The Catholic Church in Germany wants to renew itself. However, talks about this – the synodal assembly – have stalled because of the Corona pandemic. The Federation of German Catholic Youth wants to continue the discussion online.
Interviewer: Catholic youth have a strong interest in driving the church reform process forward. 15 young people who applied to you will now discuss online. What exactly do you have in mind?
Katharina Norpoth (Federal President of the Federation of German Catholic Youth (BDKJ)): We want as many young people as possible to participate in this Synodal Way. And since the originally planned hearing had to be cancelled because of Corona, we thought about organizing the whole thing digitally and therefore created the DIGITAL SYNODAL format.
We want to engage in conversation with young people and also members of the various synodal forums in evening online meetings in the coming weeks and work together accordingly to bring our young people's perspective to the synodal assembly and the synodal journey.
Interviewer: At each meeting, they focus on completely different topics. The first topic at the beginning this Wednesday, for example, is sexuality and partnership. What specifically is being discussed there?
Norpoth: The four topics are based on the four synodal forums. On Wednesday, in relation to the forum "Living in Successful Relationships – Living Love in Sexuality and Partnership," we would like to talk with young people, but also, for example, with the chairpersons of this synodal forum, Birgit Mock and Bishop Helmut Dieser, about what young people actually expect in this regard.
The BDKJ has the position that same-sex couples must also be blessed in the church or that sexual morality should be fundamentally reconsidered.
Interviewer: They discuss this ie, like all the others, directly also with some bishops. How clearly do the young Catholics take a stand?? Do they dare to be really clear there?
Norpoth: The young people are experts in their world and dare to speak up and communicate their demands clearly also to the bishops.
Interviewer: Disappointed in this reform process are often women who also hold ministries and offices of the church. This is always a big ie, because they will be denied access at a certain level – for example, to become deacons. What are young Catholics demanding?? What is there their attitude?
Norpoth: Our maximum position in the BDKJ is that we demand in principle also the priesthood of women. At the moment, however, the most important thing for us is to exhaust the possibilities that we actually already have now. This refers, for example, to the fact that women should also baptize or marry.
That's where we try to make the position of women as strong as possible, and also make sure that we set a good example and, for example, strengthen the role of women in our own associations as much as possible.
The interview was conducted by Verena Troster.