“Right word at the right time”

Armin Laschet © Guido Kirchner

Pope Francis' new encyclical continues to generate many reactions in politics and society. NRW Minister President Armin Laschet praised the Pope's encyclical letter. The Catholic Women's Federation also criticized.

The Catholic German Women's Federation (KDFB) spoke of an "important call to reflect on a world that is drifting apart and characterized by egoism". Topics such as solidarity, willingness to engage in dialogue and the search for consensual solutions have also occupied the association for years, said KDFB President Maria Flachsbarth in Cologne on Monday.

The women's federation misses however a criticism of church structures in the doctrinal letter "Fratelli tutti", which the pope had published on Sunday. This concerns topics such as the sexual and spiritual abuse of women in the church, the opening of ordination offices for women or the lack of dialogue between some Vatican circles and the local churches. "A church is only credible if it lives within what it demands of others," Flachsbarth admonished.

Laschet praises encyclical

NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) praised the encyclical shortly after his general audience with Pope Francis. The letter was "the right word at the right time", he told the "Rheinische Post". Francis, he said, brings the environment, climate, economy, development and migration into context, as well as peace and human rights – at a time when society is becoming increasingly selfish and aggressive. He says this shows the holistic approach of this pope.

"The fact that he explicitly refers to inspiration from exchanges with other religions and cultures underscores Francis' great willingness to engage in dialogue," the CDU politician continued.
Laschet called the encyclical "an urgent reminder against nationalism and a groundbreaking plea for more multilateralism".

Ifo boss Fuest shows disappointment

The president of the Munich-based Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Clemens Fuest, was disappointed. "Ranting against markets and alleged neoliberalism is the greatest weakness of the paper," he told the Catholic News Agency (KNA). According to Fuest, virtually no one still believes that the market can solve all problems. Francis is railing against a system that does not exist at all.

Francis' statement that globalization has not benefited the weak and has only led them into dependencies is also "a simple untruth. Here prejudices are presented, the actual development of the world is ignored. Such errors are regrettable because they take away some of the credibility of the entire text."

Praise from SPD and FDP factions in Bundestag

Meanwhile, further approval came from the Bundestag: the spokesman for religious policy of the SPD parliamentary group, Lars Castellucci welcomed the desire to strengthen international cooperation.
"To phenomena such as global migratory movements, we can also only ever respond globally and together," he said in response to a question. "The church, also in association with others, could provide a platform on which we can come together anew."

The spokesman on religious policy for the FDP parliamentary group, Benjamin Strasser, said the encyclical should "become compulsory reading in all the capitals of the world". It was "a flaming appeal to
Multilateralism and against populist nationalism" and strengthens all those who stand up for democracy, international cooperation and the protection of human rights.

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