Scandal: 70 worshipers and part of the church choir left Mass because of the sermon
Münster (kath.net) He had not been able to reach the “screaming mob” in the sermon with his voice and therefore could not explain his position and the biblically important meaning of forgiveness. In retrospect, the 79-year-old retiree Ulrich Zurkuhlen complained, as "Church and Life" reported. Zurkuhlen was critical, according to "Church and Life" that even bishops of priest-perpetrators would be spoken of as "criminals", even though they were also good pastors. The chaplain continued to explain to the editors that nobody was "only profoundly evil", but that often "goodness and guilt” are bound together in the same person. It is "gradually come to a time that the Church hierarchy after a long time can sometimes say a word of forgiveness.”
In the sermon in the Münster Holy-Spirit church, Zurkuhlen had spoken according to representation of worshipers in the sermon of two women, whose conversations were constantly circling around themselves and then have commented pejoratively on their deceased husbands. As a result, the priest pointed out the possibility of forgiveness. He then compared this to priests who had sexually abused minors, and they too should be forgiven. The chaplain affirmed this presentation to "Church and Life". At this point some parishioners were said to have interrupted the sermon and started a discussion with Zurkuhlen. Much of the community even gathered outside in the church square. Specifically, 70 worshipers and part of the church choir had left the Mass.
The responsible senior pastor in the parish association, Stefan Rau, explained to "Church and Life" that this analogy of blasphemous women and the victim-perpetrator relationship is "more than thoughtless". Victims have no obligation to forgive, such an impression should not be allowed to stand that way. He has invited those interested in a few days to a public conversation about the sermon. Rau considered it particularly bad that in this service those affected by sexual abuse were present.
A conversation has already been held with the chaplain, and further talks will follow, according to Rau. Disciplinary measures would not be taken against Zurkuhlen at first.