Cologne, Germany, Jun 29, 2019 / 02:30 am America/Denver (CNA).
German Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki thanked Pope Francis for ‘fearlessly’ calling Catholics in Germany to be a missionary church in a letter published Saturday.
“It is refreshing how clearly and fearlessly the Holy Father also puts into words the terms which we often express in this country only with hesitation and a certain timidity, which we have almost lost: repentance, conversion, mission,” Cardinal Woelki said in a statement June 29.
Pope Francis published a more than 5,700 word letter addressed to Catholics in Germany Saturday calling for a focus on evangelization in the face of the “erosion” and “decline of the faith” in the country.
The Archbishop of Cologne said that it is obvious that Pope Francis shares the concern of many German Catholics: “How can we preserve the faith today and pass it on to the next generation?”
According to research recently published by the University of Freiburg, the number of officially registered Catholics in Germany is predicted to halve by 2060.