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Politicians plan boycott of pope's Bundestag speech

The Local · 25 Jun 2011, 13:01

Published: 25 Jun 2011 13:01 GMT+02:00

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The boycott call is contained in a draft document drawn up by Rolf Schwanitz, who has sent it to all his 146 fellow Social Democratic Party (SPD) members of the Bundestag and asked for their signatures. The document was made available to the Rheinische Post newspaper.

In it, Schwanitz slams the planned speech for September 22 by the pope in front of the parliamentary chamber, saying the Bundestag would be abused as a "decorative accessory" and was no place for "missionary work."

Schwanitz, who leads a working group called "secular members of the SPD," called the pope the "last absolute monarch" in Europe. He also said that the pontiff's stances on women's rights and contraception, gave him a good deal of the blame for "the ongoing global AIDS epidemic as well as the oppression, exploitation and stigmatization of millions of people."

In the text, Schwanitz said other SPD members had signaled they would be absent on the day the pope spoke. Party sources told the Rheinische Post that about a half dozen parliamentarians planned on going through with the boycott.

But the head of the SPD Bundestag group, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has rejected the initiative and Thomas Oppermann, another high-ranking SPD parliamentarian, called the pope-critical document "unfortunate."

Conservative parliamentarians like Hermann Kues of the Christian Democrats have shown outrage at the boycott campaign.

"I am shocked over the ignorance and delusion here," he said. "Without Christianity, our country is simply impossible to imagine."

Story continues below…

The Local/kdj

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:15 June 25, 2011 by jbaker
The Politicians and the Pope share the same bath water.

Imagine this world without the Pope(Religions) or Politicians - maybe not better to some, but Less Controlling to all.
14:47 June 25, 2011 by AirForceGuy
How do these people get elected...?
15:22 June 25, 2011 by harcourt
AirForceGuy: didn't you know? He walks over a big hole with cardinals underneath (to prove he's a man) and then they blow some white smoke out of a chimney !!
16:00 June 25, 2011 by ukpunk1
"They accuse the pontiff of oppressing millions around the world." I'm not religious nor Catholic, so I was not oppressed.
17:31 June 25, 2011 by DOZ
Pure Evil!
17:56 June 25, 2011 by Jerr-Berlin
...nice little Easter bonnet though
18:30 June 25, 2011 by MJMH
Yet if the leader of some oppressed Arab or third world nation visits-where women are treated like children and half the country is starving-not only would all the Social Democrats be in attendance but they'd also be throwing money at the the dictator.

Self-hatred can be a very bad thing.
21:03 June 25, 2011 by PierceArrow
Those doof SPD liberals who bash the pope are the same dummkopfs who want to appease Muslim terrorists.
09:21 June 26, 2011 by marimay
@ the last two posts

You shouldn't make things up to make you feel better.
10:00 June 26, 2011 by wood artist
Conservative parliamentarians like Hermann Kues of the Christian Democrats have shown outrage at the boycott campaign. "I am shocked over the ignorance and delusion here," he said. "Without Christianity, our country is simply impossible to imagine."

Odd. I've spent the last few months studying the Thirty Years War in depth, and it seems likely that Germany, at least at that time, would have been a whole lot better off without the Catholic Church trying to rule the country. I could be wrong, but it certainly seems like it to me.

00:27 June 27, 2011 by MaryandMichael
Certainly it is a "delusion" to think a country is better off without Christianity.

The 2,000 years-old Universal Church is not made of politicians but of people striving for holiness every second of their lives, under the guidance of the German Pope, Benedict XVI.

God, His Mother and all the Saints and Angels in Heaven protect the Holy Father from any harm because the Church prays for him every day.
09:15 June 27, 2011 by harcourt

Can't believe this is a dispassionate point of view!!
17:54 June 27, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
Are you kidding me? The pope is not "evil" or "oppressive"! If these politicians don't agree with the Catholic teachings, they don't have to be catholic. But to suggest that He is responsible for AIDS and women's oppression througout the world is just ludicrous and ignorant. First, the Pope can't just change the Catholic doctrine by himself to accept contraception, even if it is more "progressive" (I believe in contraception, but I am still Catholic). If you know you're infected with HIV, don't blame the Church for not wearing a condom! Be smarter than that! No Catholic would say you're going to Hell if you wear a condom. My point is that Northern Germans have been Lutheran/Calvinist for centuries, and obviously have a score to settle with the Catholics. Yet, making the Pope a scapegoat for the world's problems is not realistic, intelligent, or productive. This is religious discrimination lightly disguised as political "protest".
07:50 June 28, 2011 by harcourt
Jack Kerouac :

You are absolutely right of course, as a person the Pope is not "evil" and "oppressive" it is the Catholic doctrine which is !! Plus it impinges on vast numbers of people who have nothing to do with the Catholic faith.
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