Leaders

“A very good conversation”

Pope Benedict XVI offered a special greeting. during Tuesday's Vespers service to the delegation from the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany, which included Gunther Beckstein. In an interview from Rome, the EKD synod vice president reports on his meeting with the pope and the current problems of ecumenism, also with regard to the Reformation anniversary in 2017.



We do not want to celebrate this 500th anniversary of the Reformation against the Catholic Church, but together with the Catholics. For it is important to us that ecumenism is one of the central tasks of Christians. That's why we followed in the footsteps of Luther via Milan to Rome and had a very, very good conversation with Pope Benedict XVI.. He has stressed that it is important not to look solely at the 500 years since the Reformation, but also to look at the 1500 years before that. And to confess to each other the guilt that both churches have brought upon themselves in the years after the Reformation. But above all, to see how we can bring Christianity closer to people in a secularized world in the future.

Leaders

“Let the words now be followed by deeds”

After the suppression of protests in Burma, international prere on the military leadership is increasing – but so far only verbally, criticizes Ulrich Delius of the Society for Threatened Peoples. In an interview with this site, he calls on neighboring states "to now back up words with deeds". The West does not have the power to do that, Delius said. Meanwhile, the military junta in Burma is using a double tactic: gestures of reconciliation on the one hand, discrediting on the other.

Renewed protests The junta generals and their families donated money, rice, oil and toothpaste to monasteries in Rangoon, Asian media reported Monday, citing the Burmese state organ New Light of Myanmar. The monks would have accepted the donations.At the same time, according to the media, the military government is trying to discredit the clerics. It is alleged that pornography and weapons, such as pistols and slingshots, were found during raids on the monasteries during the violent crackdown on the peaceful uprising. Refusal to accept donations from the military was at the heart of the monks' protest actions. A boycott of donations has great symbolic significance.Meanwhile, in Yangon, some citizens expressed their contempt for the military junta again on Monday. Occasionally, soldiers are said to have been pelted with stones, Burmese media in exile report. Three days ago, leaders of the popular uprising, both monks and opposition politicians, who have gone into hiding and fled, called for the continuation of the protests through civil disobedience.

Federal Foreign Office: Situation only superficially calm The German Foreign Office in Berlin demanded Monday that all those detained be released. The situation in Burma is superficially calm, but arrests are still occurring during the nighttime curfew, spokesman Martin Jager said.In doing so, he said, it was apparently enough for people to have cameras or cell phones with them at demonstrations, or to wear only "a T-shirt of the wrong color". The International Red Cross called for access to detainees in prisons and labor camps in an epd interview Monday.The German Foreign Office emphasized that the Burmese government must know that its behavior will not remain without consequences. The UN Security Council should remain seized of the ie. The country's neighbors, in particular, should influence the military government. The junta should now enter into a "dialogue without preconditions" with the opposition, Jager demanded.

Leaders

Guiding culture, family, animal welfare

A fighting term becomes programmatic. "Leitkultur"
appears in the draft of the CDU's basic program, which Secretary General Ronald Pofalla presented on Tuesday. Twice. The authors use the term to bundle descriptions of public spirit and integration, nationhood, patriotism, a "clear commitment" to history and culture, and the German language. Not everyone agrees.

"People's Party of the Center" Perhaps the commission agreed on this choice of words because the text elsewhere departs from the CDU's previous profile. Some things are really new. The differences between the Hamburg program "Freedom in Responsibility" of 1994 and the Ludwigshafen program of 1978 were much smaller in terms of profile."The Christian Democratic Union of Germany is the people's party of the middle. It addresses all people in all strata and groups of our country. Our policies are based on the Christian understanding of man and his responsibility before God…" With these words begins, after the preamble, the draft, which is available to the Catholic News Agency(KNA). Five lines further on comes – for the first time in such a text – the reference that the CDU is the "joint action of Christians and people of other faiths and non-believers" one who recognized the dignity and freedom of man and affirmed political beliefs. The Christian understanding of the human being provides the ethical basis for responsible politics. "Nevertheless, we know that from Christian faith no specific political program can be derived."From the church's point of view, concrete statements on upcoming ethical decisions are missing, criticizes Robin Mishra of the Rheinischer Merkur in an interview with this site.

For the first time animal protection This ethical basis – for example, in the protection of life – is not interpreted through concrete policies. As expected, terms such as abortion or stem cell research do not appear in the draft. But it is remarkable that unborn life is mentioned once – in the Christian conception of man – and – on the subject of late abortion – that "disabled life not yet born" is specifically mentioned once. In the 1994 program, which was shorter overall, unborn life was mentioned four times. The "protection of animals" appears explicitly for the first time in 2007, the protection of life as a concept no longer appears.In several places, the draft, which is to become the final text by the party conference in early December, refers to the fundamental ies of biomedicine and genetic engineering. "The freedom of research finds its limits where the inviolable dignity of man is touched or the creation is endangered," it says in the research policy section. 20 pages earlier, ethical limits, "unconscionable commercialization," the sanctity of human dignity are mentioned in current challenges. The scanty reminder of curing diseases, alleviating suffering will not satisfy the CDU's research friends.

Leaders

Benedict xvi. In london

Benedict xvi. In london

Pope Benedict XVI. celebrated an ecumenical evening prayer with representatives of all Christian churches in Great Britain. The service, led by Anglican Primate Rowan Williams, gathered hundreds of dignitaries at London's Westminster Abbey on Friday evening. In his homily, Benedict XVI called. urged Christians to bear witness to their hope in an increasingly indifferent or even hostile environment.

Leaders

The perpetrators come from the social environment

She knew him from working together in a workshop for the disabled. Petra Martens (name changed) thought nothing of it when she took her colleague to her apartment. But there he raped her twice. The 19-year-old is mentally handicapped due to an early childhood brain injury. Due to a lack of sexual education, she did not know what had happened to her. "She kept quiet at first, but later confided in a counselor," says Astrid Schafers.The head of a project against sexual violence against people with disabilities in Paderborn knows the fate of Petra Martens from her practice. While there are no official statistics, "it is estimated that disabled people are four times more likely to be victims of sexual violence than people without disabilities," says Schafers. The number of unreported cases is high: Every second disabled woman is said to have experienced sexual violence at least once.A topic that has long been taboo. But in the meantime, attention is growing. In the Paderborn district, the Caritas Association, the Social Service of Catholic Women, child and youth welfare services, institutions for the disabled and the district police authority have formed a working group. The project is funded by Aktion Mensch.Martina Puschke is project manager at "Weibernetz", a political interest group for disabled women based in Kassel. Even in her opinion, sexual abuse of people with disabilities is not addressed enough in Germany. Studies from Austria suggest that it is precisely in institutions for the disabled that assaults often occur."An estimated 60 percent of women there are victims of sexual violence," says Puschke.The perpetrators often come from the social environment of the disabled persons. Mostly there are dependencies. The fact that the number of assaults is particularly high in inpatient facilities encourages the self-help organization "Interessenvertretung Selbst bestimmt leben (ISL)" to call for more outpatient assistance for people with learning and mental disabilities."Sexual abuse is about the exercise of power and dominance," says Schafers. There is a great power imbalance, especially in the field of assistance for the disabled, because people with mental disabilities are existentially dependent on support. Lack of sex education among disabled people contributes to the fact that sexual abuse is often not discovered.The project in the district of Paderborn wants to raise awareness of the ie through prevention and counseling. This is also done by means of a puppet theater. Puppeteer Nelo Thies, who has so far performed mainly in kindergartens, will in the future show her plays in homes for the disabled, workshops and schools for the learning disabled. "Arms, legs, belly and butt are just mine, anyway," reads one of her lyrics.The district police in Paderborn hope that the project will lead to more sexual assaults and rapes being reported."Grabbing the breast of a girl with a learning disability is clearly an assault," says detective inspector Sonja Biermann, who is involved in the project.But project leader Astrid Schafers knows from experience that disabled people are afraid to talk about abuse. Petra Martens also did not defend herself and did not report the perpetrator, who was also disabled. "She didn't want anyone to know," says Schafers. Therefore, one goal of psychological counseling is to strengthen the disabled people in their personality. They should learn to draw boundaries with others.