According to the theologian Franz-Josef Bormann, politicians should improve their communication on the subject of vaccination. It must be clear to citizens what situations they have to be prepared for, the theologian said.

Benedict as 'counter-pope?

Sharp criticism of Benedict XVI. The theologian Albert Biesinger formulates the statements attributed to him. With regard to the arrivals that have now become known, Biesinger spoke of a “delicate procedure”.

Roller coaster ride for parents continues

A court in Britain must decide again whether terminally ill Charlie can be treated with experimental therapy. His parents hope for a miracle. A new court decision is still pending.

Riding groups are allowed to decide for themselves

Archive photo: Blood ride in Weingarten © Felix Kastle

For half a millennium, the traditional Weingarten blood ride was not open to women. Starting from the coming year however each riding group may determine whether with it women may participate or not.

Nathalie Becquart © Stefano dal Pozzolo/Romano Siciliani (KNA)

French religious Nathalie Becquart sees her appointment as the first woman with voting rights in the Roman Synod of Bishops as a "strong sign". This is part of and a consequence of a longer development in the Catholic Church, he said.

The "Gray Passion" by Hans Holbein the Elder deserves its name: From the soldiers' robes to Christ's thorns, everything in the twelve altarpieces depicting the Passion of Jesus is in shades of gray. After a long restoration, Stuttgart dedicates an exhibition to the 500-year-old work.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's request to Pope Benedict XVI. after a clarification in the case of the Holocaust denier Richard Williamson meets with criticism with Catholic clergymen in addition, in the union. The Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Reinhard Marx, expressed "astonishment" at Merkel's statement. CSU member of the Bundestag Norbert Geis said: "The pope knows what he is doing."Merkel had "missed the mark" with her remarks. Political scientist Heinrich Oberreuter accused the chancellor of profiling at the pope's expense.

Archbishop Reinhard Marx said Wednesday on ARD's "Brennpunkt" that the pope had already "taken a very clear stand" last week on Holocaust denial and also "clearly mentioned solidarity with Judaism". It is astonishing why a German Chancellor should ask the Pope to say something that he has already said.With regard to the lifting of the excommunication of the arch-conservative British Bishop Williamson and three other bishops of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, Merkel warned on Tuesday that the Pope must make it clear that there can be no denial of the Holocaust and that there must be "a positive approach to Judaism as a whole. The chancellor criticized: "In my view, these clarifications have not yet been sufficiently made."Several bishops had then objected to political interference in the debate, including Augsburg Bishop Walter Mixa and Eichstatt Bishop Gregor Maria Hanke. Regensburg Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller even spoke of a "campaign" against the pope. CSU member of the European Parliament Bernd Posselt also criticized Merkel.Bishop Marx now said, "The pope has clearly taken a stand against any denial of the Holocaust. He has made it clear that anti-Semitism has no place with us in the church. In my opinion, this says it all."The matter was "not optimal," but to accuse the Pope of anti-Semitism was "outrageous.Criticism of Merkel, a Protestant, is also being voiced in her own party. "Many CDU members don't think the chancellor's arrivals are right," said CDU politician Georg Brunnhuber, who is chairman of the Baden-Wurttemberg regional group in the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. "Public appeals to the Holy Father are guaranteed to lead nowhere.

"Vatican dismissed

When Oswald Nell Breuning died in 1991 at the age of 101, he was considered one of the most important social scientists of his century. In honor of the Jesuit father, the city of Trier will award a prize named after him for the fifth time next year. It goes to the former Federal Minister of Labor Norbert Blum. And the already very much looks forward.

Iraqi Christians in a church © dpa

During his visit to the Syrian Orthodox monastery in Warburg, Bishop Markus Droge expressed his concern about the situation of Christians in Syria and Iraq. At the same time, he thanked the monks of the monastery for their commitment to refugees in Germany.

Wood on wood

Salisbury Cathedral is to be built out of… © Christopher Holton (shutterstock)

Wood on wood

…Millions of matches to be replicated © Shutter B Photo (shutterstock)

Salisbury Cathedral, England's church with the highest spire in the country, is to enter the Guinness Book of Records. But how? A miniature replica made of millions of matchsticks is supposed to make it possible.