Bishop Georg Batzing © Sascha Steinbach (epa pool)
Starting this Tuesday, the German Catholic bishops will meet for their plenary session. Because of the Corona pandemic, it will only take place digitally. To the prelude the chairman, bishop Georg Batzing, stood speech and answer.
Limburg Bishop Georg Batzing has again commented on the debate surrounding Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki. "I believe Cardinal Woelki that his will to clarify is really clear and clear," said the chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference at the kick-off press conference for the bishops’ spring plenary meeting in Bonn on Tuesday.
"We will have to wait"
At the same time, Batzing expressed understanding for the displeasure that Woelki has not yet published a first expert opinion on the processing of abuse in his archdiocese. He had spoken with the cardinal several times on the matter, but nothing changed in his course, he said. Now the publication of the second expert opinion, which Woelki had promised, is pending.
"We will now have to wait until 18. March and, if possible, not make any preliminary convictions," said Batzing.
In general, the Catholic Church has made progress in coming to terms with abuse, the president of the bishops’ conference said. In doing so, they will be guided by the agreement reached last year with the federal government’s abuse commissioner, Johannes Wilhelm Rorig. On this one will be measured.
To the question, how he stands to the establishment of a political truth commission for the processing of abuse, answered Batzing with restraint. It was clear to the bishops that the church could not come to terms with abuse on its own. For this, it needs the social public, but above all the affected persons.
"They alone know the experiences that children and young people had to make terribly in the area of the church."
Bishop Batzing praises church commitment in Corona crisis
Bishop Batzing also emphasized the church’s involvement in the Corona crisis. At Christmas, for example, the church was able to provide a lot of impetus despite the pandemic, Batzing said.
With regard to the Synodal Way to the Future of Church Life in Germany, Batzing praised the atmosphere of the discussion as open and honest. He also referred to the recent online meeting of the reform dialogue.