Austrian bishop: Don’t compare corona with the Nazi era


Central Europe


Bishop Glettler. Photo Kathpress, Paul Wuthe

The Austrian bishop Hermann Glettler calls it “dangerous” to compare the current debate about corona measure with the Nazi dictatorship. There must be a better understanding of different groups in society.

The Catholic clergyman from Innsbruck said that in an interview with the Tiroler Tageszeitung.

In Austria, the government has made vaccination compulsory. The Catholic bishops have said that this would only be allowed temporarily. The government has to decide that, not the church, bishop Glettler says.

More urgent is that people maintain manners in the debate, he thinks. “Get off the gas pedal of agitation. We need some time to think.”

He himself favours the vaccination as such, together with the other bishops. “This is not only self-protection but also an act of solidarity. Our health system works on the edge of its capacity”, says the bishop in the interview, of which Kathpress has a summary.

Profaning the sacred

Glettler says that the government has to decide about the immunisation policy. Large cathedrals –also in the Austrian capital Vienna– are used for vaccination campaigns.

In Cologne in Germany, the Dom is used for this on Christmas Eve, Katholisch.de reports. Especially in times of false information and unfounded claims, it is important to set an example, says Provost Guido Assmann. “By getting vaccinated, we not only protect ourselves but can also save human lives.”

Other cities where cathedrals are used for vaccination are Paderborn, Dresden, Worms and Munich. The buildings are usually centrally located and easily accessible. In Vienna, the St. Stephen’s Cathedral is proud that more than 20,000 vaccinations have been carried out there since August.

The theologian from Vienna, Prof. Jan-Heiner Tück, has criticised the vaccination campaigns in churches, Katholisch.de reports. He thinks this is “profaning the sacred”. Especially during Advent, the church must be a place of rest and reflection. “That would be more salutary than to promote the profanation of the sacred and to build vaccination routes in cathedrals as if there were no other places for it.”

The theologian thinks that cathedrals should “not be misused as an extension of state health policy”, the theologian thinks.



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