Eleven Cologne priests have attracted a lot of attention with an open letter and demands for reform. The Diocesan Council now welcomes the demands. Vicar General Dominik Meiering emphasizes in interview: "We are grateful for everyone who gets involved."
Interviewer: How was the letter of the eleven jubilarians received in the archdiocese??
Vicar General Dr. Dominik Meiering: There are very different reactions to the letter, but first of all you have to perceive with respect that there are people who are concerned and worried about the church. Many of the ies raised there are, of course, under discussion in a wide variety of areas in the German Church and in our archdiocese.
Interviewer: There are a number of concrete demands that the eleven priests take up. What to focus on?
Vicar General Dr. Dominik Meiering: Many of the ies are being discussed in a wide variety of places. In our archdiocese we discuss it in the priests' council. What's next for the old priests?? Or when I think about what future pastoral care will look like. We are also talking about this in the diocesan pastoral council. And the Diocesan Council of Catholics is also concerned about these ies. After all, the Council has now also published a paper with some points that he would like to see discussed. I am glad that everyone is participating in this discussion and that we are looking at it in our councils in the archdiocese, step by step, what our church needs in the current situation and how we can better bring Christ into the conversation.
Interviewer: What might that look like in concrete terms, perhaps?
Vicar General Dr. Dominik Meiering: The Diozesanrat refers again to a somewhat older paper, which they published already once and updates the questions, which are asked there. I am quite happy that the Diocesan Council is cooperating in answering the questions. We sit together in the Diocesan Pastoral Council and really go in search of good answers from the Gospel for the challenges we face today as a church in our society.
Interviewer: It is a personal concern of the archbishop that the further pastoral develops. He has called for a pastoral path for the future, he has launched a diocesan pastoral council focusing on all these ies. Will it be treated there?
Vicar General Dr. Dominik Meiering: Last year, the archbishop also wrote a Lenten pastoral letter in which his opinion on many of these points is already marked very clearly. But one is to mark, what are the questions, but the other is to cooperate in answering them. I believe that this is precisely what is called for now, and the Lenten pastoral letter contains many good pointers as to how we might go about it. We are grateful for everyone who is involved in this.
Interviewer: What is important now for the Archdiocese of Cologne in this situation?
Vicar General Dr. Dominik Meiering: What really matters is that we try, in trust with one another, to find ways for our Church of tomorrow and that we have a truly realistic, open and free view of the reality of our society and our world. We must ask ourselves again and again: What does Christ want from us in this situation?? What is to be read from the Gospel in response to the situation of the Church and society? I am very confident that we will succeed together, step by step.
The interview was conducted by Ingo Bruggenjurgen.