07 March 2016, The Tablet

Catholic priest resigns after five race-related death threats during year of abuse

African-born German citizen forced out of Munich parish after abuse from Christian democrats

An Afro-German parish priest has resigned from his parish in Munich after receiving five racist death threats and being stalked.

To the great surprise and dismay of his parishioners, Fr Olivier Ndjimbi-Tshiende, parish priest of Zorneding on the outskirts of Munich, announced on Sunday 6 March, that he would be resigning after Easter.

While the Munich archdiocese deplored the fact that he was resigning, it declared that it was standing by Ndjimbi-Tshiende and could understand his decision.

The 66-year-old priest from the Congo, who studied in Germany in the early 1990s, has a doctorate in philosophy from Munich University and is a German citizen. For nearly a year he has been exposed to racist abuse from local members of the Christian Social Union, which is the coalition partner of Angela Merkel’s Government.

Two CSU members who spoke particularly hatefully to the local press about the priest using racist language have since been forced to resign.

Bernhard Keller, a spokesman for the Munich archdiocese, told the press that he did not know of a similar case of racism against a foreign-born priest. As a rule they were very well received in archdiocesan parishes and quickly made friends locally.



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