Thursday, 12 November 2009

The Russian Orthodox church set to break off relations with the EKD is reporting that the Russian Orthodox church is set to break of relations with the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) because of the election of a divorced woman, Margot Kässmann, as its new leader.

Hmm ...

Meanwhile, my friends Simon and Simon would I think like to read Margot Kässmann's sermon at the footballer Robert Enke's funeral which took place at a very ecumenical service in Hanover today (You will both have to learn German boys!). The Catholic priest leading the prayers held up Enke's goalkeeper's gloves, given to him by the player. Enke - Hanover's and Germany's goalkeeper had been suffering from depression and took his own life.
Kässman began and ended by citing the football anthem "You'll never walk alone" in a German translation adding that it would seem Enke was walking alone in his own private darkness and depression, but Kässmann also brought the idea full circle, tracing the ways we take in life, talking of the enormous fragility of life, of grief and trying to trust in God, despite feelings of revolt.

Und alle Fans sollten das wissen: Robert Enke würde nicht wollen, dass ihm jemand auf diesem Weg folgt! Er hat das Leben geliebt und wünschte sich Wege zum Leben.

Werden wir daher stille. Bringen wir unser Mit-Leiden vor Gott, indem wir Lichter anzünden, für Robert Enke, für seine Familie, für alle, die gestern Abend mit betroffen waren. Suchen wir Wege zum Leben!

Halten wir an der Zuneigung zu Robert Enke fest auch über seinen Tod hinaus, den wir so schwer verstehen. Über die Schwelle des Todes hinaus können wir ihn nicht begleiten. Aber wir dürfen der Zusage vertrauen, dass Gott uns über diese Schwelle trägt und auch Robert Enke bei ihm geborgen ist. Sodass auch auf diesem letzten Weg gilt: You´ll never walk alone.


Anonymous said...

Can't read German but think this is going to become interesting. Bishop Kaessmann, who resigned to the central committee of the World Council of Churches in 2002 to protest the compromising attitude of that organization in order to appease the Orthodox, will surely have the opportunity to show how to deal with those 'brothers in Christ' in a non compromising fashion...

Jane said...

The EKD have reacted today and you can read more - still in German - there's also an ENI story by Sophia Kishkovsky in English.
I suppose the question is whether one church criticizing another is acceptable or whether it shows an ecumenical attitude - especially when the critique is for the choice it has made of its leaders on the basis that it will be embarassing for a Patriarch who does not believe in women priests or bishops to speak to her "The Patriarch will not know how to address her - will he have to call her bishop?"
Is that a reason to break off ecumenical relations?
I would hope not.

Jane said...

And by the way anonymous do send me an email to my address jane.stranz(a) I prefer not usually to allow anonymous comments. Thanks.