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Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier,

TRIER, Germany (LifeSiteNews) — The bishop of Trier has said that he would not participate in the March for Life because abortion is a “sensitive” and complex matter, citing “a woman’s right to self-determination.”

In an interview with the German radio station Deutschlandfunk on April 29, Bishop Stephan Ackermann was asked about the recent March for Life in Munich, which the interviewer claimed attracts “right-wing extremists,” including from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party.

“I would not take part in this march for life,” Ackermann said.

“The issue at stake, namely striking a balance between a woman’s right to self-determination and the right to life of the unborn child, is such a sensitive matter that… any kind of aggressiveness, even in terms of the presentation on this point, is out of the question for me,” he said, claiming that strong pro-life advocacy allegedly “does not do justice to the sensitivity and complexity” of abortion, which is the violent destruction of totally helpless unborn children.

READ: German bishop says nation’s law tolerating abortion up to 12 weeks is a ‘viable compromise’

The Catholic Church has always taught that abortion is a grave sin, in accordance with the Fifth Commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.”

“Since the first century, the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion,” the Catechism states. “This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.”

Ackermann also implicitly defended German’s abortion regime, which effectively allows abortion on demand for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. He told Deutschlandfunk that the current legal situation has contributed to “societal peace,” while failing to mention that around 100,000 unborn children are killed in Germany every year through abortion.

READ: Female co-president of German ‘Synodal Way’ demands increased nationwide abortion access

The Deutschlandfunk interview addressed the issue of the German Bishops Conference’s official condemnation of the AfD for its alleged promotion of “ethnic nationalism.” At the same time, the bishops’ conference failed to condemn the left-wing parties of the current German government, who support the killing of the unborn, are considering decriminalizing abortion, recently moved to restrict pro-life advocacy in front of abortion facilities, and abolished the German advertising ban on abortion in 2022.

Ackermann is a staunch proponent of the heretical German Synodal Way and recently hosted an ecumenical pro-LGBT “queer” church service, in which he claimed Catholic teaching on sexuality is responsible for “injustice done to people.”

He voted for declarations of the Synodal Way claiming that homosexuality is not sinful, so-called “intersex and transgender” people should be admitted to “all ordained ministries,” and women should be “ordained” as deacons and potentially priests and bishops.

The bishop of Trier is not the first of the German episcopate to deviate from the Church’s clear and absolute condemnation of abortion. In a discussion held in a brewery in March, Bishop Heinrich Timmerevers called the current law allowing abortion up to 12 weeks a “viable compromise.”


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