"Can Christmas still be saved??" asks himself Cardinal Lehmann. Because purchase and consumption would be made the center of attention in the hype shortly before the celebration. "Yes", is his answer nevertheless. "That's when we start to swim against the tide and really get into conversation with each other or take the Bible off the shelf for once to read the Christmas story together. Words from the Bible have often given me strength, courage and inspiration myself."


To the Pers The bishop is elected by the cathedral chapter in Mainz, appointed by the pope and made head of the local church (diocese) in the episcopal ordination ceremony. Within general ecclesiastical law, the bishop has governing authority in his diocese as "shepherd" (pastor), teacher, legislator, and judge.Karl Lehmann was elected bishop of Mainz on 16. Born in Sigmaringen in May 1936. After his school years in Sigmaringen, he studied philosophy and theology in Freiburg and Rome between 1956 and 1964. On 10. October 1963 he was ordained priest in Rome by Julius Cardinal Dopfner. In 1962 and 1967, Karl Lehmann earned doctorates in philosophy and theology with works on the philosopher Martin Heidegger and on the subject of being "raised on the third day according to Scripture". As assistant to Karl Rahner between 1964 and 1967, he worked at the universities of Munich and Munster. At the age of 32 (1968) he was already appointed to the chair of Catholic dogmatics and theological propaedeutics in Mainz; three years later he took over the chair of dogmatics and ecumenical theology in Freiburg/Breisgau. In 1983, Prof. Dr. Dr. Karl Lehmann elected and appointed bishop of Mainz. On 2. October 1983 he received the episcopal consecration in the Mainz Cathedral. In 1987 he was elected chairman of the German Bishops' Conference. In addition to his main offices earlier as a professor of theology and now as a bishop, Karl Lehmann has been involved in many other institutions and committees and continues to do so: 1971 – 1975 at the Joint Synod of Dioceses in Germany, 1969 – 1983 in the Central Committee of German Catholics, since 1969 until today in the Ecumenical Working Group of Protestant and Catholic Theologians, 1974 – 1984 in the International Commission of Theologians at the Holy See in Rome, since 1969 in the Faith Commission of the German Bishops' Conference and from 1986 to 1998 in the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He has been a member of the Congregation for Bishops since 1998, and a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity since 2002. Cardinal Lehmann is a member of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches and serves in other Vatican institutions. Lehmann is also a member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz, the European Academy of Sciences in Salzburg, and, since 2005, an honorary member of the Academy of Non-Profit Sciences in Erfurt. On 28. January 2001, Pope John Paul II. Bishop Lehmann appointed cardinal. In this capacity he participated in the conclave in April 2005, from which Pope Benedict XVI. (Joseph Ratzinger) emerged.

Adveniat fundraising campaign © Rolf Vennenbernd

On the third Sunday of Advent, the German bishops call for support for the Christmas campaign of the Latin American relief organization Adveniat. The youth of Latin America and the Caribbean are the focus of this year's Christmas campaign.

Little progress

According to SOS Children's Villages, 770 million people in the world suffer from extreme poverty. They can neither afford a doctor nor send their children to school. Aid agency urges UN to do more to eradicate poverty.

After a suspected case of religious bullying at a Berlin elementary school came to light, the father of the Jewish girl involved spoke out. He stressed that the incident was not about anti-Semitism.