The climate and corona crisis, women in the priesthood and dealing with sexualised violence: current political issues and internal church issues shaped the 3rd Ecumenical Church Congress in Frankfurt am Main on Saturday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) spoke out against bringing forward the German coal phase-out.

The chairman of the Catholic German Bishops' Conference, Georg Bätzing, said that for the time being he saw no chance for women to become priestesses in the Catholic Church.

When it came to phasing out coal by 2038 at the latest, Merkel said that the people affected by the resolutions needed “a bit of reliability on the way to climate neutrality”. "I don't want to untie everything after a year," said the Chancellor at the previously recorded podium. "The future is only possible together: Why climate protection needs all generations". The "Fridays for Future" climate activist Luisa Neubauer said that the federal government had not only overslept through climate protection for decades, but blocked it and thus pushed the climate crisis forward

The Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock demanded market rules and a funding policy that gives priority to renewable energies.

Fossil energies are currently being subsidized with billions, renewable energies have no chance.

"The market has so far been unfair," said Baerbock at another event of the Kirchentag, which, like most of the events, was recorded because of the corona pandemic and has been available since Saturday.


Also at a recorded podium, the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) spoke out against the short-term release of corona vaccine patents.

Instead, he recommended direct partnerships between developing countries and vaccine producers.

Due to the corona pandemic, the 3rd Ecumenical Church Congress can only take place digitally as far as possible

Source: dpa / Sebastian Gollnow

The 3rd Ecumenical Church Congress, which opened on Thursday, has the motto “look at it”.

Due to the corona pandemic, the lay festival of Protestants and Catholics with around 100 digital and decentralized events takes place largely without an audience on site.

The Kirchentag ends on Sunday with a closing service on the banks of the Main in Frankfurt.

The Limburg Bishop Bätzing said in a live conversation that decisions about women in the priesthood could not be made in a few years.

The three Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI.

and Francis declared as answered, "as German Catholics we cannot change anything about that".

However, there is movement in the admission of women to the diaconate, added Bätzing.

“Absolutely fatal” - euthanasia and cases of abuse are also an issue


At another live event, Diakonie President Ulrich Lilie underlined his call for an open debate on suicide assistance. The topic must also be discussed in church, he said. It is about practicing more "case-by-case justice". The background to the discussions is a judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court from February 2020, which overturned the ban on organized assistance in suicide and emphasized the right to self-determined death.

The educationalist and religious scholar Katharina Krach accused the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) of abuse of power when dealing with sexual violence.

The unilateral dissolution of the EKD's Advisory Council for Affected Persons last Monday was "absolutely fatal," said Kracht, who herself experienced abuse in the church, at another event.

The EKD announced on Monday evening that the Advisory Council was temporarily closed.

The conception had failed, it was said.

The reasons for this are resignations from the committee, internal conflicts and dissent between the advisory board concerned and the counterpart on the EKD side, the commissioner council, on how to proceed.

Kracht, who was a member of the Advisory Board herself, rejected the EKD's presentation. The EKD had unilaterally dissolved the committee - against the vote of the majority of the members remaining in the affected advisory board.