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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

German Church leaders deplore latest xenophobic violence

German Catholic leaders condemned anti-immigrant riots in an eastern Germany town that erupted after a German man was killed in a brawl with migrants.

“This deadly stabbing is a criminal offence which needs clearing up and sanctioning by the rule of law. It can never justify xenophobic, inhuman mass demonstrations,” Bishop Heinrich Timmerevers of Dresden-Meissen told KNA, Germany’s Catholic news agency.

“From a Christian perspective, violence cannot be an answer to violence. An offence must not be utilised to incite anger against entire ethnic groups,” the bishop said.

Riots which took place in Chemnitz from 26th to 27th August left at least 20 seriously injured when police failed to separate 6,000 right-wing protesters from a smaller counter-demonstration.

Meanwhile, the president of the German bishops’ conference urged Christians to counter “nationalism, injustice and the restriction of freedom” with “vigilance and political action.”

“We have to look at how people speak, how some nations fall back into nationalism, and how warlike language is trumpeted again,” Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising said during Mass in Munich’s St Kajetan Church on 26th August, KNA reported.

Picture: German riot policemen stand guard during a protest in Chemnitz on 27th August after a man was stabbed to death. German Church leaders condemned anti-immigrant riots in Chemnitz, which erupted after a German man was killed in a brawl with migrants. (CNS photo/Matthias Rietschel, Reuters).