- rainbow ends at the Jesuit Church, Mannheim
The 98th German Katholikentag (Catholic Day) , an annual meeting of lay Catholics and church officials (including the pope), is happening in Mannheim. You can read (or listen to a podcast) about the official Katholikentag at Vatican Radio - Katholikentag meets in Germany .
But there's also an "Alternative Katholikentag". The Tablet has both a news bit mentioning the Alternative Katholikentag as well as a blog post by Hans Küng which mentions same. Here's the beginning of his post ...
Pope is provoking disobedience
General discontent and frustration over the delay of church reforms dominated both the alternative and the official Katholikentag [Catholic Congress] at Mannheim this year. In sharp contrast, Pope Benedict XVI is obviously preparing for the definite reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the traditionalist Society of St Pius X (SSPX) and its bishops and priests .....
I tried looking it up the Alternative Katholikentag but everything was in German and my college German was just not up to the task ;) Still, I gleaned a little ... apparently every year, Catholics for reform meet in Mannheim too and this year one of the speakers was Jesuit theologian Friedhelm Hengsbach. Here's part of an article in English which mentioned him at the Alternative Katholikentag ...
Hefty criticism also came from Friedhelm Hengsbach, a theologian who specialises in social ethics. Hengsbach delivered the opening speech of an alternative conference to the mainstream Catholic one underway. The church's structures were crusty, old and full of "rust, moths and mildew," he said. In a fiery speech, Hengsbach said the church hierarchy tried to prevent reform and instead presented the structural crisis within the church as a crisis of faith.
The same article also seems to say that at the official Katholikentag, the one the pope is attending, Bishop of Trier Stephen Ackermann, the church's official responsible for dealing with the sex abuse scandal, said that some pedophile priests should not be fired or imprisoned, but instead kept on in employment in the church - yikes! :(
Anyway, I hope to see more about the Alternative Katholikentag in the English news.