The lowest common denominator

With the rapprochement of the EU interior ministers at their informal meeting in Copenhagen, there are signs of agreement in the EU on a common asylum system by the end of the year. The agreements will ensure minimum standards. Above all, the rule remains that asylum procedures must take place where the applicant first reaches EU territory.


“Giving hope to the people”

This Friday, the anniversary celebrations of the 750th anniversary of the founding of the Abbey of Heiligenkreuz reach their climax. Year of foundation of the Cistercian monastery of Neuzelle their climax. Heiligenkreuz Abbey has founded a daughter monastery there. Abbot Maximilian Heim on the new start.

CBA: After 750 years, the Cistercian order dares to make a new start in Neuzelle. What made you accept the invitation of the Bishop of Goerlitz, Wolfgang Ipolt, to refound the church??

Abbot Maximilian Heim: The firm belief that the Gospel should be taken to the periphery, as our Pope Francis would say. In a country where faith has been suppressed or concealed for decades, there is less indifference than in regions with saturated Christianity. We want to open up a perspective of hope for the people that makes them curious. A resident there said to one of our monks: "I am so happy that you are coming now." Father replied, "Then, please, pray for us." To which the man replied, "I can't, because I'm an atheist. But I am glad that you are coming!"
CBA: The monks want to go to the people, but at the same time distance is also important to you. How do they fit together?
Home: "Monachus" means "the lonely one.". We need solitude and in it the experience of becoming one with God. From this space of silence, where we meet God and also wrestle with Him, we can go out to proclaim the Gospel to people out of love for God and neighbor.


Proposed german solutions

Germany steps up efforts to broker cease-fire in Middle East. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) will meet with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo today for this purpose. Then he leaves for Israel, where he will stay until Sunday. In addition to consultations with Israeli government representatives, a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is also planned.