The Central Committee of German Catholics has defended the exclusion of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany from the upcoming Catholic Day in Leipzig. There is no reason to shake the decision.
He had taken over the decision not to invite the party’s top personnel to the faith meeting from his predecessor Alois Gluck, and saw no reason to change it, ZdK President Thomas Sternberg told the "Welt am Sonntag" newspaper.
The AfD has included anti-human formulations in its previous "programmatic sketches," Sternberg said, justifying its course. "Moreover, the decision was made just as the AfD leadership was proclaiming its message that refugees should even be shot at in case of emergency. Something like this has no place at Katholikentag."
Sternberg added that he himself had already sat down with AfD deputy leader Alexander Gauland for a discussion and would do so again in September. "But not at the Katholikentag."At the same time, the ZdK president warned against giving the ie too much space. "Is it really the most important thing to exchange views with right-wing populists?" Poverty and war in Europe’s neighborhood or the future of the church are "much more important".
The 100. German Catholic Day begins on Wednesday. The organizer is the ZdK, the host is the respective diocese of the venue, in Leipzig the diocese of Dresden-Meiben. Expected at least 55.000 participants.