A selection of news relevant to EKD and of press releases of EKD's partner churches and church bodies. News used with permission from Ecumenical News International and other agencies.
"Week for Life" Focuses on Inter-Generational Solidarity
This year, the theme of the Protestant-Catholic "Week for Life" is inter-generational solidarity. The nationwide campaign will be launched on April 21 with an ecumenical service in Munich's "Mariendom," the two major churches announced on Tuesday. Archbishop Reinhard Marx, Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, the researcher on aging Andreas Kruse from Heidelberg and Bavaria's Minister for Social Affairs Christine Hadertauer (CSU) will open the week with a discussion on the annual theme. Services and events will be held between April 21 and 28 in many Catholic and Protestant congregations and institutions.
According to the announcement, in a changing demographic situation characterized by longer life expectancies and dwindling birthrates, the initiative seeks to promote positive coexistence between the elderly and young people and inter-generational solidarity. Children for a long time have occupied center stage in family policy; the time has come to shift attention to the opportunities grandparents have for lending a hand and the responsibility of the younger generations for taking care of older people, wrote Cornelia Coenen-Marx of the Church Office of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). The church, with its rich pool of elderly people and good access to child rearing, could be a key player in the development of cross-generational networks. This however presupposes a new self-understanding that does away with negative stereotypes concerning the elderly and values their social contribution, especially that of older women, the theologian argued.
The "Week for Life" is an initiative of the EKD and the German Catholic Bishops' Conference. Through it, the churches seek to promote awareness of the value and dignity of human life. The campaign stands for the protection of life in all its phases, from conception until death.
In previous years, themes such as the generally accepted concept of health, bioethical issues and the opportunities and limits of modern medicine have been discussed. The week has been organized since 1991 and owes its existence to an initiative on the part of the bishops' conference and the Central Committee of German Catholics. EKD joined the initiative in 1994.
April 10, 2012