First Female General Secretary for the German Bishops’ Conference

Dr. Beate Gilles, credit:
Dr. Beate Gilles, credit:

At their spring plenary session the German bishops have elected the first ever female General Secretary for the German Bishops’ Conference—and she is a liturgist! Beate Gilles was Assistant Professor in Bonn from 1995 to 1999 under well-known professor Albert Gerhards and wrote her dissertation on TV broadcasts of liturgies.

Afterwards she worked in Catholic adult formation in Stuttgart and was freelancer for the national public television broadcaster ZDF. Since 2010 she was head of department for children, young people, and families in the diocese of Limburg, which makes her well acquainted with the president of the bishops’ conference, Georg Baetzing, who has been bishop of Limburg since 2016.

All predecessors of Ms. Gilles since the Second Vatican Council had been priests. The most recent was Hans Langendoerfer, a Jesuit priest, who served for a long period since 1996.



  1. This is wonderful! It will be good to see how this all unfolds.
    Let’s hope her liturgical education makes her a good advocate for best practices in liturgy in her new position.
    I wonder what she thinks of the huge expansion of media use for liturgy during the pandemic.

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