“I am very sorry that you have been overlooked”

In the social debate about the Corona pandemic, the Erfurt bishop Ulrich Neymeyr believes that too little attention has been paid to the educational rights of children. Too late, he said, society has taken on educational institutions.

"I am very sorry that you have been overlooked during this time," Neymeyr said Sunday during the Erfurt diocesan pilgrimage in the cathedral of the Thuringian state capital. "In the church, too, we have thought too little of you," admitted the Catholic bishop.

"For us, the focus was on how we can celebrate worship, how we can accompany the sick and elderly, and what will become of the First Communion celebrations and confirmations," Neymeyr said. He thanked all employees of the diocese who nevertheless remained in contact with children and showed them that the church is there for them even in Corona times.

Neymeyr: "Society must let this cost something"

He said it took until after the Easter vacations for the attention of politicians and journalists to fall on education. On the occasion of neglect in recent months, the bishop called for greater appreciation of educational institutions. "Kindergartens and schools are not only places of care, but above all places of education and upbringing," Neymeyr stressed.

"This must cost society something."It must not be, "that in Sunday speeches of education and education is spoken and on weekdays the red pencil is set".

Trust or caution?

In times of pandemic, he said, it is characteristic to be torn between trust and caution. The Bible "clearly" advises trust in God. In a Psalm, for example, it says that God protects people from the plague: Such a plague was also the coronavirus. According to Jesus, however, one should also be vigilant, Neymeyr said – but less in relation to infectious diseases than to "the reality and return of God".

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