German bishops © Frank Rumpenhorst
The spring plenary session of the German Bishops' Conference begins this Monday with an opening service in Mainz Cathedral. Earlier, Cardinal Marx makes a statement. The election of his successor is eagerly awaited.
The sermon was delivered by the outgoing president of the Bishops' Conference, Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx. Beyond the personnel decision, Tuesday's election of his successor is seen as a signal of the Catholic Church's future course in its carefully initiated reform process. This was launched together with Catholic lay associations as the Synodal Way in Frankfurt am Main a month ago.
Before the opening service, Marx plans to speak this afternoon (14.30 clock) make a statement. Several critical movements within the Catholic Church will also make clear their expectations of the bishops on Monday.
Thus, the Catholic women's associations kfd and KDFB want to present to the presidium of the Synodal Way with Cardinal Marx more than 130.000 signatures handed over "for a gender-just and credible church. The Eckiger Tisch association, which represents the interests of victims of sexual violence in the Catholic Church, wants to lend weight to its demand for comprehensive compensation.
Kohlgraf: "We all have the same goal"
The Bishops' Conference comprises 69 bishops, auxiliary bishops and other senior clergy of the 27 dioceses in Germany. "There have always been certain factions in the bishops' conference," Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz told the German Press Agency. "We must manage to disagree on the matter at hand, but keep ourselves free of personal animosities. We all have the same goal, we want to proclaim the Gospel."