From 28th of May to 1st of June in Regensburg, capital of the former diocese of Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, 99th Katholikentag took place. He had invited the organisation of Central Committee of german Catholics (ZDK) in order to demonstrate, what Catholic Church should look like. - Reforming groups, which he in 2012 descibed as parasitic elements should not be part of it. Katholikentage Meetings of thousands of catholic laypeople, catholic organisations and also christians of other denominations, exists since 1848! Since 1950 it takes place every two years, in change with the protestant Kirchentag (Church-Day)1. This years motto was Вuilding Bridges with Christ- reflecting as well the famous symbol of Regensburg, the stone bridge from 12th century over the Danube, as well bridges between different positions, other countries, Regensburg is located near to the former iron curtain and as Danube-town connected to the Balkan, between christian confessions, between church and world, between human beings as a whole.
Pope Francis message to the meeting was that Christ is the bridge among peoples and the bridge between God and man.
These meetings show a broad mixture of services, concerts, panel discussions, bible work, prayers, street festival and fair organisation, of more conservative or more progressive and reforming parts of the church, of diaconal and social work organisations, of organisations working in a pastoral manner, taking care of liturgy and others taking care of peace, justice and ecology.
We are Church Germany in spite of Cardinal Muellers exclusive ideas also took part, as in former years, with a stand on the Catholics´ Fair Mile and with 2 panel-discussions within the official program. Almost all the time our stand with the Jacob´s Dwellwas crowded by people taking up dialogue with guests from politics, church or reforming movements. In addition together with a protestant parish and the Public Forum readersｴ club, an organisation supporting a journal for critical christians, we organized a Plus Program. It was dedicated to topics, that normally do not gain full attention within the official program. Church structures and relationship between church and state, family values and family synod, sexual violence within and outside church were on the agenda just as economy without destroying the world, capitalism as religion, refugees and asylum or peacework in Rwanda. Spiritual impulses e.g. by Eugen Drewermann or Pierre Stutz and an ecomenic agape completed the days. Alberto da Silva Moreira, a Theologian from Brasil and Cristy Orzechowski, a German parishworker who had spent 30 years in Surandino Peru built a bridge to South America and liberation theology. Eugenie Musayidire, a worker on human rights from Rwanda, talking on how she met her motherｴs murderer, built one to prosecuted, refugees and to Africa.
During these days, within events organized by different groups there always was heard the call for a renewed church, more responsibility for the whole people of God and less control by bishops.
As a resume the reforming groups appealed to the bishops, not to squander and to miss the positive "Francis" effect, and warned of not drawing conclusions of the demands during this meeting. The bishops should not merely talk about the dialogue and leave, but finally have to make concrete steps and to realize concrete reforms.
1 (“Tag” is a German expression also for a meeting or gathering, an organisation, which organizes meetings or an elected group like the parliament “Вundestag”)