The German Catholic bishops come together today as scheduled for their spring plenary meeting in Trier. The focus is on women in the church. Dealing with rape victims at Catholic hospitals is even being discussed.
The chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, considers it possible that the "morning after pill" can be legitimately used in rape cases. But only if they actually prevent fertilization. In an interview with the Bayerischer Rundfunk, Zollitsch said it would also be discussed by the bishops in Trier. As a legitimate contraceptive pill, the Church will still not allow it. After a woman who had been allegedly raped was turned away by two Catholic hospitals in Cologne, Cardinal Joachim Meisner had announced a new position on the "morning after" pill.
"Clearly it will be discussed by the bishops that if is the case that the morning-after pill can be used to prevent fertilization after a rape, then that is a way."
Successor to Pope Benedict
The program for the four-day spring plenary meeting was violently thrown into turmoil by the resignation announcement of the Pope. This had not been expected by the German bishops . Zollitsch in Trier wants to assess the nearly eight-year pontificate of Benedict XVI. He assumes that in March a much younger candidate will be elected. "Most likely, the new Pope will be under seventy. Anyway younger than the present Pope" According to Zollitsch, many tasks await the new Pope. For example, he must find an answer to the question, how a world church could raise their profilein the sense of a new evangelization worldwide.