Germany's Woes Seen as Crisis of Family and Values

So Says Cardinal Meisner, Archbishop of Cologne

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COLOGNE, Germany, DEC. 23, 2002 ( Cardinal Joachim Meisner expressed concern over the loss of family values and compared the nation’s current policy in this field with that of the old East Germany.

“Everyone talks of values, but no one respects them,” the archbishop of Cologne said in the Kölner Express. “Our values are not fetishes, but are anchored in one point: the living God.”

“Only someone who knows God knows man,” he said. “It is a concept we hear again at Christmas: God created man in his image. Therefore, man, also as image, must always refer to his archetype. Otherwise, man forgets his origin and no longer has a future.”

The archbishop of Cologne described the crisis of the family as a “disaster that is not being stopped.” The “disintegration of marriage and the family in our society represents the lowest point of our present reality,” he warned.

“All questions of social care are the result of an erroneous marriage and family policy and an ideology that disparages maternity and paternity,” he said.

In particular, the archbishop of Cologne criticized the family policy pursued by the government of Gerhard Schröder, who says it is the same as that “practiced in the former German Democratic Republic.”

Instead of this tendency, the cardinal expressed his desire to see marriage and the family valued, “so that maternity and work at home are addressed from the material point of view and valued in light of their social importance.”

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