Coldly, the request from federal and state governments not to attend at Easter came as a complete surprise to the churches. They don’t want to give in right away.
Bonn / Hannover (dpa) – The Catholic and Protestant churches do not want to be without Easter.
The President of the German Conference of Bishops, Georg Bätzing, and the President of the Evangelical Church (EKD) in Germany, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, said the federal and state governments were surprised.
Easter is the most important celebration for Christians and not an afterthought. “We don’t want to miss that at Easter,” explained Bätzing. At the work level, talks were already underway between the churches and the federal government on Tuesday. After completion, they want to discuss in the committees how to deal with the request, Bedford-Strohm said. The Protestant Church in Baden-Württemberg announced, “At this point, we see no need to change our strict, proven, and enduring regulations for personal worship services.”
Catholics and Protestants alike referred to the hygiene concepts for church services that had been tried for months. This includes keeping your distance, wearing FFP2 masks on the field, and avoiding church singing. The number of participants depends on the size of the church. “At Christmas we showed how to celebrate Mass with caution,” tweeted Bätzing. The attitude of the churches also plays a role in the fact that at the first lockdown a year ago they were accused of being willing to submit to the demands of politics. As a result, the churches became invisible just when the believers needed them most.
Until now, the churches firmly believed that they would be able to hold personal services at Easter in accordance with the Corona rules. But during their nightly session on Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the prime minister agreed to ask the religious communities not to be present at Easter.
FDP religious policy spokesman Benjamin Strasser described a church lockdown at Easter as “completely outrageous.” The churches had shown at Christmas that they were able to responsibly celebrate church services while protecting health with their hygiene concepts.
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