DOMRADIO.DE: The new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius was sworn in in the Bundestag this Thursday. Were you surprised by Pistorius’ selection for the post?

Monsignor Rainer Schnettker (Dean of the Armed Forces): I was certainly surprised, firstly because I wasn’t involved in all these preliminary considerations and he certainly wasn’t that well known either. But we often have that surprise moments come suddenly. Who knows what it’s good for.

DOMRADIO.DE: And now it’s not a woman anymore.

Schnettker: It was also the case beforehand, that it shouldn’t be so much about quotas and other things, but that the qualification of the person is essential for the job.

DOMRADIO.DE: With Russia’s war against Ukraine, Olaf Scholz proclaimed a turning point eleven months ago. Investments of 100 billion euros should be made available for the Bundeswehr. But one has the impression that it is a turning point in slow motion. How is this mixed situation received by the servicewomen and men?

Schnettker: You always hear from the generals that it is essential for the soldiers if they are to carry out this difficult task and also want the equipment and equipment to be available. If you don’t, it’s even more dangerous. Therefore, it is time that the whole thing is implemented now.

DOMRADIO.DE: It is also about sending battle tanks from Germany to Ukraine. There was great hesitation for a long time. How do you see that as a churchman? Do you prefer to supply protective helmets or rather battle tanks?

Schnettker: If you take the comparison, the answer is of course relatively simple. Because it’s hard to defend yourself with protective helmets. You can only duck away from there. After all, the question is how it is possible to get the people of Ukraine on a path to peace.

As you can clearly see, that doesn’t seem to be possible without it. I can’t judge what is now militarily necessary, I’m not an expert. But I think it’s important that the international community supplies these weapons.

DOMRADIO.DE: You celebrate the service in Cologne Cathedral and the title of this year’s message from Pope Francis, which he wrote for the 56th World Day of Peace, is: “No one can save themselves. Starting anew after Covid 19 to explore paths of peace together.”

Schnettker: That is the message of the Pope. This also runs through again and again in the service. I believe the background of the message is what we also feel in our society, that solidarity, togetherness, must not break. This not only applies to the church, but also to society as such.

We certainly have a lot of catching up to do due to the Corona pandemic so that we can come together again socially, also from the point of view of democracy. I think that’s why the message is important and then, of course, to implement it.

DOMRADIO.DE: We met here a year ago under strict Corona conditions. It’s different now.

Schnettker : Yes, fortunately. It actually goes with what the embassy also says, that we can literally move closer together again and therefore don’t have to go it alone, as was sometimes the case during the pandemic.

Tobias Fricke conducted the interview.

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The original of this post “”Can’t do without”: Military Dean approves delivery of battle tanks” comes from DOMRADIO.DE.