Bishop: New structures are no guarantee for a new spirit. Cathcon: So what do they think they are doing in Rome?

The topic of power in the church is currently a concern for many believers in Germany, observes Eichstätt Bishop Gregor Maria Hanke. But structural changes do not bring a new spirit. Instead, something else is needed.

Faith, Hope, Charity

The Eichstätter Bishop Gregor Maria Hanke commented critically on calls for new church structures at a diaconal ordination. According to his press office on Saturday in Georgensgmünd, Central Franconia, Hanke said that the issue of power in the church and the exercise of power in accordance with the gospel is currently affecting many believers in Germany. This should be taken seriously. “Many of the currently called for changes to church structures and office profiles do not yet guarantee a new spirit,” said the bishop. "The first step must be the renewal of our hearts in the spirit of Jesus. This renewal will show us the way."

At the ceremony, Hanke ordained Matthias Herrler, a father of two, as a permanent deacon. Addressing him, the bishop said: "The DNA of the sacrament of orders is the love that serves." The bishop added: "The deacon, the priest, the bishop must feed the Lord's flock with and out of love. It should be a love that comes from the heart if it is to be similar to the love of the Heart of Jesus." Without such love one does not serve but rather administers.

Deacon is one of the three forms of ordained office in the Catholic Church, along with priest and bishop. For aspirants to the priesthood, ordination as a deacon is the necessary preliminary step. Among other things, it entitles you to donate to baptisms and to conduct weddings and funerals. When ordained as a deacon, men make several promises. Among other things, they vow to live celibate and to live their lives according to the example of Christ. Since 1968, married men have also been able to be ordained as permanent deacons; So they do not aspire to the priesthood. Permanent deacons are allowed to marry and bury, but are not allowed to lead masses or hear confessions.