Wednesday March 24th 2021
“Even more at Easter”
Seehofer criticizes the divine service decision
Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has sharply criticized the resolutions of the Prime Minister’s Conference with Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel on the Easter services. “I was amazed that parties that have the C in their name urge the churches to refrain from worship, especially at Easter,” Seehofer told the “Bild” newspaper.
The federal and state governments decided on Tuesday night not to ban Easter services. However, you want to ask the religious communities to hold religious meetings exclusively virtually on the Easter holidays due to the high corona incidence values.
Seehofer said it was not about a ban or a requirement to skip services at Easter. “I would like to point out that this is a request.” His ministry did not make this suggestion either, “although we are responsible for the religions”. Seehofer referred to the hygiene concepts worked out together with the churches at the beginning of the pandemic, “which still function perfectly today”.
Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer also wants the churches to decide for themselves whether or not to celebrate church services at Easter. In an interview with ARD, Kretschmer said: “We shouldn’t pretend that as politics.” Everyone will now think about it and “I have no doubt that the churches, the religious communities will find a wise and responsible way,” said the CDU politician.
The Catholic Church already indicated on Tuesday that it would not comply with the request of the federal and state governments. The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) initially left its handling of the request open and announced a declaration after the consultations with politicians.
Last year, in the lockdown, the churches waived public Easter services. At Christmas there were church services with particularly strict rules – many congregations relocated the celebrations outside, advance reservations were required and the number of visitors remained very limited.