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Germany: mgr. Bätzing (Dbk), “Coronavirus and the quest for a future time”. Society and Church faced with the pandemic. Commemorating the Bergamo victims

“How will these longs days, weeks and months of the coronavirus pandemic be remembered by the future generations in ten, twenty or one hundred years’ time?”, this is the question that mgr. Georg Bätzing, president of the German Bishops’ Conference (Dbk), asks himself in the foreword to a reflection posted on the DBK website today. 14 pages, replete with reflections and hope, as well as questions for priests and devotees, Catholic and otherwise. “Coronavirus and the quest for a future time” is the title of the text: in its five chapters, mgr. Bätzing dwells on reflecting on “the events and decisions” that the pandemic has led to; the “mourning and innovation” that have come up together in the last few months; the “distance and prudence” that have become a reality; then, he reflects on the “time and a new beginning” and on “cohesion and memory”. In addition to a lot of pain, the pandemic created a break in everyday life and a rethinking of many habits that had been taken for granted, writes Bätzing, who makes a long list of things that will probably be engraved on everyone’s memory forever: “We will certainly always remember the deep experience of a great break”. According to mgr. Georg Bätzing, people will always “remember the old people who died alone in Bergamo or the doctors, nurses and priests who caught the infection because they stayed with the dying people till the end”; but they will not forget the liturgical time of Easter without religious services either, loneliness in the nursing homes, the artists and self-employed people fearing for their lives, an economy that is on the verge of collapse, violence in the families, hunger and need across the world”.

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