“Development is catastrophic”

According to "Focus," the two major Christian churches in Germany are facing a dramatic shortage of priests and pastors. Alone therefore more laymen would have to take over much more tasks, comment ZdK president Sternberg the report.

The Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) expects that by 2030, about 7.000 of the currently about 13.500 priest positions could no longer be filled, reported the magazine "Focus" (Saturday).Such a development is "catastrophic", said ZdK president Thomas Sternberg. "We will no longer be able to maintain the accustomed structures. Lay people must be able to take on many more tasks in the future."

Number reduced by one third

According to the report, the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) has similar problems. The pastor's association ames that the number of currently about 21.000 pastors would be reduced by about a third. According to this, by 2030 also about 7.000 positions not to be filled. "This leads every single pastor to his or her breaking point – and beyond," said Andreas Kahnt, chairman of the pastors' association.

The spokesman for religious policy of the SPD, Lars Castellucci, called on the churches to act. "Above all, this requires role models who radiate that they are living their vocation," he told "Focus". Castellucci questioned current training: "Is it really necessary that all priests have to learn ancient Greek and Latin so intensively? And there is also a need for late entrants who reorient themselves in the course of their professional lives to find ways into the profession of pastor."

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