“Bishop of limburg”

Ingo Bruggenjurgen © Ide Lodige (DR)

Msgr. Georg Batzing to be new bishop of Limburg © Elisabeth Schomaker (KNA)

Georg Batzing made his inaugural visit as the new head pastor in Limburg on Thursday. our site editor-in-chief Ingo Bruggenjurgen wishes Batzing God's blessing, but adds: "Ahead of Batzing lies a very wide, unfortunately not only well-tilled field."

"Bishop of Limburg" – today gray-haired people can still tell of times when it was something like a highly deserved title of honor. "Proclaiming the Gospel to the poor" was the motto of Bishop Franz Kamphaus. His successor Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst then ensured that today, far beyond the borders of the small diocese, everyone immediately thinks of an overpriced luxury hostel, ecclesiastical abuse of power and detached official conduct, if one comes with the "Bishop of Limburg" around the corner.

The successor to Bishop Franz-Peter truly does not take on an easy legacy. But Georg Batzing, the new guy in Limburg freshly appointed by the pope, brings a lot of what a good bishop needs: a deep faith, good pastoral experience, a willingness to engage in dialogue that brings people together, and plenty of organizational talent. In Limburg, however, the new man will need above all courage to go his very own way!

This already starts with the choice of the house: If he moves into the magnificent building at the very top of the Bischofsberg? Or next door into a kind of "sexton's house," which admittedly would be a bit like "half pregnant"? Or else he consistently leaves the expensive property, which he actually can't dispose of either? There is at least the danger that the famous house of his predecessor will be on his heels.

Perhaps more importantly, will the newly appointed bishop succeed in overcoming the rifts that still open up in the Limburg diocese, even though there is a deep longing among the faithful for normality? In any case, Batzing has a very wide, unfortunately not only well-tilled field ahead of him, even if the diocesan administrator Manfred Grothe has done an excellent job in the past two years. There will be no shortage of good and well-intentioned advice – but now the newcomer must decide for himself which path is the right one for him and the Church of Limburg. We wish the new man on the now famous bishop's chair not only the necessary strength but also the necessary courage. But above all, God's blessing, so that he can get out of the gloomy long shadow left by his predecessor in office as quickly as possible: Congratulations and blessings to the "new Bishop of Limburg!"

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