Instrumentalisation of the sex abuse scandal by the self-regarding, self-seeking Synodal Path

Instrumentalisation of those affected

Background including video

The performance "Responsible:I" was artistically sovereign and authentic. However, the ideological striving for a communitisation of guilt devalued it.

"Verantwort:Ich”  (meaning Responsible:I but a play on Verantwortlich- Responsibility)  was the title of a performance in the Imperial Cathedral in Frankfurt on the occasion of the Fifth Synodal Assembly, which addressed the issue of involvement in sexual abuse. As a Catholic faithful to the faith and the teaching profession, one was tempted to condemn the entire event: a sacrilegious misappropriation of the sacred space, which is both objectively and inappropriate in terms of what the Synodal Path postulates: whoever talks about "respectful co-existence" but trampling on the feelings of fellow believers is simply implausible. Likewise, whoever provokes at the expense of the abuse victims and their commitment - it was foreseeable that the chosen location would antagonize many Catholics against the performance. In return, a loss of quality was accepted: the unfavorable acoustics of the church reduced the intelligibility and thus the impact of the presentation.

The eternal circling around yourself

Too bad, because the performance was artistically sovereign and authentic. An attempt to express the pain of the victims and to invite them to share this pain. Ribbons criss-crossed the room like spider webs of entanglement and cover-up. Dance, song, recitation, light and sound formed an interwoven whole. Dancers caught in impenetrable webs gave shape to despair; others were harassed, conquered, bound, silenced. The degree of abstraction protected against voyeurism, but did not remain arbitrarily vague. That doesn't always work out in this genre.

The power of fact

It is all the sadder that the ideological synodal striving for an institutionalized communitisation of guilt, the complete opposite of the title, devalues the performance: interposed prayers urge the audience to make a collective confession and make it clear what it is actually about: the eternal circling around oneself; the satisfaction of seeing oneself as righteous, whether by judging others or guiltily celebrating one's own mea culpa. This is alarmingly reminiscent of tendencies in German commemoration culture to use a well-oiled machinery of consternation. Real emotion was therefore hardly felt.

It is grotesque that those affected by abuse, some of them themselves involved in the performance, were again instrumentalised here: This is revealed by the mirror at the entrance to the church room, inscribed with questions from the examination of conscience: Refrain from doing good things? done bad?

 "Responsible: I" could make a real contribution to the issue of abuse - and is then just another means of self-reflection by a caste of church officials that is completely self-absorbed.