The motto for the 102nd German Catholic Convention, which will take place in Stuttgart from 25 to 29 May 2022, has been decided: leben teilen or sharing life. With its proposal, the Katholikentag management intends to place sharing as a basic attitude of Christian world responsibility at the centre of the Katholikentag. The main committee of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) decided on this motto at the beginning of October 2020 based on their proposal.
"With the motto sharing life we want to express our faith in a God who in his essence is personal, loving and merciful sharing-oneself, who himself becomes man, shares human life, gives people a share of himself and invites them into the community of life," said the President of the ZdK, Prof. Dr. Thomas Sternberg. "We live this faith in an ecclesial community which from the beginning and through the centuries has lived and lives today from the breaking of bread and the sharing of the cup, in the sharing of life in solidarity-based charity and finally in the proclamation of what we ourselves have experienced among ourselves and with others."
With its motto, the Katholikentag wants to explicitly tie in with the testimony of one of the most famous European saints far beyond the Church, St. Martin of Tours, who shares his cloak with the poor and encounters Christ in it. As the patron saint of the host diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, Bishop Dr. Gebhard Fürst has also made St. Martin newly accessible in recent years via the Europe-connecting St. Martin's Pilgrimage Route (Szombarthely-Tours), which leads through Stuttgart and the diocese. Through the associated pilgrimage movement and the network of St. Martin's churches in the diocese, a recognisable structure of mobilisation of the faithful in the diocese was created, which the Katholikentag wants to build on.
"The motto of the Katholikentag 2022 fits perfectly with our diocese and Saint Martin as its patron. For us Christians, sharing is charity in action – which begins on our own doorstep and extends across the whole earth. The topics of the universal church and global justice are very close to my heart. They will be a focal theme at the Katholikentag in Stuttgart," said Bishop Fürst.
With a view to the current discussions within the church, the Katholikentag wants to express that the participation of all believers in the shaping of the church was one of the central challenges of church reforms. In this way, the Katholikentag ties in with the goal of the Synodal Way to rewrite church structures, roles, ministries and offices and gender justice.
The motto sharing life is also based on the conviction that in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue the search for common ground and a successful togetherness is based on dialogical sharing.
Last but not least, the motto reminds us of the political and social mission of the Christian faith, which is also a central concern of the Katholikentag. In dialogue with national, European and international society, the Katholikentag should show that the Christian global mission is to share experiences, goods, values, opportunities and challenges fairly, in solidarity and for the common good on the basis of a fraternity based on human dignity in the one human family. It will thus explicitly oppose social and political tendencies towards particularisation, division and separation.
Sharing is omnipresent in our social media-driven reality: pictures, money, cars and tools are shared via apps. People participate in the lives of others. This creates new challenges, for example in the area of data protection. Globally, not least the Corona pandemic has made it clear to everyone that we live in a interconnected world. How we share knowledge, prosperity and security in a new and different way will also be discussed at the Katholikentag 2022 in Stuttgart.
Text: Katholikentag/ Dr. Christian Hermes