Woelki celebrates mass in Cologne Cathedral: abuse was not an issue at Easter


Cologne – Only around 150 believers came to Cologne Cathedral on Sunday morning to celebrate the Easter service with Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki. Some seats remained empty.

The famous fat pitter, the Petersglocke of the cathedral, was just lashing out to its low C when the who’s who of the Cologne Archdiocese drove across the Domplatz towards the main entrance: Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, who was stricken because of the abuse scandal, in red, all in black, was on leave Auxiliary Bishop Ansgar Puff and finally in a good mood in violet Guido Assmann, cathedral provost since September 2020.

The service itself – it took place under Corona conditions. The rows are sparsely occupied, no singing, no touching, no communion by mouth. Singing was not allowed, but nobody had to do without music. Winfried Bönig played the organ, a minimized cathedral choir sang not only the Haleluja.



Auxiliary Bishop Ansgar Puff, who was on leave and mainly looked after the homelessPhoto: Mario Jüngling

The abuse scandal that has rocked the archbishopric for months and drove the believers out of the church in droves – it was not an issue in this service.

“The Lord has risen from the dead. This is the message of this morning, ”Woelki preached.

Presence church services like those in Cologne Cathedral remained the exception on this Easter Sunday. As in the previous year, many trade fairs were only held virtually.

After all, visitors to another church service met in the open air in Bochum. The chairs and an altar were set up behind the rectory in Bochum-Weitmar.


In Bochum the believers celebrated in the open air

In Bochum the believers celebrated in the open airPhoto: Bernd Thissen / dpa

The 60 tickets available had all been pre-booked, and chairs were set up for a few more visitors. In fresh, rather uncomfortable temperatures, they followed the trade fair with masks on. At least it wasn’t raining. There was no singing and an electric piano replaced the organ music.

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