Archbishop goes on pilgrimage through bamberg with the unemployed

Archbishop goes on pilgrimage through bamberg with the unemployed

Slowly, brigitte winkler (name changed by the editors) unloads the steaming pot. The 59-year-old, who joined the pilgrimage on saturday with former colleagues from the bamberg department store honer, looks pensive: "the pilgrimage gives you strength, says brigitte winkler. And finally "hope dies last", she explains. Unemployed, like most of the "honer women. She worked in the department store for 34 years. Brigitte winkler laughs a little bitterly. She is all the more grateful for the "encouragement of archbishop schick": "it's good that not just a simple priest went along, but the archbishop", the "honer woman" is pleased.

Ludwig schick led the way on this pilgrimage for workers and the unemployed from maxplatz to the cathedral. Right behind the banner "work is a human right", which hit the train of nearly three hundred people. Normally, the traditional workers' pilgrimage has the basilica of vierzehnheiligen as its destination. But on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of the cathedral, it was to be "towards heaven" walk according to its motto. "Workers have an important place in the main church of the archdiocese in the jubilee year", stresses company chaplain manfred bohm. The pilgrimage is a sign that "the world of work belongs to the center of the manifestation". That "the church hears the cry from the world of work", maria gerstner, secretary of the catholic workers' movement (KAB) in kronach, added. The catholic chaplaincy, the KAB, the ecumenical counseling centers for the unemployed in the archdiocese of bamberg and the franciscans of vierzehnheiligen had invited to this pilgrimage.

Four stations structure the pilgrimage through the city center. Prayers cast a spotlight on everyday life at work. They call it "work for a starvation wage, "work often only as temporary", "precarious employment", "devalued performance of the people", when labor only appears as a small cost factor in the economic balance sheets. When the soul is sickened by work, when exhaustion is all that remains, when fear for one's job is overwhelming, when resignation in the search for work causes one to despair. A litany of concerns and hopes rises to heaven: for fair pay, for fair working conditions, for a good working atmosphere, for jobs with a secure future.

"Labor markets must be designed in such a way that the value of work is realized", she writes at one of the stations. The pilgrims move on and sing "all to the glory of my god in work, in rest". To increase god's praise and honor…". The warning bell sounds again. Awakens to the complaints about the increasing division of society. About the growing gap between top and bottom. "Into this world of ours come your kingdom!" Ask the pilgrims.

Archbishop finds clear words

They bundle their concerns in the service. Their song "sun of justice, arise in this time, no one shall be a victim" sounds hauntingly… Have mercy, god." Archbishop schick finds clear words in his sermon: "we need fair wages for good work". The low-wage sector is "poison for our society, for stability and humanity". Wages had to be set in such a way that families could be fed and old-age provisions could be financed from them. As another "pillar of the world of work" the archbishop demands "stable employment contracts through permanent employment contracts". Schick criticizes that young people in particular are too often employed only on temporary contracts. They could not found a family, have children "because their lives are unsecured in the working world". In addition to fair wages and stable working conditions, the archbishop calls for "more religious life" because it gives us faith, trust and togetherness". Religious life demands "community and humanity".

After the pontifical mass, all pilgrims are invited to lunch at the cathedral parish hall. The "honer women sitting together: "we are not alone", brigitte winkler learned that day. And by that she does not just mean the society of her fateful journey.

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