Fewer pilgrims: Bishop sees challenges

Erfurt (dpa/th) – The Erfurt diocese pilgrimage was heralded on Sunday with the tones of the largest free-swinging medieval bell in the world, the Erfurt Gloriosa. According to a diocese spokesman, around 1000 people came to this year’s diocese pilgrimage in Erfurt on Sunday. That was twice as many as in previous years shaped by Corona. Before the pandemic, the average number of believers was 2,500. This year, both the weather and the public holiday on Tuesday (World Children’s Day) and the long weekend associated with it made some people hesitate, the spokesman suspected. With regard to the synodal path, with which the Catholic Church in Germany wants to deal with the questions that have arisen as a result of sexual abuse in the Church, Erfurt’s Bishop Neymeyr said that there are different ideas about the path of the Church in the future. That was shown by the most recent synodal assembly last weekend in Frankfurt am Main. “It is a great challenge to remain “synodal”, literally “on a common path”. We can shape some things ourselves in our Catholic Church here in Germany. In many areas, however, we are integrated into the universal Church.”

Even if integration into the universal church does not allow everything to be achieved in Germany that a majority of Catholic bishops and Catholic believers wish for, it is “an important anchor that must not be cut”. Among other things, a basic text that aimed at liberalizing the church’s sexual morality failed at the synodal assembly.

The 2.5 meter high and wide Gloriosa, also known as the “voice of Erfurt” or “Queen of the Bells”, only rings out eleven times a year; including Easter and Christmas. The next time it will sound on the Day of German Unity (October 3rd).

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220918-99-806521/2

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