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Canada Catholic Bishops 'Conference elects women as General Secretary for the first time

18:06  23 february  2021
18:06  23 february  2021 Source:   pressfrom.com

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In the midst of a deep crisis of confidence caused by ongoing abuse scandals, the German Bishops' Conference set an example with the election of the first General Secretary in its history. According to the will of the conference, the Limburg theologian Beate Gilles will organize its work in the future, as the bishops' committee announced on Tuesday in Bonn. The 50-year-old succeeds Father Hans Langendörfer, who was General Secretary of the German Bishops' Conference for 24 years.

Mitten in einer Vertrauenskrise durch Missbrauchsskandale hat die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz mit der historischen Wahl einer ersten Generalsekretärin ein Zeichen gesetzt. Die Limburger Theologin Beate Gilles wird künftig deren Arbeit organisieren. © Sascha STEINBACH In the midst of a crisis of confidence caused by abuse scandals, the German Bishops' Conference has set an example with the historic election of the first General Secretary. The Limburg theologian Beate Gilles will organize their work in the future.

When the election was announced, the chairman of the Bishops' Conference, Limburg Bishop Georg Bätzing, spoke of a "strong sign that the bishops are fulfilling their promise to promote women in leadership positions". Gilles spoke of a "moving moment". She sees her election as a "great opportunity" to help shape the future of the Catholic Church.

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"It's a big step to fill this position differently," emphasized the 50-year-old, who is due to take up her position on July 1st and is currently the department head in Bätzing's Limburg diocese, including the work areas for youth, families and day-care centers directs. "That is a sign in the Catholic Church, I am very aware of that." You have "great respect" for the office, which you want to lead cooperatively.

The bishops have been meeting since Tuesday at their spring conference, which is taking place digitally for the first time due to the corona crisis. The 68 members of the committee mainly advise on the abuse scandals that have been going on for years and also on the problem of leaving the church. Last year there were more resignations than ever, and currently a particularly large number of Catholics are resigning from the archdiocese of Cologne, which has been criticized.

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The Archdiocese and especially its Cardinal Woelki are criticized for dealing with the abuse scandal there. Woelki has so far withheld an opinion on the subject, which causes a lot of displeasure. Bätzing also joined the criticism and openly accused Cardinal Woelki of making mistakes. So far, however, the Vatican in Rome has refrained from taking steps against the criticized Woelki, as demanded by canon lawyers.

Pope Francis sent the Episcopal Conference on Tuesday a request for forgiveness. In a greeting from his apostolic nuncio in Germany, he quoted a word from the Bible that calls for mercy and forgiveness. In addition, the Nuncio, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, warned of the negative power of conflicts with reference to a papal letter.

The start of the spring conference, which ran until Thursday, was accompanied by protests. In front of the Cologne Cathedral, representatives of the Giordano Bruno Foundation and several affected associations demonstrated against the handling of the abuse scandal there. Nationwide supporters of the Maria 2.0 movement also called for church reforms. They advertised in the form of a "theses" on church doors, among other things, for a gender-equitable church and the education about abuse.

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Bätzing pointed out to journalists that the events in Cologne could not be an item on the agenda at the conference. "The cardinal has made his decision in favor of his archdiocese," he said with a view to refusing to publish the report. He did this in the knowledge of the "reactions". As a bishop, however, he acts autonomously.

At the same time, Bätzing also referred to "legal contexts and requirements" for possible resignations in connection with the cover-up of acts of abuse. The church's regulations are clear on this point, he said. "If someone behaves illegally, the question of resignation comes up."

At the same time, Bätzing referred to the negative consequences of the events in Cologne for the reputation of the church as a whole. Such things would have "effects far beyond the narrow circle of those responsible and a diocese". Ultimately, in addition to the Catholic Church, the Protestant Church is also affected. There is "a community of liability that affects the institutions as a whole".

bro / cfm

21 new coronavirus cases in London and Middlesex, 29 in Aylmer on Sunday .
Southwestern Public Health reported 31 new COVID-19 cases Sunday and 29 are from Aylmer. Meanwhile, London and Middlesex saw more than 20 cases for the first time since Feb. 22.The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported 21 new coronavirus cases and 11 recoveries on Sunday.

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