Bishops between upheaval and departure

For four days the German bishops met for the autumn plenary assembly in Fulda. The refugee crisis set the agenda there, too. Strong signals came from Fulda, says our site editor-in-chief Ingo Bruggenjurgen.

Open for ecumenism

Angela Merkel and Christian Hirte © Swen Pfortner

The German government's new envoy to the East has hardly made any headlines so far. In the context of the Reformation commemoration, Christian Hirte nevertheless emphatically set accents in his constituency around Wartburg Castle.

New compensation system under discussion

Symbolic image of abuse in the church © Clearviewstock (shutterstock)

The victims' initiative "Eckiger Tisch" has renewed its demand that a lump-sum compensation of 300.000 euros to victims of abuse by priests or other employees in the Catholic Church.

Jurgen Todenhofer is one of the most vocal critics of the U.S. campaigns against Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. In his new book, the former member of the Bundestag and current media maker also wants to illuminate the "other side" of the coin. In an interview with this site, he talks about his trip to Iraq and his conversations with resistance fighters.

Debate about refugees and security

After the attack in Berlin – mourning and discussions about refugee and security policy © Michael Kappeler

On the third day after the attack on a Berlin Christmas market, questions about how to deal with radicalized asylum seekers and internal security are at the center of the debate.

Office crosser soder

Editor in chief Ingo Bruggenjurgen © Edgar Schoepal (DR)

In the our site editorial office hangs the cross in every room. But we are not concerned with our Cologne identity, just as Markus Soder is concerned with the Bavarian way of life in his crusade. A commentary by Ingo Bruggenjurgen.

Vive la France? © Ian Langsdon

France has rebelled again at the end of the year. President Emmanuel Macron has his back against the wall in 2019. Marianne, the legendary standard bearer of the Grande Nation, has already experienced all sorts of things.

In an interview with the Catholic News Agency (KNA), Marianne talks about the current crisis and different ways of dealing with it through reforms. The conversation is of course – how could it be otherwise – purely fictional. The broken windows and illusions of 2018 are real.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's speech to the Knesset drew mixed reactions in the Israeli press. The daily "Haaretz" writes in its Wednesday edition: "It used to be customary to scrutinize speeches by German politicians and watch with suspicion how generous they are in their apologies."Merkel gave an "enthusiastic, Zionist speech," the paper says, quoting her as saying, "The Holocaust fills us Germans with shame. I bow my head before the victims."

Gideon Levy headlines in the TV review of "Haaretz": "Germany above all". Television had repeatedly emphasized that this was a historic visit. "Historically or not – it was pretty boring," Levy said. The event will probably not be remembered in the history books.The daily Yediyot Achronot picked up on the fact that Merkel spoke in the Knesset of Germany's responsibility for the Holocaust. At the same time, 52 percent of respondents to a poll on two German television networks would have answered that Germany no longer needs to have a special responsibility toward Israel today. Only 42 percent had been the catch, the Germans must still feel a special responsibility.Regarding the protests by parliamentarians against Merkel's appearance, the newspaper wrote: "Arab parliamentarians demonstratively avoided applauding after Merkel's speech and left the hall."Haaretz" notes that parliamentarian Arie Eldad held a reading of the poem "To the mound of corpses in the snow" parallel to the Knesset session. Left-leaning Shelly Yechimowitz, daughter of Holocaust survivors, had surprisingly boycotted the meeting; she called the decision to allow a speech in German "obtuseness".

"Discussion about German language long since settled" "Maariv" headlined: "60 years after that war, the chancellor made history."In it, former Knesset chairman and chairman of the Yad Vashem memorial, Shevach Weiss, writes: "Even today there are words in the German language, such as 'Achtung!' that send shivers down my spine." Nevertheless, for him "the discussion about the German language in the Knesset has long been settled," the Holocaust survivor said.Weiss goes on to write: "Times change, and so do the people. 63 years have passed after the Second World War." Merkel was born after the war: "I do not want to adopt the racial doctrine of the Nazis and condemn all subsequent generations of Germans," Weiss said. That would cross the line of hypocrisy.

Donald Trump © Carolyn Kaster

Donald Trump moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and accepted Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Still, many Jewish voters don't trust Trump over ies.

In Immerath, an entire village including the "cathedral" recently had to give way to lignite mining. The phasing out of open-cast mining has been discussed for some time now. Bishop Wolfgang Ipolt of Gorlitz has two hearts beating in his chest in this regard.