On Friday, 29.11.2019, the article "Anger for Cross in the City Church" has been published in the German newspaper "Rheinische Post". In this article, Fr. Simonsen, the pastor of the City Church, explains that the Corpus on the cross in the City Church is not a pig, but the "Lamb of God." "In reality, an artificial body in the form of a lamb hangs on the cross. The shape is covered with a prepared skin and blood-soaked gauze bandages." (Rheinische Post, Mönchengladbach Kompakt, Friday, 29.11.2019) It is regrettable that this clarification had to be made through the media and not in a personal conversation, as both Fr. Simonsen and em. dean Fr. Cremer refused to clarify this situation in personal. Unfortunately, the willingness to talk is missing here. The Catholic Church is ill-advised to use such "contemporary art" to convey the faith. Axel Vater's cross is an atrocious example of the level at which this type of art can fall. I urge the responsible of our City Church to give information about this provocative art to its visitors, so that it does not come back to misleading information such as "Jesus was a poor pig".
They try to bring critical voices into a right-wing political corner, to defame and exclude them in order to silence them. It is significant that, for our Church’s ministers, faith and piety are no longer categories, but political schemata. I do not understand this reproach at all. What does the love of God have to do with a political orientation? In general, I've never met anyone in the Church who has voiced far-right political slogans. I do not refer to politics. I refer to the infinite insult done to our Lord Jesus Christ. As I said, this has nothing to do with political orientation. I do not call for violence, I threatened no one, I did not chant slogans. With my name, I clearly made a public statement against this contemporary art object. They must also let a young woman say this "work of art" leads to significantly more harm than it does good. They cannot label and stigmatize this as right wing. Furthermore, this art object can still be interpreted as a "soulless" animal. Even if it is supposed to be a lamb, in no way it can be put on a par with Jesus Christ our Lord. However, the petition acknowledges the late clarification by Fr. Simonsen that our petition is withdrawn.
Nevertheless, we thank the more than 700 signers, who have indicated by their vote that artistic freedom should recognize limits.Your signatures have helped to clarify, even if this result leaves an unpleasant taste. Praise be to Jesus Christ! – For evermore. Amen!
Since the end of September 2019 Father Christoph Simonsen exhibits a cross with a corpus, that looks like an animal carcass headless with 4 limbs, instead of the holy Christ corpus.
The disfigured cross is publicly visible – just behind the Father's office chair and separated from the interior of the church only by a glass door.
As kath.net reported, at the end of September a Catholic from the diocese of Aachen discovered a cross, that looks like an animal carcass is fixed on it. He described it as "most disconcertingly disturbing".
When the Catholic then asked attending visitors what this cross would represent, he received the following answers:
When the Catholic then asked Fr. Simonsen, he received the following answer: "This interpretation of the cross is precious and indispensable to me," as it would lead to "deep and reflective discussions of faith" with church visitors.
Rejected personal conversation
First email followed by a telephone call with Fr. Blättler, head of the parish of St. Vitus in Mönchengladbach: A personal conversation was rejected - we received an email forwarding to Fr. Simonsen.
Refusal to remove the cross
The responsible Fr. Christoph Simonsen described the cross as "the Lamb of God" and to him "precious and indispensable":
"That's why I certainly will not fulfill your wish to make this deep sign of faith […] disappear."
Dean of Aachen Cathedral advocates the cross
An email to our bishop was instead answered by dean Pfr. Cremer:
"In my opinion, this portrayal is provocative, but not undignified."
A disfigured cross, that looks like an animal carcass, headless, with elongated, abnormal limbs, is fixed on it, symbolizing our God and Savior, would be "not undignified"?
Bishop of Aachen wants to justify cross
We heard about the reaction of our Bishop by dean Fr. Cremer:
"Bishop Dr. Helmut Dieser has asked, in principle, in the Commission for Church Art to pursue the question of how art can serve as an interference with the usual perceptions of the religious debate."
Should blasphemous art now be approved by high ecclesiastical authority??
"For the devil, the sign of the cross is a terrible thing, for we escape him through the cross, and with great reverence we must make the sign of the cross."– Fr. Saint John Vianney, patron saint of parish priests
"A cross as a visible symbol of our faith is in my eyes anything but an aesthetically adjusted ornament and adoration sign." – Fr. Simonsen, 29. Sept. 2019
With pleasure I would like to speak with you about the message of our common Christian faith, as you show your willingness to respect my - and that of many others – faith. – Fr. Simonsen, 29. Sept. 2019
Buddhist monks set up their idols right in front of the altar and the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ and publicly worshiped them in their ceremony. In 2017 this practiced blasphemy was also carried out in Mönchengladbach’s "Youth Church St. Albertus"