Class reunions are actually yawningly boring for people who weren't in the class in question. The meeting of three former schoolmates on Friday evening in the Osnabruck Forum am Dom had exactly the opposite effect: before the official celebration of 40. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of their graduation, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode met two of his classmates from the Theodorianum Gymnasium in Paderborn.
"What have you become??" and "Do you remember back then…?" – Hans-Georg Hunstig, the former class president of "Oberprima b", is now a lawyer and the only one of the three still living in Paderborn. As he confessed to journalist Susanne Haverkamp, who moderated the reunion, the state-run Theodorianum was initially a foreign world for him. Even as "worst time of his life" Carl Georg Hegemann suffered through the years on the Penne. "But in retrospect, they strengthened me for the rigors of professional life," the professor of dramaturgy in Leipzig reveals in retrospect. And also the sextant Bode got one on the cap immediately on the first day of the entrance examination, which he had not taken off when entering the assembly hall. Those were the years of worldwide protest, when the then Primaner were working towards their school-leaving examination. Even in the Paderborn province in 1969, people revolted against the presentation of the baccalaureate certificates by the disagreeable rector by moving the ceremony to an inn without further ado. "We were very averse to any official at that time," as Bode, now 58, recalls. The common trajectory of the trio separated into different vocations. Hunstig engaged in legal studies and set out "on the long road to justice, which remains without arrival". Bode was caught up in the spirit of optimism of the Second Vatican Council: In Regensburg, he studied theology with Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. By his own admission, Hegemann fought his way out of the lecture hall and onto the Frankfurt barricades along with Joschka Fischer. But for the pending doctoral thesis and the love of the theater he shifted his striving for change of the existing on the stage. In the Forum, located between the cathedral and Osnabruck's municipal theater, dramaturgy expert Hegemann criticized today's liturgy. It lacks the old rituals and does not emphasize the supernatural enough. Hunstig, a member of the Central Committee of German Catholics, also complained that "people come to church hungry and leave even hungrier.". The bishop conditionally agreed with his former classmates and spoke out in favor of a "slight reform" of the liturgy, which should again emphasize mystical and unifying moments. The three answered the question about their attitude to the topic of faith and death very differently. Despite his attachment to the earth, Hans-Georg Hunstig professes faith in a continued life after death and sees himself "wandering into the great life". Hegemann wants to leave this question – with a glance at Bode – to specialists and yet revolts most strongly against an "intolerability of the eternal". Transcendence yes, according to the theater producer, but please no "dear God," because that is "boringly Catholic". Bode's explanation of why there is suffering in the world precisely because of the benevolent God does not entirely convince his church-minded classmates. But he was pleased, the host emphasized, that "in the end, the longing for answers brings the three of us together again in the search for the dynamic triune God."