Loading
New Archbishop of Berlin answers his critics
By David Kerr
Archbishop-elect Ranier Maria Woelk
Archbishop-elect Ranier Maria Woelk

.- The Archbishop-elect of Berlin said that he will meet with gay activists, after they criticized his appointment as the new archbishop of the German capital.
 
“We will meet with each other,” said Archbishop-elect Rainer Maria Woelk at a July 5 press conference, according to the Reuters news agency.
 
“I have respect and esteem for all people, independent of heritage, skin color and individual nature. I am open to all without reservations.”
 
The appointment of the 54-year-old auxiliary bishop of Cologne was announced on July 2, but his appointment was immediately met with hostility.
 
“The Church does itself no favor by sending to Berlin a representative of a backwards persuasion that contradicts peoples’ attitudes towards life,” the openly gay German parliamentarian Johannes Kahrs told the newspaper Berliner Zeitung. He went on to suggest that Archbishop-elect Woelk “openly has a problem with gay people.”
 
Archbishop-elect Woelk replied at the July 5 press conference, “The Church is not a moral institution that goes around pointing its finger at people.” He described himself as neither “progressive” or “reactionary” but merely “Catholic.”
 
“The Church is for me a community of seekers and believers, and the Church would like to help people find their happiness in life,” he said.
 
The interest in the new prelate’s appointment was so great that the news conference had to be switched to a larger venue at the last minute to accommodate the more than 100 journalists who turned out.
 
Archbishop-elect Woelk succeeds Cardinal Georg Sterzinsky, who died last month at the age of 75, after a long illness.
 
A native of Cologne, Archbishop-elect Woelk was ordained a priest for his home diocese in 1985. In 1990 he was appointed chaplain and secretary to the Archbishop Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne, a post he held for seven years. He also has a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. He has been auxiliary bishop of Cologne since 2003.
 
Although Catholics are a minority in Berlin – numbering about 390,000 amidst a population of 3.5 million – the post of archbishop carries significance because the city is the German capital.
 
Archbishop-elect Woelk will be officially installed next month. One of his first tasks will be to welcome Pope Benedict XVI to Berlin during this September’s papal visit to Germany.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
23

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Gospel
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »

Saint
Date
04/21/14
04/20/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Homily
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: