The Forum of German Catholics wants to contribute to a new evangelization in Germany and, to this end, "bring together Catholics who are loyal to the pope and the church and who have different spiritualities and spiritual orientations in Catholic breadth to form a loose association.". The forum sees a "new beginning not in the continuation of structural debates and discussions about statutes, but in personal conversion, in spiritual renewal, in obedience to the faith and in loyalty to the Holy Father and the bishops associated with him". The association, which is recognized as a non-profit organization, was established on 30. Founded in Fulda in September 2000. The seat is Munich.
The Forum's Board of Trustees includes the Prefect of the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Cardinals Augustin Mayer and Leo Scheffczyk, the Bishops of Fulda and Regensburg, Heinz Josef Algermissen and Gerhard Ludwig Muller, the former head of the SPD parliamentary group in North Rhine-Westphalia, Friedhelm Farthmann, and the former federal chairwoman of the Christian Democrats for Life (CDL), Johanna Grafin von Westphalen.The chairman of the forum is the editor-in-chief of the monthly magazine "Der Fels", Hubert Gindert. Congresses on questions of faith After a two-year absence, the Forum of German Catholics returned to Fulda in October 2007 with its congress of this name, and thus to the tomb of St. Boniface, widely regarded as the "Apostle of the Germans," which is located in the cathedral there. The recent congress, which, according to the forum founded in Fulda in 2000, attracted about 1.The sixth edition of the forum, which attracted 600 participants, including about 350 young people, was held in the city. The first three took place in Fulda, and in 2004 and 2005 the forum was held in Regensburg. The reason: The "Richthalle" in Fulda – now a parking garage – was no longer available as a venue, and the congress center had not yet been built."On the way to Christ" was the congress motto. Greetings came in many forms: from Pope Benedict XVI., by the chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Karl Lehmann, by Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne and by Hesse's Prime Minister Roland Koch (CDU). Lectures, panel discussions and workshops dealt with topics such as "Every human being – a call of love from God," "Obstacles on the way to Jesus" and "Persecuted Christians today" or the question "How do I lead my children to Christ??". The speakers included professors such as the theologian Klaus Berger, the philosopher of religion Jorg Splett and the Bonn constitutional law expert Josef Isensee. Bishop Friedhelm Hofmann had come from Wurzburg, and Bishop Anders Arborelius from Stockholm. The final event was a pontifical mass in the Fulda Cathedral, presided over by the Nigerian Cardinal of the Curia, Francis Arinze.In the opening service in the cathedral, the host Bishop of Fulda, Heinz Josef Algermissen, emphasized: "I am glad about the Forum of German Catholics, in which faithful women and men have joined together, for whom the closeness to Jesus Christ and His Church is a source of joy and commitment."Elsewhere, the bishop called the "Joy of Faith" congresses a "pious institution in the good sense of the word" and spoke of "wonderful congresses". The patron was Hesse's Minister of Economics Alois Rhiel. The 55-year-old CDU politician and former mayor of Fulda justified this with a "very personal motivation" and spoke of a personal commitment. He wants to consciously bear witness to the fact that "as a Catholic Christian, I am committed to politics".The Congress adopted a "Resolution on the injustice of abortion in Germany", calling on members of the Bundestag to finally ensure effective legal protection for unborn children. And he adopted an "Urgent request to the bishops of Germany to revise the Konigstein Declaration". Through this 1968 declaration, the truth about the sanctity of marriage and sexuality, as expressed in the encyclical "Humanae vitae" Pope Paul VI. light up, have been darkened. With their "Konigstein Declaration" the bishops had at that time reacted to the "Joy of Faith" congresses, which had been held shortly before by Paul VI. The bishops reacted to the encyclical presented to them, which prohibits artificial methods of contraception. The bishops pointed out the responsibility of conscience and freedom of conscience of Catholic spouses also in questions of contraception. "Purity is beautiful" For the first time at a "Joy of Faith" congress, there was a separate youth program, organized by new spiritual movements such as "Totus Tuus", "Youth 2000" and "Regnum Christi". The aim was to carry forward the impulse of the Catholic World Youth Day (WYD) in Cologne last August. In an appeal of the forum, which saw itself as a loose association of "Catholics loyal to the Pope and the Church", "to the young participants", it was said that the family was the "Noah's Ark of this time". And: "You can build this family. Your life partner already exists. Pray for him or for her and wait for him or for her. Do not let yourself be misled by the sexualization prere of this time. Purity is beautiful and purity makes beautiful. Every renunciation is an investment in your future family."