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Germany: Bishops’ plenary meeting. Mgr. Schick (Bamberg), “we need holy priests” to avoid “clericalism, abuse, bigotry”

Christianity is becoming less known, “despite our nice lessons of religion in the schools and in the churches”. But “when the values and virtues of the Gospel are no longer known, they are also lost at home, in politics, in economy and in the social fabric, and other indicators, other ideas push on. When the spirit of love for one’s neighbour is lost, social cold-heartedness spreads in and people force their way into society”. The sermon made by the archbishop of Bamberg, mgr. Ludwig Schick, opened the third day of the plenary meeting of the German Bishops Conference in Fulda. For the archbishop, the point is that “the role and challenge of the Church today” is about “renewing and intensifying teaching and training in Christian faith”. Another need today, as at the time of St Vincent de Paul, whom mgr. Schick mentioned today, is having holy priests: “There were few back then, and there are few now”. “We need more priests, but we need more holy priests” in all dimensions of life, to avoid “clericalism, abuse of power, bigotry and hypocrisy”. According to mgr. Schick, the call to holiness must ring louder “in our Church, in all areas, but above all among deacons, priests, bishops and consecrated people”. Then, mgr. Schick called to “join forces for the renewal of the Church, starting with ourselves”. At Mass, he also commemorated the late cardinal Karl Lehmann and another 4 German bishops who died in the last few months.

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