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Bethel College professor to speak on role of Catholic Church in German Democratic Republic

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -Bethel College German professor Merle Schlabaugh will speak on "The Unique Role of the Roman Catholic Church in the German Democratic Republic" at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 10 [ UPDATE: the lecture has been moved to March 3 ] in the Administration Building Chapel at Bethel College, North Newton. The lecture is part of the 2002-03 Faculty Seminar series at the college. Admission is free and open to the public. The historical sketch will focus on the Catholic Church in East Germany, particularly the church's role following World War II and continuing until the demonstrations in 1989.

"I was intrigued that the Catholic Church was so quiet," Schlabaugh says. "At a time when state security infiltrated Protestant life because Protestants were vocal, Catholics withdrew, and I wanted to know why."

During a recent sabbatical to Germany, Schlabaugh studied the subject and conducted interviews. He gathered some information from a retired professor in East Germany, who was also interested in the church's response.

Funding for the Faculty Seminar series at Bethel College is provided in part by the Earl and Meta Leisy Eymann Endowment.

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