wrong sign."

Cathcon- Cardinal Marx has reportedly distanced himself from this programme. He allows Services of the Word and Communion from the Tabernacle in the absence of the priest, which Bishop Zdarsa rules out. In this context, he has no intention of uniting parishes together into pastoral unities.