German Bishops’ Conference considers AfD to be “Christians cannot be elected”

As of: February 22, 2024 3:53 p.m

The Catholic bishops have sharply differentiated themselves from the AfD and right-wing extremism. “Cannot be elected by Christians,” says the German Bishops’ Conference. CDU leader Merz attacked AfD leader Chrupalla because of his comments about Navalny.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference has taken a stronger stance than ever before against right-wing extremism and the AfD. She appealed to all citizens in Germany to reject and reject political offers from the far right.

Ethnic nationalism is incompatible with the Christian view of God and humanity, according to a statement published at the end of the spring general meeting of the Catholic bishops in Augsburg.

“Right-wing extremist parties and those that proliferate on the fringes of this ideology cannot therefore be a place for Christians to engage in political activity and cannot be elected,” said the bishops.

Warning also ahead Right-wing populism

After several bouts of radicalization, a ethnic-national sentiment now dominates, especially in the AfD. The AfD oscillates between real right-wing extremism, which the Office for the Protection of the Constitution attests to some state associations and the party’s youth organization, and right-wing populism, which is less radical and fundamental.

“Right-wing populism is the shimmering edge of right-wing extremism,” the statement said. In both cases, however, stereotypical resentments are given free rein: against refugees and migrants, against Muslims, against the alleged conspiracy of the so-called global elites, and increasingly against Jews.

Bätzing emphasizes willingness for dialogue

It’s not about different political views, but about a fundamentally different view of humanity, said the chairman of the Catholic German Bishops’ Conference, Georg Bätzing, at the final press conference in Augsburg.

At the same time, this clear commitment does not mean that the church is withdrawing from dialogue with those people who are receptive to this ideology. It’s about the fight for people’s souls, Bätzing quoted a scientist whom the bishops in Augsburg had consulted on this topic.

Some people might also feel challenged by this declaration, the Limburg bishop admitted. Therefore, the causes of the rise of right-wing extremism in society must be addressed. It is also about questions of justice.

Merz attacks Chrupalla

CDU leader Friedrich Merz also expressed harsh criticism of the AfD in the Bundestag. In connection with the death of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, Merz was outraged by statements made by AfD leader Tino Chrupalla.

Chrupalla had described it as “unbearable” that responsibility for this was already being distributed. “People talk about murder, about other things, even though they don’t know anything, even though they haven’t even waited for the investigation,” the AfD leader said.

“Useful idiot of the regime”

In a speech in the Bundestag, Merz called this “downright shabby” and “inhumane” and was convinced that Navalny was deliberately killed. “There can be no doubt that he was the victim of a politically motivated murder.”

Addressing Chrupalla, the CDU leader said: “You shouldn’t seriously claim that there is such a thing as comprehensible investigations in this system. Anyone who talks like that makes themselves, in the spirit of Lenin, a useful idiot for this regime.”

No access to Navalny’s body

According to Russian reports, Navalny collapsed and died in a Siberian prison camp and attempts to resuscitate him were in vain.

Despite international protests, the authorities continue to deny his relatives access to his body. Navalny’s team, which accuses the Russian power apparatus of murder, sees this as an attempted cover-up.

Andreas Herz, BR, tagesschau, February 22, 2024 3:41 p.m

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