The Protestant theologian Margot Käßmann has criticized the church wedding of Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) and the journalist Franca Lehfeldt. “Why do two people want a church wedding who have consciously left the church and have publicly declared that they do not see themselves as Christians?” wrote Käßmann in her column for “Bild am Sonntag”.
The former Council President of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) explained that this was not about Christian content, but about a backdrop. But the church shouldn’t give in to that. Houses of worship are places where people bring joy and sorrow to God for centuries. “They are rooms that are prayed through and give comfort.” Church membership and voluntary work make it possible to preserve these rooms.
It is correct that at least one spouse must be a member of the church so that a church wedding can take place, stressed Käßmann. If there is a legal gap here, it should be closed as soon as possible: “Otherwise we will downgrade our traditional spaces, in which Christians give glory to God, to cheap event locations.”
Linder and Lehfeldt, who works as the chief reporter for WELT, got married on Saturday in the St. Severin evangelical church in Keitum on Sylt. The evangelical bishop of Schleswig and Holstein, Gothart Magaard, had defended the church wedding. The order of life of the North Church provides that at least one partner should be a member at a wedding. However, exceptions are at the discretion of the pastor. “It is something wonderful when two people want to be blessed by God,” emphasized the theologian.