Germany holds services for tsunami victims

10th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

10 January 2005, BERLIN - German leaders, including President Horst Koehler and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, joined the heads of the country's leading churches in ecumenical mourning services in Berlin on Sunday to pay tribute to the victims of the tsunami disaster in Asia. Among the religious leaders in the nationally-televised services in the Berlin Cathedral were the chairman of the Evangelical Church, Bishop Wolfgang Huber, and Cardinal Karl Lehmann, chairman of the German Catholic Bishops Conference.

10 January 2005

BERLIN - German leaders, including President Horst Koehler and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, joined the heads of the country's leading churches in ecumenical mourning services in Berlin on Sunday to pay tribute to the victims of the tsunami disaster in Asia.

Among the religious leaders in the nationally-televised services in the Berlin Cathedral were the chairman of the Evangelical Church, Bishop Wolfgang Huber, and Cardinal Karl Lehmann, chairman of the German Catholic Bishops Conference.

"My greetings are for the survivors of the sea quake in the Indian Ocean, those in whose lives the pictures of this horror are now inscribed," Huber said.

"After the wave of water, now it is a wave of pain and uncertainty, of fear and injury which must be borne" by the relatives of the victims he said.

He said that for Germans were grappling with how to find the words to describe the events and the horror that they had seen in southern Asia.

"For many of us, images from the time of war have come alive," Huber said about the devastation seen in Asia.

Besides Koehler and Schroeder, most of the members of the German cabinet, top opposition political leaders and international diplomats were in attendance in services which also featured choral music and a gospel song by American jazz singer Jocelyn Smith.

Cardinal Lehmann, like Huber, paid tribute to the many relief workers who had helped the affected countries in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster, while offering condolences to those who lost friends and relatives.

"We are deeply sorrowful and stand shoulder to shoulder with all those who have suffered the heavy loss of a loved one," Lehmann said, while asserting that the catastrophe had drawn humans closer together.

"We now also have the chance to think and feel more globally about social and humanitarian matters," the Catholic cardinal said.

He said the catastrophe had especially so deeply affected people "because we scarcely have any ways of explaining it.

"There is no criminal or politically-motivated cause linked to humans the way 11 September 2001 was," Lehmann said, referring to the terror plane attacks in the United States.

DPA

Subject: German news

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