Appeal dispute at the University of Regensburg: Minister puts pressure on Bishop – Bavaria

According to a report, Bavaria’s Science Minister Markus Blume (CSU) is putting pressure on Regensburg Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer in the dispute over theology appointment procedures. The BR quoted Blume on Sunday as follows: “I have drawn great attention to the legal situation, according to which the nihil-obstat procedure is one that concerns the personal lifestyle and the attitude of the candidates, which, to my knowledge no one here is in doubt.” The process as such is not intended to convey the church’s concerns, such as maintaining a quota of priests.

The background to the appeal dispute is that 6 of 14 chairs in the Catholic Theological Faculty at the University of Regensburg are vacant. In one subject, the selection process has already been completed since 2020. Before an appointment is made by the Bavarian Ministry of Science, the bishop must be consulted. As early as March, the Christian Social Ethics Working Group in the German-speaking area accused Voderholzer of delaying several appeal proceedings. The bishop is damaging the colleagues selected by the university. According to consistent media reports, Voderholzer is interested in a higher proportion of priests among teachers in the theological faculty. Currently only one professor is a priest.

According to BR, Blume said that the principle of selecting the best was crucial. “If we encourage more priests to face this selection, then more will have the chance to get a chance at the end.” The theological faculty in Regensburg must remain efficient; the students need the best conditions. He is sure that Voderholzer sees it that way too and is therefore expecting a quick solution.

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