“We will get through”

In an ecumenical Passion devotion with President Manfred Rekowski, Cologne Archbishop Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki emphasized the power of faith. With the Crucified One in view, "we can confidently face the darkness," Woelki said.

At the beginning of his homily, the Archbishop of Cologne described the oppressive atmosphere in society caused by the Corona pandemic. In addition to fear for their own health and that of relatives and friends, many would have to fear for their livelihood. "Duration and consequences are difficult to assess," Woelki says.

In recent weeks and months, a darkness has settled over many people: "the darkness of fear, the darkness of illness, of loneliness, of suffering."The view of the crucified Jesus, such as on the Isenheim altar, can give strength. "If we do not lose sight of the Crucified One in the light, we can confidently face the darkness. We will get through," says Cologne archbishop.

Rekowski: Churches no space without sin and guilt

Against the backdrop of the abuse scandal, Rhineland President Manfred Rekowski called on the churches to call injustice in their own ranks by its name and to stand firmly on the side of those affected. The Christian churches are no
Space without sin and guilt, said the leading theologian of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland on Saturday in a joint Passion devotion with Cologne Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki in the Johanneskirche in Dusseldorf. "People experience injuries to body and soul in the space of the church, also by perpetrators who work for the church."

The joint devotion of the Archbishop of Cologne and the Rhenish President at the beginning of the Passion period has a long tradition. In view of the slow processing of sexual abuse in the archdiocese of Cologne, however, voices had been raised in the Rhenish church this year that the devotion should be canceled. Rekowski, however, stuck to the common prayer. The president took part in the joint prayer service for the last time as Rhenish president; he will retire in March and hand over his office to the 50-year-old theologian Thorsten Latzel.

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