“Faithful even in difficult moments”

Konrad Zdarsa © Harald Oppitz (KNA)

Round 2.000 people came to Augsburg Cathedral for the farewell of Bishop Emeritus Zdarsa. Nuncio Eterovic and Cardinal Marx praised the "valuable contribution" Zdarsa had made to the Church in Germany.

Augsburg's Catholic Bishop Emeritus Konrad Zdarsa bid farewell to his diocese on Sunday afternoon with a thanksgiving service in Augsburg Cathedral.

According to the diocese, the ceremony and the reception that followed on the Cathedral Plateau were attended by some 2.000 people, including the chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne, the Apostolic Nuncio in Germany, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, Archbishop Ludwig Schick of Bamberg, Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg, and the head of the Bavarian State Chancellery, Minister of State Florian Herrmann (CSU).

"To be Catholic is to live out of fullness"

Zdarsa said in his sermon that being Catholic does not mean being against something first, "even if one or two enlightened contemporaries might like to tell us that". He added: "To be Catholic means to live out of fullness, knowing full well that at no time can one count on the unrestricted applause of a world far from God."

Nuncio Eterovic thanked on behalf of Pope Francis for Zdarsa's work as Augsburg bishop. Zdarsa has worked "with zeal to teach the Christian faith in this region of Germany and to exemplify it credibly with his episcopal work".

Eterovic also praised Zdarsa's "valuable contribution" to the German Bishops' Conference, for example as deputy chairman of the Journalistic Commission and as a member of the Commission for the Universal Church.

"Faithful even in difficult moments"

Marx said Zdarsa had led the Augsburg diocese "in sometimes turbulent times". "There was the initial phase of a necessary consolidation and pacification after the departure of your predecessor from office. In another phase, the necessary structural processes in the diocese came together in parallel with the revelation of the cases of sexual abuse." He was all the more grateful that Zdarsa had "faithfully proclaimed the gospel even in difficult moments".

Zdarsa had been bishop of Augsburg since 2010. According to ecclesiastical law, he had to be ordained on the occasion of his 75th birthday. Birthday on 7. June will have to offer his resignation. Pope Francis accepted this one on Thursday.

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