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Brother Franciscas, St. Michael’s Abbey, Berlin

With the deepest gratitude I have accepted the invitation to participate in the Side by Side festival in Moscow.

Christians believe that the Holy Spirit brings love. And those who speak of God and his sufferings but curse the love have problems. Homophobia has multiple faces and unfortunately it can wear a soutane or a cassock. But I see changes and an increasing openness and acceptance of the multiplicity as a fact of the God’s creation.

The Anglican bishop DesmondTutuonce said: “Thereare so many things that need our attention. But we are standing here and wasting our energy for an artificially imposed idea. If only the church had fought with all other problems with the same vigour as it does with the LGBT demands of acceptance, we would live in a better world"

As long as the suicide rate, especially among homosexual adolescents, all over the world  remains terribly high, I will pray for a church that accepts people instead of distinguishing and classifying them. But the church is still a part of the problem rather than a solution.

I see a salvation in the epistle of Jesus. In terms of its orientation the church for me is a defender of love. When people want to be responsible for each other, the church gives its blessing. Jacqueline Keune once said: “Let us be the church that gives the food, which offers the fresh bread and a good vine, which gives hope, and not only makes speeches, which not only gives absolution, but also gives shelter, which tastes of goodness and smells generosity, like fresh bread does”. This is the church we work for in our monastery. This is the understanding the brothers come out in favour for. Our doors are wide open for the strong and the weak, for the hungry and the replete. For all mankind of goodwill. 

The church is where people hope to God and want to understand the Christian epistle of Jesus, where they find support and aid. Everyday the white smoke rises above this church and it gives hope. The isolation causes pain and prevails over it. Here is the sun and the light. Here they decide to live a new life. And so they do for the sake of love.

I am very pleased by our meetings in Moscow, by our fruitful discussions, by our conversations about dreams and revealing similarities.

The multiplicity is a God’s gift. And it is good that we can share it and give strength in order to continue our path.

Brother Franciscas, St. Michael’s Abbey, Berlin



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