At the beginning of Lent, Bishop Felix Genn of Munster warns against volkisch and nationalistic tendencies. Openness to the plight of people in other countries is much more purposeful, he says.
When a single statesman calls out his people as the first and the head of the whole world, or when European and German politicians self-confidently place emphasis on the value of their own people and nation, then this is "unbearable" for a Christian who thinks and lives globally and universally.
Genn writes this in his Lenten pastoral word, which will be read in parishes in the diocese of Munster on Saturday and Sunday. It behooves Christians to ask whether openness to the plight of people in other continents is not part of the very DNA of their faith.
DNA of faith
The bishop praised the environmental awareness of many young people. "Of course, it is clear to all of us that there can only be a preservation of creation if we are prepared to make sacrifices," explains Genn. What this means in detail – for example, limiting meat consumption or energy consumption – should be considered within the congregations.
The bishop also recalls the limitations in the Corona crisis. The consequences of the pandemic could weigh heavily on future generations. "The burden is great," Genn writes.
"What can we do now to make this burden so bearable for future generations that they can also bear it?"