Bishop From Nowosibirsk Visits
Bischof von Nowosibirsk zu Besuch
"Bishop From Nowosibirsk Visits." Volk auf dem Weg, November 1993, 8.
Translation from German to English by Ingeborg Wallner
Smith, Western Springs, Illionois
Joseph Weth, Bishop of the diocese of Siberia, headquartered Nowosibirsk,
in extent the largest diocese in the world, spent the beginning of
October as guest of the Russian-Germans in Baden-Württemberg.
While there he took part, among other activities, in the pilgrimage
of the Russian-Germans, visited homes of resettlers and baptized and
confirmed his fellow countrymen. Bishop Joseph expressed skepticism
about settlement efforts of the Russian-Germans in the former Soviet
Union, even though they were supported by Baden-Württemberg via
St. Petersburg with contributions in the millions. Neither with the
Germans on the Volga nor in Ukraine do these projects have good prospects,
the bishop made clear during a conversation with Minister-president,
Erwin Teufel in the Baden-Württemberg ministry. After endless
expulsions and suffering almost all of his countrymen had only the
wish, as far as possible without detours, to resettle directly to
“The people pay attention to the bishop in almost everything,
not only in the matter of the resettlers,” explained Bishop
Werth. Even the prospect, that after the change in Russia, living
conditions will probably have shown some improvement in a few years
– also through great efforts of the church – does not
deter the Germans from returning to the land of their forefathers.
Radical demands in Germany to stop any settlement from abroad only
intensify the emigration pressure on the Russian-Germans. In agreement
with Erwin Reufel he expressed himself in favor of leaving the door
Since the change in Russia, through the help of the world church
the number of priest in Joseph Werth’s diocese in Siberia
has risen from four to forty. He asked Bishop Walter Kasper, the
Bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, for a Caritas professional to build
up a Baritas in Sibera. Among the greatest difficulties in Siberia
at the present time he includes, that even now, as everywhere in
Russia, the most rigid communists are in charge, particularly in
the villages. However, in spited of the dismissal of the “Prince
of the Province” Mucha by President Yeltsin, Siberia is among
the most peaceful regions.
At this time Bishop Werth is having a children’s home for
fifty orphans built, and on August 6, 1994 he will dedicate the
new cathedral that is still under construction.
After: KNA Stuttgart
Our appreciation is extended to Ingeborg Smith for
translation of this article.
to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested
by contacting Michael