Daniela Hottenbacher, new BDKJ Federal President © Christian Schnaubelt (BDKJ)
The Federation of Catholic Youth in Germany has elected Daniela Hottenbacher as its new federal chairwoman and successor to Lisi Maier. In an interview, she reveals what impulses she wants to give to Catholic youth work in the future.
Interviewer: First of all of course congratulations to the new office. What did you think when you heard that you had been elected??
Daniela Hottenbacher (New President of the Federation of Catholic Youth in Germany/BDKJ): I was incredibly speechless and grateful also for the election result, which confidence the youth federations and diocesan federations have in me and hope that I can follow this also.
Interviewer: You take over from Lisi Maier, the previous federal chairwoman, now as a volunteer. How can you imagine this? That's quite a high position for an honorary office, which also involves a lot of work.
Hottenbacher: On the one hand, we are equal members of the BDKJ board and therefore also office holders. And yes, I will take over a part of Lisi's tasks. We will clarify this in our meeting with Gregor Podschun and Stefan Ottersbach, who will do which tasks and we hope to get the other full-time position filled as well.
Interviewer: Which topics do you want to tackle quickly now?
Hottenbacher: At the general meeting, we passed the motion on "Creating Perspectives and Securing the Future", which is about the fact that children, adolescents and young adults are not only schoolgirls, trainees and students, but also young adults who need extracurricular places of learning and we have to make a strong case that youth association work has a perspective, now during Corona and after Corona.
Interviewer: You have long been involved in the Catholic Rural Youth Movement of Germany. How can and do you want to incorporate this position in your work now??
Hottenbacher: The Catholic Rural Youth Movement is committed to sustainable coexistence. This is also something I want to bring into the BDKJ – fair trade, critical consumption.
Interviewer: The participants of the BDKJ assembly have spoken out in favor of the recognition, appreciation and blessing of same-sex partnerships. And on the same day, here in Cologne-Lindenthal, z.B. Many same-sex couples blessed. What do you say? Is that already a beginning?
Hottenbacher: Yes, it is an incredibly important start. In the coming days, we will have church services about the BDKJ in the associations. It is our Christian understanding, our image of man, that wherever there is love, all can live out their love.
Interviewer: They now probably have a mountain ahead of them to sort through. How much time do you give yourself until you are really into the new work, until you have really arrived inwardly??
Hottenbacher: I would say, I give myself now May and June to arrive and from July is then time to climb through and to use myself for girl and women's politics, for a decided 72-hour action.
The interview was conducted by Dagmar Peters.