“Because you are strangers”

The general meeting of the German Conference of Superiors of Religious Orders ended on Wednesday in Vallendar near Koblenz with an appeal for dialogue with refugees. The meeting was held under the motto "Because you are strangers".

Under the title "Fear Not!" the resolution condemns national and nationalistic go-it-alone approaches and calls on the states in Europe to show greater solidarity with each other and with the neighboring countries in the crisis regions. The current situation should not only be judged against the background of possible dangers, but the opportunities it presents should also be recognized. What is needed is a culture of encounter and a meeting of cultures.

Possibility of the women's diaconate

At their four-day meeting, the religious also reaffirmed their intention to further strengthen their commitment to protect children and young people from sexual abuse. In a letter to the president of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, approved by a large majority of the general assembly, the hope is expressed that Pope Francis will soon appoint a commission to examine the possibility of a diaconate for women. The pope had recently announced that he would discuss the ie. The diaconate is the first ordination level in the Catholic Church, followed by priest and bishop. According to current doctrine, these ordinations are reserved for men.

The German Conference of Superiors of Religious Orders (DOK) represents the interests of religious orders in Germany with around 16.700 women religious and nearly 4.200 religious men.

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