Sunday, June 09, 2013

German seminarians celebrate Adolf Hitler's birthday

Right-wing incidents in Würzburg seminary

Würzburg:  Reports have been heard in recent days that there were right-wing incidents in Würzburg seminary. The Evangelical Press Service (EPD) reported that some of the current eight seminarians had celebrated the birthday of Adolf Hitler on 20th April, while music played from the Neo-Nazi scene and even the Nazi salute was made. Anti-Semitic and racist "jokes" were made. "The Catholic Church cannot accept such goings-on. Church teaching of charity and tolerance, as well as the equality of all people are contradicted in a fundamental way by the reported occurrences. Semitism, racism and Nazi ideas may occupy no place in our society.

“Especially the churches must accept their responsibility for the basic values of our society - particularly democracy and human rights – and be aware of and confront any trends otherwise within their structures. We demand consistent, complete and transparent information and processing of the allegations by the seminary and appropriate consequences for those affected. A pledge which aims to establish the positive relationship to Judaism is in this context totally inadequate. " said Christopher Renninger, spokesman for the Green Party's university association (GHG) in Würzburg. As future priests, seminarians take still a high moral position. The fact that people with racist and anti-Semitic views give sermons, teach children and conduct pastoral care, must be strictly rejected. The designation as "unpleasant tendencies" by Regens Baumann represents a relativisation and inappropriate to the circumstances.

Particularly piquant are reports that the seminarians were obviously concerned to spread their radical ideas in the Würzburg student fraternity Franco Raetia.

As already the Cathedral Radio reported, the board of the old boys' association have complained to the Seminary Regens Herbert Baumann "about the spread of offensive right wing ideas among student activists"

"The fact that the affected seminarians had already attracted attention at a fraternity house, shows that it is not the case that the so-called gaffes on April 20 were an isolated case, but that these people are obviously attracted by the Nazi ideology and try to spread their world view.
“Therefore, we expect clear consequences on the part of the Catholic Church. We also call on the Franco-Raetia Student Association to explain the context in which the seminarians were able to promote their ideas to the activists and whether this was often the case, and in particular, what were the reactions of the student activists. "says Lisa Rehn, spokesperson of GHG . For the GHG, this example shows clearly that even in the Catholic church, which is closely linked to the German state, undemocratic and inhumane opinions and groups exist. The GHG expected telling consequences for the persons concerned, a detailed explanation and a clear commitment of the Würzburg seminary to democracy, tolerance and human rights.