Marx: Church must not stand alongside AfD and Putin

Marx: Church must not stand alongside AfD and Putin Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany. Photo: CNS

Augsburg (KNA) Cardinal Reinhard Marx from Munich has called on the Church to defend freedom. “Freedom may be under threat, but then we as a church have to stand on the side of freedom,” said Marx on Tuesday in Augsburg. “Not on the side of authoritarian regimes, not of those who dream of the past, dream AfD dreams or dream Putin dreams or dream Cyril dreams,” said the Archbishop of Munich and Freising, referring among other things to the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow, who supports the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

Marx made his comments during a service as part of the spring plenary assembly of the German Catholic bishops, which runs until Thursday.

The cardinal added that democracy and religion need each other. “For example, the basic idea that all people are equal in dignity: That’s not an empirical message, I can’t prove it. Whether the person with dementia and the professor sitting next to each other are equal in dignity. I have to believe that, it’s an article of faith. That’s why: Democracy needs religion.”

Conversely, religion also needs democracy, says Marx. “Not like the state organisations. But co-determination, co-organisation, responsibility, inclusion of all, all charisms, all possibilities – without this, the future will not be given to us.” The church should remain compatible with the culture without being conformist; it should not see the culture of freedom as a negative culture, but as one that is fundamentally made possible by the Gospel. “How much could we contribute then?”

Marx added that believers should be encouraged to believe and help shape their own lives. Everyone should use their spiritual and religious mind and heart and contribute to the big picture.

The Cardinal also commented on the topic of ecumenism. The church divisions in the East and West and as a result of the Reformation were not willed by God, but “made by us”, said Marx. He emphasised: “We are missing our brothers and sisters from the other churches. We are not complete until we are together again.”