Rainer Maria Woelki is a cardinal in the Catholic Church, and has been the Archbishop of Cologne since he was appointed by (surprise!) Pope Francis. His Eminence was in the news last month after he made an infomercial plugging the wonderfulness of mass immigration, and posited an equivalence between minarets and church steeples in European culture.
Well, Cardinal Woelki is back. This time he had a migrant boat hauled to Cologne and propped up in front of the Cathedral so that he could preach a sermon while standing in it.
Many thanks to Egri Nök for translating this article from the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger:
Corpus Christi: Bishop Woelki delivers an impressive sermon from a refugee boat
Archbishop Cardinal Woelki had a refugee boat from the Mediterranean Sea rigged up in front of the Cathedral.
In his sermon, he called for intensified commitment for refugees.
Woelki has previously spoken out in favor of an unrestricted right to asylum.
Cologne — Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, emphatically urged for more commitment for refugees. “Whoever lets humans drown in the Mediterranean, lets God drown — every single day, a thousand times,” Woelki said on Thursday at the traditional Corpus Christi Mass on the Roncalli Square at the Cathedral of Cologne. “Whoever tortures humans to death in camps, tortures God to death — a thousand and a thousand times over.”
For the mass, the Archbishop had a seven-meter-long refugee boat from the Mediterranean Sea erected in front of the southern portal of the Cathedral, which members of the archdiocese had fetched from Malta. During the open-air mass, the boat served as the altar. Jesus Christ himself was in the midst “of this boat, that trafficked humans, young and old, women and children, across the Mediterranean Sea,” said Woelki. He called for recognizing the wounds of the crucified Jesus in the faces of the refugees of today. “No shut eyes! No deaf ears and closed mouths!”
23,000 bell tolls in the last year
The Cardinal reminded his listeners of the Action “23,000 bell tolls” with which, about a year ago, the Archbishopric of Cologne commemorated the men, women and children who drowned during their flight across the Mediterranean since the year 2000. “Hundreds of deaths have since been added, people drowned and murdered, whose hopes, whose pain, whose dreams, whose sorrow, whose families and whose life stories God alone knows,” said Woelki.
Every second Thursday after Pentecost, the Catholic Church celebrates Corpus Christi. During this, they express their belief that Christ is present in the consecrated host. Such a piece of bread is carried in an exhibition container, a monstrance, during the procession. After the mass, the procession walked through the streets of the old town.
Corpus Christi is for remembering the crucified
Despite the grandeur of the golden monstrance, Woelki called for, not closing one’s eyes to what Corpus Christi truly was about.
In the Body of the bread, the crucified Jesus is carried through the streets, who is present in the poor, the unaccompanied minors, the terminally ill, the traumatized children from civil war, their desperate mothers, their kidnapped fathers. “Their cry for justice, their cry for dignity and peace, is God’s cry,” said the Bishop. Corpus Christi invites the worshipping Christ not only in the sacrament, but especially seeking him among the poorest of the poor.