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Germany: closer cooperation between pastoral councils and Catholic organizations in the east of the country

Ever closer cooperation across diocesan borders – this is the concrete goal for the Catholic organizations and diocesan pastoral councils of the dioceses of former East Germany. The President of Berlin’s Diocesan Council, Diana S. Freyer, has already mentioned possible topics and areas of action which the Dioceses of Dresden-Meissen, Erfurt, Görlitz, Magdeburg and the Archdiocese of Berlin might address together. Ms Freyer underlined the common initiatives on which the Diocesan Councils will work together in the near future to mark significant events for all German citizens: the first initiative will be linked to the upcoming elections of the European Parliament in May 2019; the commemoration of the historic Ecumenical Assembly for justice, peace and the integrity of creation which took place in the former German Democratic Republic in 1988/89; and the celebrations for the thirtieth anniversary of the so-called “Peaceful Revolution of 1989” which led to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. Ms Freyer also stressed that common guidelines will be defined in the wake of the inquiry into sexual abuse in the Church to provide “much-needed solidarity with the victims of sexual violence”. The protection of those affected must be placed above that of the institution, and prevention systems will be studied that could be implemented in parishes and associations. In the run-up to the Pastoral Congress in Magdeburg in September 2019, topics related to the diaspora of Eastern Catholics will also be studied.

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