Best Wishes Matthias! Matthias Wittrock leaves plan:g on the 31st of January 2021.

Forging new paths.

Overcoming para-religiousness: expert knowledge and the church need each other.

Wall poster of Dr Li Wenliang in China (12/10/1986, Beizhen; † 6/2/2020, Wuhan). The ophthalmologist made COVID-19 public. PetrVod, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Wall poster of Dr Li Wenliang in China (12/10/1986, Beizhen; † 6/2/2020, Wuhan). The ophthalmologist made COVID-19 public. PetrVod, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Bregenz, 30/12/2020. On 31/01/2021, Matthias Wittrock leaves the executive management of plan:g - Partnership for Global Health, and leaves plan:g. Matthias Wittrock has been dedicated to health in a unified world at plan:g since 2013.

Priest Edwin Matt, who is also resigning from the chair of the board of trustees, expresses his thanks and recognition for the successful human rights orientation and the work done during the last seven years: “Today, plan:g has excellent regulation. Child protection is just one example of this. Thanks to excellently documented processes and a cleverly designed IT infrastructure, plan:g is highly efficient. Even the switch from pure donation financing to co-financing through institutional donor organisations is on the right path.”

Just as Priest Matt, Matthias Wittrock desires courage for a clear positioning of the churches: “Religious communities bear responsibility for salvation and healing. This is also the mission of plan:g as a catholic institution in the health sector of developmental cooperation. All people – even those pushed to the edge of society – must have decent, dignified access to health care services of the best possible quality. This includes rights to health care facilitation, preventative care, diagnostics and treatment equally. These rights are not realized through charity, but only in the interactions of individual behaviours and collective societal change.

The fact that the mechanisms of wide-spread denial of reality and scepticism regarding large-scale vaccination projects have now been well researched fills Matthias Wittrock with hope. Space for change has therefore opened up in the midst of the COVID crisis. Because the pandemic has led to the political, economic, social and spiritual relationships between individuals and their societies being rethought. Confidence, Constraints, Complacency, Calculation and Collective responsibility determine willingness to be vaccinated (https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0208601).

In December, the departing managing director noted that these factors are also apply to handling unintentional negative effects in cooperative development – para-religious understanding of natural medicine leading to adverse effects or the instrumental-rational denial of sexual abuse in (not only church) structures, (not only) in the developmental cooperation: important health topics of the recent and surely future decennia that are centrally important to the church. Therefore, the 5-C impact model is important for the advocacy work of plan:g.

Matthias Wittrock thinks that bringing together worldly theological thought and the expertise of the medical, health and care occupations even more is necessary, so that the church can fulfil its societal responsibility for well-being and healing. With his personal reorientation, Matthias Wittrock wishes to pave the way for a future female managing director of plan:g, and for a consistent pursuit of synodal paths.

Therefore, Matthias Wittrock heartily requests that the supporters of plan:g, the amicable facilities at home and abroad, as well as church actors, to continue to generously support plan:g in a constructive and critical manner.