Sunday, September 04, 2016

Radical Catholic movement praises bishop as reformer

The lay movement "We are Church" has praised the Osnabrück Bishop Franz-Josef Bode (65) as a reformer. Bode has repeatedly demanded in no uncertain terms more influence for women and has spoken in favour of rethinking the role of priests in the Catholic Church, spokesman for the movement, Christian Weisner told "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung" (Saturday edition). Bode celebrated this Sunday in Osnabrück Cathedral his 25th ordination anniversary. The chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx (62) is expected to attend.

Marx told the newspaper that Bode had put in place crucial impulses for changes in the Catholic Church. The Archbishop of Munich and Freising expressed reservations however on the question of whether the Osnabrück Model, where women volunteers are integrated into the parochial leadership, could be a model for all of Germany. Each diocese must decide this for themselves, the cardinal said.


Cathcon comment: the crisis is nothing if not episcopal.

German cardinal thanks Angela Merkel for admitting over 1 million refugees

The Cologne Cardinal Rainer Woelki has praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised her statement coined a year ago, "We can do it".

"I am very grateful for this strong statement of Chancellor, who helped thousands of threatened refugees [Cathcon: in fact over a million] ound a safer place with us," he said on Sunday in Cologne to Domradio. Merkel made the statement, "even though she must have known the difficulties approaching with the reception and integration of refugees in Germany," said the Archbishop of Cologne.
"There were big problems and these will be continued", Woelki conceded. He cited the "ominous" New Year’s Eve in Cologne [Cathcon- when refugees went on a rampage in Cologne, targeting young women] and the Syrian refugee who detonated a bomb in the Bavarian Ansbach. "That's why I'm grateful to those who do, again and again, with all their strength whatever is possible for the refugees." They are working to ensure that there is less need and misery in this world, the cardinal said. 


Angela Merkel is behaving like a Turkish Regional Governor

By way of background to the three previous Cathcon posts on the attitude of the German government to the Armenian genocide.

Three Turkish flags, two of them almost the height of a human being and a little German flag. A large crescent banner stands with the embroidered presidential star symbol behind Recep Tayyib Erdogan.

 The other is behind Angela Merkel.

It is as if the Chancellor is a Turkish governor. The small German flag on the table beside the Chancellor looks as if it was placed there at the last minute. It was if she had not expected to be present.

The meeting between the Chancellor and the President of Turkey took place however in Hangzhou / China. On neutral ground, between equal NATO partners - theoretically. The appearance looked more as if it were an audience for Merkel to bow down and ask for forgiveness from the Sultan in Ankara.

Discussion between Merkel and Erdogan

The Chancellor is at the G20 Gipel in Hangzou. Behind closed doors, Brexit, Syria, the refugee crisis and climate change are discussed. Even before the summit began, Angela Merkel met the Turkish President Erdogan.

Perhaps the Federal Chancellery found it appropriate to accept this setting. Perhaps it was easier in that way, to say to Erdogan: With the EU visa freedom for Turkish travellers as early as October, there will be nothing that helps including no Turkish ultimatum. In return, Turkey has dismissed after the coup, many professors and judges, arrested many journalists, too often spoken of the reintroduction of the death penalty.

Perhaps it was easier with the trade off on the matter of the flags, to say to Erdogan : German MPs get back access to the NATO base of Incirlik, or we have to move our aircraft into the Greek part of Cyprus.

Erdogan decides on Merkel's fate

Perhaps it was in this way without any problem to tell him: If the Bundestag condemns the centenary of the Armenian genocide, this is indeed a big annoyance for Ankara.

But the same parliament will vote one day on the visa freedom for Turks, and this vote could go wrong if Turkey continues to hamper the visit of the German parliamentarians. The federal government has no jurisdiction over Parliament.

All this could have been said. But there is also the other side of the coin. If Erdogan the EU-Turkey Agreement terminates the common refugee policy, he can decide Angela Merkel's political fate.

The historic decision by Angela Merkel

A year ago, Merkel allowed entry to refugees stranded in Hungary. At this time, escalation was threatened. Thousands of people had been walking on the road to Germany.

That the promise of the influx of refugees from autumn 2015 will be not repeated, depends as far as the uniform European asylum policy is concerned on whether Ankara continues to keep the border closed. The Turkish flag of the same height as a human being behind Merkel is also a symbol of extortion.

Sometimes this is so in foreign policy. But there is also on the German side a red line of self-respect. Berlin is not a Turkish provincial capital. To demonstrate this is also Merkel's task, and that to determine is a matter of course that will hopefully Erdogan will understand.