English-speaking Catholics protest church closure

4th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

4 May 2005, BERLIN - The English-speaking congregation of Berlin's All Saints church will no longer be able to celebrate mass in their beloved chapel, according to a report in the daily Tagesspiegel.

4 May 2005

BERLIN - The English-speaking congregation of Berlin's All Saints church will no longer be able to celebrate mass in their beloved chapel, according to a report in the daily Tagesspiegel.

The official explanation says that the archbishopric's financial crisis forces them to give notice on the church's rental contract. The 120-strong congregation however suspect a "random authoritarian act" on the part of the Catholic church.

The All Saints church at Hüttenweg in Berlin's Dahlem district is the former American military church. Its history is closely tied together with that of Berlin, according to parishioners.

In future, the All Saints English-speaking congregation, which includes many US army veterans, will be put together with the St. Bernhard parish, one kilometre further away, which already has more than a hundred Anglophone parishioners. Its priest is German but speaks good English.

"The aim is to bring German and English-speaking Catholics closer together and create rational pastoral structures", said Hermann Fränkert-Fechter, who is responsible for pastoral care for foreigners at the archbishopric, in remarks to the Tagesspiegel.

The All Saints parishioners were granted an extension after strongly protesting against the decision. This runs out in June, however. After that the church, which has been the property of the borough of Zehlendorf since the departure of the US forces, will be deconsecrated.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: German news

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