Home » Level-headed admonisher and convinced Catholic: Alois Glück has died | Sunday paper

Level-headed admonisher and convinced Catholic: Alois Glück has died | Sunday paper

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Level-headed admonisher and convinced Catholic: Alois Glück has died |  Sunday paper

When Alois Glück finally withdrew from the public eye at the end of 2015, he wanted to finally implement what he had already planned in 2008 after leaving the state parliament: more time for his wife, children, grandchildren and his great hobby, mountaineering. After 38 years in state politics, only six more were added as President of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK).

On Monday morning, the CSU politician and long-time state parliament president died in a Munich clinic at the age of 84. State Parliament President Ilse AIgner (CSU) praised Glück as a pioneer in social and environmental policy.

Alois Glück: picture-perfect career as a politician

Glück was born in 1940 in Hörzing, Upper Bavaria (Traunstein district). At first there was little to suggest that the farmer’s boy would be a fixture in the CSU and in Bavarian politics for decades to come. At the age of 17, he took over his parents’ farm – his father was killed in the Second World War – and went to agricultural school. In the 1960s there was a change of direction: in 1964, Glück became state secretary of the Catholic Rural Youth of Bavaria, and in 1970 he entered the Bavarian state parliament for the CSU, thereby laying the foundation for a picture-perfect political career.

Prime Minister Franz Josef Strauß (CSU) made him State Secretary, in 1988 Glück became chairman of the CSU state parliamentary group, and in 2003 he became president of the state parliament. Only the Prime Minister post is missing from the collection. But the down-to-earth Glück in the rather casual CSU was probably too level-headed for that. He placed more emphasis on the both/and. Black and white thinking or top dog behavior were alien to him. It was not for nothing that he was often referred to as the “walking mediation committee”. This basic attitude earned him respect not only within his own party, but also among his political opponents.

Happiness demanded relaxation of celibacy

However, luck sometimes became clear and annoyed opponents and colleagues alike. Shortly after taking office as president of the ZdK – the most important lay organization of Catholics in Germany – Glück called for a relaxation of celibacy. In doing so, he really annoyed the then Bishop of Augsburg, Walter Mixa, who later had to resign because of allegations of beatings and embezzlement. At the time, Mixa ranted noticeably angrily as to whether Glück had any “other worries” than “starting up” a new debate about the Catholic topic of constant irritability.

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Breaking the fence – that in itself didn’t fit with prudent luck. The increasing shortage of priests worried him, which is why married deacons should also be allowed to be ordained priests. The participation of women and lay people should also be strengthened, said Glück long before the “Synodal Path”.

“I see in our church too much fear of the modern world, too much defensiveness, too much tendency to stay in our own safe spaces,”

Luck once said. As President of the ZdK, he had a significant impact on the Catholic Days in Mannheim (2012) and Regensburg (2014).

Glück also gave words of warning towards the Protestant Church: In 2013, Glück warned Protestants against being too self-sufficient. “We should actually do this together!” He had no fear of contact with the Protestant Church: he was president of the Second Ecumenical Church Congress in Munich in 2010. He got on well with the Bavarian model Protestant Günther Beckstein, also a CSU veteran and long-time church parliamentarian.

Against euthanasia, for unborn life

Above all, Glück, who has a severely disabled son, was concerned with big existential questions. For example, he strictly rejected organized euthanasia. He also campaigned for unborn life. Glück was a co-founder of the pregnancy advice association “Donum Vitae”. Preimplantation diagnosis (PGD), which is primarily used to detect disabilities or hereditary diseases in the embryo, was a thorn in his side. People should not differentiate between those worth living and those not worth living, Glück warned:

“Faith reminds us that we as humans are not the final authority.”

State Parliament President Aigner paid tribute to Glück, who had campaigned for “sustainable development of rural areas and at the same time the protection of nature”. Due to his straightforward and balancing nature, he was “always a sought-after mediator” when it came to bringing together different opinions and views into a good compromise: “He was a reconciler who was never concerned about himself, but always with clever arguments and foresight.” A book of condolence for Glück will be laid out in the Friedrich-Bürklein Hall of the Bavarian State Parliament.

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