German Cardinal Slams Move to Put Crosses in Government Buildings

Cardinal Reinhard Marx speaks during a memorial service for the victims of the shooting spree in Munich on July 24, 2016 at the 'Dom zu Unserer Lieben Frau' Frauenkirche church in Munich, southern Germany. Europe reacted in shock to the third attack on the continent in just over a week, …

A German Roman Catholic cardinal has slammed the Bavarian conservatives’ plan to put crucifixes in government buildings saying the plan will cause “agitation” and “division”.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who heads the German Bishops’ Conference, complained that Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soeder had not come to him before announcing the move last month. The German Bishops’ Conference also released a warning statement which said that the German state is secular in nature and must remain that way, Il Giornale reports.

The Bavarian government announced the move to put crosses in public buildings arguing they are part of Bavaria’s “cultural identity and Christian-western influence”. Crosses are already posted in various public institutions including courts and public schools.

The move continues the conservative stance of the Christian Social Union (CSU) and former Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer, now the federal Interior Minister.

Seehofer, as opposed to his coalition partner Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has asserted that the religion of Islam does not belong to Germany.

The criticism is not the first time Cardinal Marx has issued a pro-left viewpoint. In February, Marx said that he could foresee the church giving blessings to homosexual couples. “It’s about pastoral care for individual cases, and that applies in other areas as well, which we cannot regulate, where we have no sets of rules,” he said.

His comments were met with criticism from Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput who argued that blessing homosexual unions “would cooperate in a morally forbidden act”, and added that it would also “undermine the Catholic witness on the nature of marriage and the family”.

Marx is not the only progressive Cardinal in Germany. Cardinal Archbishop of Cologne Rainer Maria Woelki has repeatedly expressed his pro-mass migration stance and slammed the anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) which is against the building of minarets in German cities.

In 2016, Woelki argued that “whoever says ‘yes’ to church towers must also say ‘yes’ to minarets”.

 Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


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