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Cardinal Marx condemns decision to hang crosses in public buildings

Cardinal Marx (AP)

Cardinal Reinhard Marx has criticised the Bavarian government’s decision to hang crosses in all government buildings.

The Cardinal Archbishop of Munich and Freising said the decision would cause “division” and “play people off against one another”.

“If the cross is just seen as a cultural symbol, then it has not been understood”, he said. The cross is “a sign of opposition to violence, injustice, sin and death, but not a sign [of exclusion] against other people.”

However, Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg welcomed the decision. According to CNA, the bishop said: “The cross is the epitome of Western culture. It is the expression of a culture of love, compassion and affirmation of life. It belongs to the foundations of Europe.”

This is why, he added, Bavarians have traditionally placed crosses rather than other symbols at the tops of their mountains. “Not the national flag or other symbols of human rule, as others might have liked to see at other times, but the cross. It should be widely visible, the cross, the sign of salvation and life in which Christ is heaven and earth, God and reconciled people, victims and perpetrators.”

Bavarian premier Markus Söder announced the policy last week, saying it would reflect the state’s “cultural identity and Christian-Western influence”.