Basketball fan, man-friend of US President Donald Trump, but above all: ruthless dictator. Kim Jong-un is the third generation of the Kim clan to rule North Korea. This will probably not change for the time being.

A new key date regulation in the stem cell law would be wrong according to the president of the Committee of German Catholics, Hans-Joachim Meyer. "In principle, we are convinced that any consumption of human embryos for research purposes violates the protection of human life," Meyer told the Hanover-based Neue Presse newspaper (Tuesday edition). Even setting the current deadline was an "ethical compromise" he said. "If this deadline were to be postponed, there would be a danger that embryos would be created and consumed specifically for research purposes," Meyer said.

Moreover, it would be tempting to "soon demand a new postponement of the deadline," said the president of the Committee of German Catholics. This, however, could pierce the protection of embryos and, consequently, the protection of human life "to the point of ineffectiveness. But the protection of human life must remain the highest principle of humanity. "If this principle is abandoned for a purpose, then serious consequences must be feared," Meyer emphasized.

No basic research without a new deadline?

Heat endangers churches and organs © Lea Bruggemann (DR)

Not only farmers have suffered from the heat. Church musicians are also affected, as the persistent warmth has made it hard on both organs and churches. Playing on "dry" organs is a consequential problem.

Cologne Archbishop Joachim Cardinal Meisner continues to distance himself from the CDU. On Thursday, the cardinal criticized in the magazine "Capital" that the CDU was "increasingly disgracing itself among Christian-minded people". Harsh accusations – listen to Ingrid Fischbach, the representative for church and religious communities of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, in the this site interview on this topic.



this site: Must the Union now remove its "C" from its name after Cardinal's criticism?
Ingrid Fischbach: I think it will take a little more than the Cardinal's criticism to remove our "C" from our party name. But I think the cardinal is confusing things here. He always equates the "C", which stands for Christian, with Catholic. We are a people's party and we are not only Catholic delegates and party members, but we also have Protestant members. And if we think about one or the other political decision, we see that the two large churches were positioned differently.
this site: It's not the first time that Joachim Cardinal Meisner has criticized the CDU/CSU. He has previously sharply criticized the Bundestag decision to expand research on embryonic stem cells, which the CDU/CSU supported. Are the Union and the Catholic Church really drifting further and further apart??
Ingrid Fischbach: First of all, I would like to state that we are not drifting further apart, because Cardinal Meisner's statements also come at regular intervals. I always see them as a little prick, but in the meantime this has reached a "Hoh", where I am also a little sad, because the actual conversation is not sought out. And I am discussing this with many other bishops, including those of the Catholic Church, and I cannot see that we are drifting very far apart.
this site: Nevertheless, there are definitely different approaches, for example, in the protection of life and embryonic stem cell research. Parts of the Catholic Church are also rather skeptical about the Union's modernized image of the family – at the same time, the Cardinal praises the way the SPD in Berlin or the Social Democrats in North Rhine-Westphalia used to deal with it – doesn't the Union lose an important supporter with the Church??
Ingrid Fischbach: May I ask back? Doesn't the church lose an important supporter with the union?? I believe that we are very much dependent on each other in the important questions of ethics, dignity and protection of life – and so far it works really well. We work very well together, we support each other. On the subject of stem cell research, I can only say that the two major churches were not in agreement. And just as I referred to my bishops, as a Catholic, my Protestant colleagues then also referred to their bishop, who was in favor of a release. So you have to be careful. Also with the family image, also with the church on the ground. When I go to the individual congregations and talk to the individual pastors, I see that the reality of life has changed somewhat. And the church would also do well to perceive these new circumstances and to provide answers to them.
this site: Now these clashes between high Catholic dignitaries and the CDU/CSU happen relatively regularly. Can there ever be a point where the two have nothing more to say to each other??
Ingrid Fischbach: I hope not, so from our side I can say: As politicians, we are used to always seeking dialogue, and we are always ready to talk. And I would really be pleased if Cardinal Meisner would invite a large part of his Catholic colleagues from the Bundestag from all over Germany to a discussion. I believe that some things would then also be clarified.
this site: The Archbishop of Cologne also said that, given the current state of the parties, there are none that are particularly close to the church – do they see a danger that parts of the church will withdraw from the political discussion??
Ingrid Fischbach: I don't see that, as the church representative of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, I have a lot of discussions. And that which happens here not publicly, that is, incidentally, that is quite a bit. The exchange is very lively and very important. And I don't believe that the entire Catholic Church, and thus also the German Bishops' Conference, see things the same way as Cardinal Meisner. The talks are taking place, the exchange is there and it is right and important and will also be there in the future.

Cause unclear

Bamberg anchor center © Nicolas Armer

A fire broke out in a Bamberg refugee shelter on Saturday. As a police spokesman told the Evangelischer Pressedienst, about 150 people had to leave the building.

According to the Berlin economist Gert Wagner, the Ten Commandments also apply undivided to companies. "If you stick to it as a company, you have no problem with what you should and shouldn't do in a situation," Wagner said Friday evening in Kassel at the Advent reception of the Evangelical Church of Kurhessen-Waldeck.

A bishop's word every day in Advent: today from Archbishop Werner Thissen, Archdiocese of Hamburg: "It was in Advent last year, but now in Advent I have to think about it again. I had explained in a sermon what Christ means to me."

Mobile applications, so-called apps, make everyday life easier for many people. For people with disabilities, however, they mean more. Verena Bentele, the Federal Government Commissioner for the Disabled, explains why in an interview.

Catholic News Agency (KNA): How important are smartphones in the everyday lives of people with disabilities??

Verena Bentele (Federal Government Commissioner for the Disabled): Today, almost no one can imagine life without technology – this applies equally to people with and without disabilities. For people with disabilities in particular, technology means an unimagined degree of freedom and self-determination. Things are possible that were not feasible at all in the past.
CBA: Do you have examples?
Bentele: This includes the possibility of being able to scan texts from a sheet of paper via cell phone, which are then read aloud. In the supermarket, the barcode of a product can be scanned with an app – for registered products, the packaging is read aloud. These are great opportunities, as are apps for information accessibility. Reading newspapers, looking at bus and train schedules, or navigating accurately are now much easier.

Is the gap between rich and poor really widening?? The Caritas president pleads for a more differentiated approach. Instead of "badmouthing" the middle class, one must turn to people in the basic income bracket.

Moral guardians in alarm mood

Today, it is taken for granted almost everywhere that men and women compete in the Olympic Games. Things were very different 100 years ago. In protest, the first Women's Olympics were held at that time.