Things have not settled down in the Catholic Church in Germany, not by a long shot. The Alliance of Catholic Youth (Bund der Katholischen Jugend) in Germany is calling for reform. As Martin Luther is said to have nailed 95 these to the door of the palace church in Wittenberg, the BDKJ nailed its reform wishes to the door of the Altenberg cathedral in Altenberg. They emphasis that they are not planning a schism, but hoping to contribute to the dialogue process which the German Catholic bishops are initiating. The BDKJ wishes to make clear that young Christian think about the future form of the Church out of concern and love for the Church. 100 delegates of the BDKJ met Friday to begin their annual meeting.
Among their theses are calls for more democracy in the Church, more women in leadership positions including ordained ministry, examination of the structures of power in the Church, and respect rather than judgment for those who remarry, live together before marriage, or are in a same-sex relationship. The youth hope for an angst-free discussion with arguments from all sides and, in the best sense of the word, a fight about the future of the Church.
The German bishops have already expressed strong criticism of the BDKJ’s nailing of theses. This is “anything but a dialogue. A catalogue listing ever more new demands are no help to us in the current situation of the Church,” stated spokesperson Matthias Kopp. “Some of the contents of these nailed theses are incompatible with the teaching of the Church. The action of the BDKJ is unhelpful and leads nowhere.”
The BDKJ is the umbrella organization for 17 Catholic youth associations and organizations in Germany and represents the interests of approximately 660,000 youth and young people.