1. German Bishop Marx criticises "capitalist greed" of top managers

  2. German children help underpriviledged in Ephiphany drive


German Bishop Marx criticises 'capitalist greed' of top managers

By Anli Serfontein     

Trier, Germany, 2 October  2006(ENI)--A German Catholic bishop has lashed out at the rise of top management salaries by up to 30 per cent at the same time as companies are plunged into bankruptcy and jobs are cut. 

    Reinhard Marx, the bishop of Trier and chairperson of the German episcopal Commission for Societal and Social Matters told the local newspaper, Trierischer Volksfreund on 30 September, he thought such salary hikes were "audacious". 

  "We are more and more moving away from a social market economy to capitalism, where only the yields count and where those people who have only capital yields in mind are rewarded," the bishop told the newspaper after returning from the general assembly of the German Bishops' Conference in Fulda.  

    "The other goals of companies, like for example generating jobs are not kept in mind anymore. That's a mistake. Pure capitalism without social responsibility: the other Marx from Trier, could even still be proven right. And that I would find awful," the bishop said, referring to his namesake (no relation), the philosopher and economist Karl Marx, who was born in Trier in 1818, and whose ideas triggered the rise of communism in the 20th century. 

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German children help underprivileged in Epiphany drive 

By Anli Serfontein   

Trier, Germany, 5 January 2007 (ENI)--More than half a million German primary school children will take to the wintry streets on the feast of the Epiphany on 6 January to participate in the world's biggest charity fundraising event by children for their peers. Aged between 6 and 13, the children dress up as the three wise men from the East - Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. It is based on the biblical story of the Magi who saw a bright star on the night Jesus was born and followed it to Bethlehem.  

  At Bethlehem, the Magi found baby Jesus in his crib, 12 days after his birth and presented him with gifts. This gave rise to the tradition of gift-giving at Christmas. 

  With one child carrying a huge star, the children will carry collection tins, going from door-to-door, singing carols, reciting poems and Bible texts, blessing houses and their inhabitants. 

   For the past 49 years, the "children for children" campaign has been organised by about12 500 Roman Catholic parishes and 27 dioceses in Germany. In 2006 it raised 38.7 million euros compared to a peak collection of 47.6 million euros in 2005 that began barely 10 days after a massive tsunami hit Asia on 26 December 2004.

    With the money, the splendidly-clad carol singers collect year after year, some 3000 projects are supported for underprivileged children in Africa, Asia, Latin-America, Eastern Europe and Oceania. This year, fundraising focuses on Madagascar and the environment. 

 More than 100 carol singers on 4 January visited German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin to bless her chancellery and its inhabitants. Merkel gave a donation for an institution that looks after street children in Palma, Brazil. 

  The Rev. Andreas Mauritz, head of the German Catholic Youth League made an appeal to Merkel, who has just taken over the presidency of the European Union, to do her utmost to ensure that all children "have access to education, that children's rights are strengthened, and that children worldwide can shape their environment".

All articles (c) Ecumenical News International
Reproduction permitted only by media subscribers and provided ENI is acknowledged as the source. 

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