Catholic liaison office in Berlin

The Catholic liaison office in Berlin intervenes in political affairs on behalf of the German Bishops’ Conference vis-à-vis bodies of the Federal Government, Bundesland missions and federations, political parties, national interest groups and international institutions. The office is subordinated to the German Bishops’ Conference and the Association of German Dioceses.

The responsibilities of the liaison office include observing the development of the political and social spheres and the legislative initiatives of the Federal Government, supporting the preparation of bills and political decisions, making statements and executing the resolutions passed by the boards of the German Bishops’ Conference.

The liaison office closely cooperates with the boards and commissions of the German Bishops’ Conference, of the dioceses, with the Central Committee of German Catholics and with the representative of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). The 16 employees of the liaison office, among them management and administrative staff, focus on six specialized fields:

  • Basic issues, legislation regulating the relationship of Church and State, domestic policy, societal policy, social policy,
  • Legal policy, Federal Government/Bundesland relations,
  • Family, senior citizens, women and youth policy,
  • Economic and financial policy/ development policy/ conscription policy and community service,
  • Legal ethics, humanitarian issues, migration,
  • European policy.

The Catholic liaison office was founded in Bonn in 1950. The first director was Prelate Wilhelm Böhler of Cologne who had represented the German bishops when the German Basic Law was conceived in 1948/49 and had served as a commissioner representing the President of the Fulda Bishops’ Conference at the Federal Government in Bonn since 1949. His successor, Prelate Wilhelm Wissing from the diocese of Münster was appointed in 1958. He was succeeded by Auxiliary Bishop and later Bishop of Münster Heinrich Tenhumberg, by Prelate and later Auxiliary Bishop Wilhelm Wöste, also Münster, and by Prelate Paul Bocklet, Würzburg (1977-2000). In 2000 Prelate Karl Jüsten of the Archdiocese of Cologne was appointed director of the Catholic liaison office. In the same year, the office moved to Berlin.

 

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