Saturday, April 18, 2020

Cardinal Woelki and German Bishops Conference call on Government to Allow Public Religious Services as Part of Religious Freedom


Cologne's Archbishop Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki hopes that church services will be celebrated again soon.

On his Twitter channel he wrote today: "I very much hope that we will soon be able to celebrate services again with prudence and care. I do not mean a headless return to normality, but services where we strictly adhere to the rules we use have learned in the past few weeks. "
Source: https://www.erzbistum-koeln.de/news/Kardinal-Woelki-Ich-hoffe-sehr-dass-wir-mit-Augenmass-und-Sorgfalt-schon-bald-wieder-Gottesdienste-feiern-koennen/

The Head of the German Bishops' Conference writes:
Bishop Dr. Georg Bätzing on the federal government's corona measures
On the occasion of today's (April 15, 2020) Conference of the Federal Government and the Prime Ministers to Combat the Corona Pandemic, the Chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Bishop Dr. Georg Bätzing:

"We have taken note of today's decisions by the Federal Government and the Prime Ministers to take further action against the corona pandemic. We are grateful to the politically responsible for their commitment.

The Easter Days have shown that church services give many millions of people orientation and support under the difficult living conditions of the crisis. 
However, I am disappointed to note that the ban on public worship services of all religious communities is currently to be maintained. In view of the initial easing measures in other areas of public life, I cannot understand that, especially not after the very clear decision of the Federal Constitutional Court last week on the serious interference with religious freedom. 
As the Catholic Church, we will come up with a solution to the discussion planned for next Friday in the Federal Ministry of the Interior on how we can guarantee religious practice and protection against infection in equal measure. For the Catholic Church, I can say that we are of course bound to the criteria and provisions that apply to all meetings in closed rooms and that we will monitor compliance with distance requirements.

We have so far accepted the ban on religious gatherings because we temporarily considered this ban appropriate and wanted to make our possible contribution to containing the corona virus pandemic. However, the prohibition of joint public worship services deeply interferes with the right to practice one's religion and was particularly difficult for many believers to bear, especially during Holy and Easter services. ”
Source: https://www.dbk.de/nc/presse/aktuelles/meldung/bischof-dr-georg-baetzing-zu-den-corona-massnahmen-der-bundesregierung/detail/

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