Handing in the ballot paper in a ballot box © Frank Rumpenhorst
Catholic bishops in North Rhine-Westphalia call for participation in state election on 14. May on. In addition, the NRW bishops advocate a policy for the welfare of children and families.
Parliamentary democracy can only really develop through the participation of all, according to an appeal published in Dusseldorf on Wednesday. Therefore it is "a special obligation" to make use of the right to vote. At the same time, the head bishops of the five NRW bishoprics oppose "populism and xenophobia".
"Responsible action needed"
In view of major challenges such as the integration of immigrants or the promotion of families, politicians need "responsible action and not populist demands that lack solutions," emphasize Bishops Helmut Dieser (Aachen), Franz-Josef Overbeck (Essen), Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki (Cologne), Felix Genn (Munster) and Hans-Josef Becker (Paderborn).
Increased efforts are needed so that "the integration of the people who come to us and stay succeeds, and that parallel societies are avoided". The bishops are particularly concerned about policies that benefit children and families. They refer to the family policy paper of the NRW dioceses with the demand to overcome the poverty of children and to enable social participation.
Funding for day care facilities
In this context, he said, it is essential to have "high quality day care and nursery provision that is fully funded for this purpose". A legal basis is absolutely necessary for this, which secures the financing and reflects the actual cost increases.
In addition, the bishops advocate a differentiated school system "from the Gymnasium to the special school. They call for "a balanced and well-equipped offer of all-day care as well as the willingness to give appropriate weight to the will of parents".