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Germany: Bishops’ Plenary, focus on young people. Card. Marx, “German Church must eliminate ambiguity over funding and wealth”

The Spring Plenary Assembly of the German Bishops’ Conference (DBK) ended today. The Bishops, who gathered from Monday 19 February, for the first time in Ingolstadt, thoroughly discussed the situation of youth ministry in the Church in view of the International Pilgrimage of Altar Servers to Rome this coming July, the Synod on Young People in the Vatican in October 2018, and the WYD in Panama in January 2019; furthermore, a study day was devoted to the “Understanding of Dialogue with the Churches of Central and Eastern Europe”. The Assembly went on to analyse refugee aid in light of the new restrictive rules on family reunification and the financial management of the Catholic Church in Germany. Over this issue, during today’s press conference summarising the plenary work, DBK President, Card. Reinhard Marx, expressed regret for certain situations that have tarnished the image of the German Church among the faithful: “I am painfully aware that our Church needs to better address the key issues of funding and wealth” and to “eliminate certain ambiguities”. Card. Marx believes that the DBK is moving towards greater transparency, but its efforts are still “insufficient”. As for the relations, often tense, with other brother bishops from the Episcopal Conferences of Central and Eastern Europe, Card. Marx reiterated that “dialogue should be intensified in light of the conflicting positions – recently clarified – in the debate on refugees, and in the case of the divorced and remarried”.

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