After the sharp criticism of Catholic bishops by Green politicians, Renate Kunast, parliamentary party leader of the Greens in the Bundestag, has called on the church to take a closer look at the social situation. At the same time, she stressed in an interview with the Catholic News Agency (KNA) in Berlin on Friday, church representatives must also face clear criticism when they say clear words. There is no "official bonus.
KNA: Mrs. Kunast, first Bishop Mixa, then Cardinal Meisner.Which bishop is next in line to criticize the Greens??Kunast: With respect, counter-question: How can it actually happen that Catholic Christians talk about women as childbearing machines, talk about people with certain sexual orientations being the downright downfall of mankind?. I believe that the Catholic Church should also face this question. It can't be that this kind of conservatism is suddenly supposed to be the core of Catholic values.KNA: Nevertheless, it is striking, for example, that the birthing machine statement was commented on shrilly a good seven months later. Why not rely on direct talks instead of loud noises at party conventions or in front of microphones??Kunast: Actually, the discussion has already taken place. And I would be happy if we could discuss these ies further as soon as possible. Already during the last conversation with Cardinal Lehmann I asked the question: How is actually the family image of the Catholic Church in view of the fact that the traditional old image is lived less and less, but it is one of the central Christian values to live charity and care for the others, in whatever form. The Catholic Church must come to terms with the fact that today's lifestyles are precisely no longer those of the 19th century. or early 20. The people of the twentieth century are. One must nevertheless look for the core of the values. Something like this should become more of an ie in the Catholic Church as well.KNA: Even the loudly criticized bishops emphasize that they do not want to change the family image of the 19th century. It is not only the family image of the twentieth century that is represented here, but also the family image of the Basic Law.Kunast: The Basic Law says that marriage and family are to be protected. If someone now says that a certain sexual orientation would be the downfall of mankind, so to speak, I say to you: I do not find this passage in our Basic Law.On the contrary, the Basic Law demands equality and forbids discrimination.KNA: How should things continue between the Greens and the Catholic Church after the volume of the past weeks??Kunast: The Catholic Church should also clearly state what its image of society actually is and how it deals with modern lifestyles. Take a look at the state of Berlin, for example. More and more people live alone. There the Basic Law can protect the marriage still so much verbally: When half of the households in Berlin are single, when there are more and more single parents and patchwork families, the Catholic Church has to face up to it. It is not in line with my hopes and expectations of the Catholic Church to ignore such realities and to discriminate against certain people.The Catholic Church must also face up more strongly to the question of how children are actually supported in this country. Where is it when it comes to giving every child equal opportunities for development and the free development of his or her personality, and therefore to question the traditional financing of family policy??KNA: After all, Catholic parishes and Caritas are the largest non-governmental provider of childcare facilities in Germany.Kunast: Of course, locally they are the big providers. But why do discriminatory statements repeatedly come up in such political debates?? It cannot be in the church's interest for this to remain in the public eye. Moreover, such statements contradict the anti-discrimination guidelines.KNA: To what extent?Kunast: The sexual orientations of our fellow human beings are none of our business. And when one of the outstanding church representatives makes such disparaging remarks, I am surprised that silence reigns in church ranks. I would like to see a more courageous approach to the people, for example in the concern for more and better quality child care, in the support of those who care for others, for example friends and companions with AIDS. It's hard to do that when you're tied down to a certain image of family, marriage or relationships.KNA: Back to the sharpness of criticism – politicians of other parties say: That's no way to talk about religious representatives.Kunast: Whoever enters into political discussions, whoever leaves the form of high office in the way he presents himself, becomes part of the discussion. You know: I like to dish it out hard myself.Every cardinal or bishop is entitled to proper interaction, but he is definitely not entitled to a bonus of office that places him in a criticism-free space. On the contrary, anyone who speaks out so decisively and – in the case of the legal protection of same-sex partnerships – ultimately attacks resolutions of the Bundestag, will surely be allowed to be criticized by members of parliament on the merits of the matter.KNA: Some representatives expressed the conviction that the Greens are not electable for Catholics.Kunast: Thank God every Catholic still decides for himself. This shows a curious understanding of democracy, when the most value-conservative believe that they can still say from the pulpit on Sunday, as they did in the century before last, what should be voted for. Whoever thinks that is not up to date.KNA: Could you imagine inviting Cardinal Meisner for a clarifying or clear conversation??Kunast: Inviting Cardinal Meisner to talk to him? Yes, I can imagine that. But there would be a proper and quite clear discussion. One thing is clear: I'm bringing my parliamentary manager with me.Interview: Christoph Strack (KNA)