Working group of committed Catholics in the CDU

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The Working Group of Engaged Catholics in the CDU (formerly Working Group of Engaged Catholics in CDU and CSU ) was an initiative within the Union parties that was not recognized as a special organization of the CDU or the CSU. The initiator of the AEK was the journalist Martin Lohmann , at the time chairman of the Federal Association for the Law of Life . The working group has not been active since Lohmann left the CDU in 2013.


The signatories of the call for founding of November 15, 2009 included Lohmann, the CSU member of the Bundestag Norbert Geis , the former Bavarian Science Minister Thomas Goppel (CSU), the CSU MEP Bernd Posselt , the Trier theology professor Wolfgang Ockenfels , the abbot primate of the Benedictine order Notker Wolf and the federal chairwoman of the Christian Democrats for Life , Mechthild Löhr .

It was only immediately before Lohmann went public with the working group that he personally presented the project to CDU General Secretary Hermann Gröhe .

In February 2010 it became known that the AEK had split just a few months after it was founded: Thomas Goppel , with the support of CSU General Secretary Alexander Dobrindt and CSU boss Horst Seehofer , invited to found the "Christian Social Catholics (CSK) in the CSU" . While the spokesman for the Evangelical Working Group in the CSU, Ingo Friedrich , welcomed cooperation, Joachim Unterländer, the CSU member of the state parliament responsible for relations with the Catholic Church, considered the initiative "not necessary" and ruled out cooperation.


Analogous to the Evangelical Working Group (EAK), the AEK wanted to serve as a “nationwide political forum for Catholic Christians ”. The aim is to "win back Catholic voters who are increasingly turning their backs on both the CDU and the CSU - by abstaining from voting or emigrating to other parties". In the call for founding it said u. a .: “We are not indifferent to the fact that the Union parties have lost more than three million voters in recent years. It does not leave us unaffected that the Union parties have also lost a large number of staunch members in recent years. "

During the CDU profile debate in early 2010, the AEK demanded a clearer positioning of the Union in the abortion debate and in marriage and family policy on Deutschlandfunk and other media. In the dispute about a possible ministerial office for the Muslim Aygül Özkan , the migration commissioner Maria Böhmer distanced herself in an interview from the position of the working group that Ms. Özkan's intended ban on crucifixes in the classroom made this office impossible for her.

The working group Christian Wulff also sharply criticized before the election as Federal President 2010 : "With his demands for the lifting of celibacy for Catholic priests, the presidential candidate Christian Wulff has revealed a blatant error". As the future Federal President, it is not his job to interfere in the internal affairs of the Catholic Church, which “the Catholic Wulff” as well as the “indissolubility of the sacramental marriage” should actually know.

The announcement by the Left Party that around half of the parliamentary group members would give the papal speech in the Bundestag during Pope Benedict XVI's trip to Germany. want to stay away, commented Lohmann as chairman of the AEK as follows: "It is amazing how much potential for intolerance lies dormant in some apostles of tolerance. (...) Anyone who does not attend the speech of the Pope in the Bundestag, i.e. flees from Benedict XVI incredible fear of truth and clarity ".


In mid-June 2009, the CDU federal chairwoman Angela Merkel rejected the establishment of a “Catholic working group”. The existence of an Evangelical Working Group of the Union can be explained by the history of the party, which was initially strongly dominated by Catholics. Nevertheless, Merkel and Seehofer expressed their interest in meeting with the initiative in early 2010.

Cardinal Joachim Meisner welcomed the founding of the working group and hoped that it would create a “clearer profile for Christian values ​​in the C-parties”. Within the Catholic Church, however, the majority were cautious about the establishment. The then chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch , said in 2010 that he did not want to “interfere in structural issues of the CDU”, but that the activities of this working group “should not affect the broad dialogue between the church and the party”.

The political scientist Gerd Langguth saw in the founding of the forum of “dissatisfied fundamental Catholics within the CDU” evidence that “even the denominational question within the CDU and the CSU plays an important role”.

Individual evidence

  1. a b call for founding ( RTF ; 17 kB) of November 15, 2009. Accessed on December 26, 2009.
  2. Cardinal Meisner's helpers mix the CDU on Spiegel Online from November 25, 2009
  3. Mariam Lau : Committed Catholics in the Union split into north and south. In: Welt Online , accessed on February 16, 2010.
  4. cf. z. B. Disruptive fire in the Union Fundi-Catholics want to annoy Merkel further February 27, 2010 , accessed on May 15, 2012.
  5. Schisma in der Union , article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung of February 16, 2010
  6. AEK in Deutschlandfunk "Ms. Merkel is party leader and not state council chairwoman"
  7. Media presence during the CDU profile debate. Rheinische Post Gröhe rejects criticism of the Chancellor: "Merkel leads by taking a position" ( memento from January 15, 2010 in the Internet Archive ), Frankfurter Rundschau CDU board supports Merkel: All men and their command ( memento from May 18, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), n-tv Merkel modernizes the CDU: The end of the conservatives
  8. Deutschlandradio: Migration Commissioner Böhmer rejects the ban on crucifixes in schools from April 26, 2010, 7:15 a.m.
  9. D: Catholic group of the CDU criticizes Wulff , Radio Vatikan from June 29, 2010
  10. ↑ The dispute over the Pope's visit is intensifying . In: RP-Online , September 13, 2011. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  11. Gerd Langguth : Cardinal Meisner's helpers stir up the CDU. In: Spiegel Online , accessed December 26, 2009.
  12. Angela Merkel and Horst Seehofer want to meet AEK (KNA and ddp report) KATH.NET - Catholic news service and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of January 19, 2010, p. 5
  13. Cardinal Meisner welcomes the Catholic working group in the union parties domradio from November 23, 2009
  14. Fundi-Catholics want to annoy Merkel further Spiegel Online of February 27, 2010
  15. Why the CDU is so fixated on the crucifix Spiegel Online of April 29, 2010