The EKD is rethinking its peace ethics

Die Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) wants to reconsider its position on peace ethics. In the planned process, it is unclear whether the previous memorandum from 2007 will be replaced, revised or supplemented. The EKD Synodal and Major General Ruprecht von Butler said at this year’s synod conference that future peace ethics must also develop an attitude towards military, including nuclear, deterrence.

Reinhard Bingener

Political correspondent for Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Bremen based in Hanover.

In the debate, criticism of the EKD peace officer and Central German bishop Friedrich Kramer, the German weapons shipments refused to Ukraine. Berlin Bishop Christian Stäblein said that one cannot, like Kramer, express solidarity with Ukraine and then advise non-violent resistance. The journalist Arnd Henze accused Kramer of representing less of a pacifist and more of an isolationist attitude, which is primarily about Germany not becoming guilty again. The delivery of anti-aircraft weapons is ethically required.

Kramer replied that these weapons were also primarily used to protect other weapons and pointed to the danger of a nuclear escalation. The CDU MP Hermann Gröhe called on the EKD to change its attitude towards the Russian Orthodox Church work up in the past. Gröhe recalled a trip to the Moscow Patriarch, on which members of the EKD delegation had been asked internally not to mention the previous visit to the human rights organization “Memorial”.

On Tuesday, the synodal members discussed the main topic of climate protection, which also includes the question of what contribution the church can make, for example with its own building stock. A speed limit for church employees is also under discussion. The troubled relationship with the Vatican was also a topic at the synod. The EKD Council reported on a visit to Ecumenism Cardinal Kurt Koch, during which he said that ecumenism had “taken a wrong turn”. The EKD is “disillusioned” with the meeting.

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