Lehmann before “tribunal

A scandal at a congress of the Federation: Actually, the bishop of Mainz, Cardinal Karl Lehmann, wanted to discuss the society of values. In the end, he had to take offense instead. The background is the alleged discriminatory treatment of homosexuals by the Catholic Church. Lehmann himself considered himself to be in front of a "tribunal".

Clear criticism of the Catholic Church prompted an appearance by Cardinal Karl Lehmann at the 1. Congress of the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency accompanied. The spokesman for the Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD), Manfred Bruns, called Lehmann a "grand master of discrimination" afterwards on Wednesday and accused him of hypocrisy. He indirectly drew a comparison with the persecution of homosexuals during the Nazi era.The former chairman of the German Bishops' Conference engaged in a debate with Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann after delivering a keynote speech on the topic of "value society as an economic factor". Even before the final round of questions, several questioners interrupted the discussion with accusations that the Catholic Church discriminates against homosexual employees and fires them if they enter into a civil partnership.Lehmann said such questions would be clarified in concrete conversation. The church's labor-law guidelines stipulate "that there is not simply a hatchet, but a pastoral discussion". At the same time, he accused the critics of trying to turn the event into a tribunal. He was not prepared to do that, moreover, he did not know the concrete cases and could not review them now.

Criticism also of the anti-discrimination stela LSVD spokesman Bruns, one of the questioners, subsequently accused the cardinal of not having addressed the "severe discrimination" practiced by the Catholic Church at any point in his speech. If church employees entered into a registered civil partnership, they would have to be dismissed according to a decision of the Permanent Council of the Bishops' Conference. This is morally reprehensible and deeply anti-social. In view of such actions, homosexual church employees today would have to hide and adapt, the 74-year-old said. This reminded him of how he himself had had to behave during the National Socialist era and in the 1950s.At the same time, Bruns expressed criticism of the anti-discrimination agency. Lehmann's invitation showed how "flimsy" its work was. The institution was established at the beginning of 2007 in the wake of the General Equal Treatment Act, which was intended to implement the European directives on the prevention of discrimination.

Lehmann urges business to take ethical responsibility Earlier, Lehmann had appealed to the business community to take responsibility for society and to act according to ethical standards. If it wants to be part of society, it must also be judged by the values of the society in which it operates and skims off profits. The cardinal went on to emphasize that market rules only work in the long term if they are supported by a basic moral consensus.Rene Obermann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom, also called ethical principles indispensable for the economy. A "partly unbridled, partly anarchic globalization" needs ethical impulses. "Nothing works without ethics," he opined, otherwise companies would not be able to exist. Ethics, however, should not be confused with social romanticism.Obermann also spoke of the special responsibility of those who – as managers, for example – benefit greatly from globalization processes. Of course they should give more back to society. The Deutsche Telekom CEO continued to express his conviction that ethical orientations of the churches had significance far beyond the circle of church members. In his estimation, the church also provides the value framework for many who have turned away from the institution of the church.At the same time, Lehmann reaffirmed the role of the classic entrepreneur.In many cases, it is managers who have no stake in the capital or tradition of a company, but then cut jobs with reference to cost prere or with an eye on the share price.

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