Church suffers from “problem backlog

Church suffers from 'problem backlog

St.-St. Paul's Cathedral in Munster © Friso Gentsch

The systematic causes of the crisis within the Catholic Church must be addressed quickly. This is what priests and pastoral care workers in the diocese of Munster have demanded.

“Profound things” are needed for the current mood in the church to change positively again, said the moderator of the priests' council, Father Christoph Gerdemann, in an interview with the diocesan newspaper “Kirche+Leben” (Sunday) in Munster. A further development of the church's sexual teachings and reforms in dealing with power are necessary.

This also applies to power, “which is exercised subtly, ignoring the respect and dignity of others,” Gerdemann said. He also referred to several priests in the diocese who had applied for leave of absence or sabbaticals. “Any time out is also a question to the image of priests and parish priesthood, as it is lived cultivated and expected in such a constituted church. There is a need for change.”

“Staff are running on fumes”

Michael Kertelge, staff representative for pastoral care workers, highlighted the strain the current situation is putting on all pastoral care workers. The major church ies are “lurching ahead of us like a backlog of problems”. Staff in abuse-affected communities in particular were “running on fumes”. Even when concrete cases have been “worked through,” rifts often remain in parishes.

On a “to-do list,” Kertelge said, are the ies of celibacy, same-sex unions in church ministry, the position of women in the church, and church leadership. In addition, he complained that there was no independent commission of historians in the diocese of Munster to come to terms with sexual abuse.

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