Germany: Politicians plan boycott of pope’s Bundestag speech

Several Social Democratic parliamentarians are planning to boycott the speech Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to give to the Bundestag in September. They accuse the pontiff of oppressing millions around the world.

The boycott call is contained in a draft document drawn up by Rolf Schwanitz, who has sent it to all his 146 fellow Social Democratic Party (SPD) members of the Bundestag and asked for their signatures. The document was made available to the Rheinische Post newspaper.

In it, Schwanitz slams the planned speech for September 22 by the pope in front of the parliamentary chamber, saying the Bundestag would be abused as a “decorative accessory” and was no place for “missionary work.”

Schwanitz, who leads a working group called “secular members of the SPD,” called the pope the “last absolute monarch” in Europe. He also said that the pontiff’s stances on women’s rights and contraception, gave him a good deal of the blame for “the ongoing global AIDS epidemic as well as the oppression, exploitation and stigmatization of millions of people.”

In the text, Schwanitz said other SPD members had signaled they would be absent on the day the pope spoke. Party sources told the Rheinische Post that about a half dozen parliamentarians planned on going through with the boycott.

But the head of the SPD Bundestag group, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has rejected the initiative and Thomas Oppermann, another high-ranking SPD parliamentarian, called the pope-critical document “unfortunate.”

Conservative parliamentarians like Hermann Kues of the Christian Democrats have shown outrage at the boycott campaign.

“I am shocked over the ignorance and delusion here,” he said. “Without Christianity, our country is simply impossible to imagine.”

The Local | 25th June 2011

5 Responses to Germany: Politicians plan boycott of pope’s Bundestag speech

  1. It is funny to see how saying that
    [quote]
    that the pontiff’s stances on women’s rights and contraception, gave him a good deal of the blame for “the ongoing global AIDS epidemic as well as the oppression, exploitation and stigmatization of millions of people.”
    [/quote]
    makes Christians think that their religion is under attack. Maybe it is a good thing that Christian understand their responsibilities, but that parliamentarian, Hermann Kues, must be living a sad life. I mean, either he hates what he believes, or he’s just a hateful person for thinking that the oppression of women is a thing worth believing. Both these options are really sad.

  2. Michael Igoe

    What meaningful message for a 21st century assembly does the representative of an antedilivuian cult have, clinging to a creed which does nothing to prevent the denigration of minorities, the lessening of women and a pettifogging insistence on a non-scriptural quasi-religious teaching which, banning protection from AIDS, glacial in its dealing with acknowledged abuse continues to increase resulting, avoidable deaths? These are not only medical, but through the culture of guilt surrounding sexuality which is considered – by a priest – to result in 30% of juvenile suicides? This organisation has no place in the modern world.

  3. Matt

    “I am shocked over the ignorance and delusion here,” he said. “Without Christianity, our country is simply impossible to imagine.”

    I bet he doesn’t see the irony in this statement :)

  4. Thorsten

    he should stay at home in rome and talk shit because

  5. Unfortunately they did not mention the genocide of 50,000 children in Canada http://hiddennolonger.com/ and the estimated more than 30 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy alive today http://www.molestedcatholics.com/Estimating-the-numbers-global.php#stats let alone the church’s involvement in the procurement and trading of child across the globe.

    Without Christianity, our country and each and every other country, our children and the children of each and every other country would not have experienced this reckless criminal spree of abuse against and repression against justice, equality, women and children.

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