German Bishops and Protestant Pastors Unite Against Far-Right AfD Party

German Bishops and Protestant Pastors Unite Against Far-Right AfD Party
by Franca Giansoldati
2 Minutes of Reading
Wednesday 17 April 2024, 17:50
European elections are imminent, and the German bishops have taken a very clear stance against the far-right AfD party (Alternative for Germany), accused of supporting Nazi ideals. This position is also shared by Protestant and Lutheran pastors. The Catholic bishops are thus cyclically repeating that this party (which in Italy had contacts with Matteo Salvini) goes against all Christian principles and "who is Catholic does not vote for them," as declared by the bishop of Essen, Franz-Josef Overbeck. Naturally, it is a position widely shared by the top ranks of the episcopate, united in a sort of coalition. Antisemitism, in Europe there is an alarm and a network financed by the EU is born: in Austria, a 500 percent increase in incidents. In February, at a meeting in the city of Augusta, the president of the bishops, Monsignor Georg Baetzing has identified the inviolable line making it clear that the AfD, by carrying forward positions not reconcilable with biblical teaching, is an anti-Christian formation. Consequently, he asked all the laypeople who belong to it to take a step back. He then praised the anti-AfD demonstrations that in recent months have crossed the national territory urging priests to be united and compact in giving a unanimous signal against extremism. Right-wing extremism, he said, is "the greatest threat to our country and to Europe, widespread in society in recent years" due to resentments fueled by stereotypes about refugees and migrants, against Muslims, against the supposed conspiracy of the so-called global elites, and increasingly against Jews. Israel, from Germany advances the proposal to make it a crime to deny the Hamas pogrom of October 7. A clear and distinct line that of the Church to the point that these days a well-known member of the regional Parliament of the AfD Christoph Schaufert has been removed from the office he had in the ecclesiastical office. It is the first striking case of a dismissal. The bishops' agency KNA emphasized that he was dismissed "with immediate effect" by the board of directors of the Catholic parish of Neunkirchen, in the diocese of Trier. Until new provisions, he is also "not suitable for election to the administrative council or the parish council." According to the rules in force, the politician would have ten days to file an appeal to the bishop. The diocese points out that the Dicastery of the Clergy in the Vatican could be considered as a second instance, in view of a possible judgment on appeal. At the moment, however, the interested party has not reacted. "I still have to think about it," he told the "Saarbrücker Zeitung." Monaco, chants and fascist salutes. "Duce, duce." Ultras unleashed in Hitler's favorite locale: a Lazio fan arrested. The diocese's statement on the expulsion is six pages long. The parish of Neunkirchen regrets that there is no other solution but Schaufert did not respect the request to distance himself from his party.
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