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Germany

The Double Lives – And Second Lives – Of Gay Priests

Peter Priller was a Catholic town chaplain in Germany until he fell in love with a male parishioner, and was subsequently excommunicated. Though many closeted gay Catholic priests live in “secret societies,” Priller says there are other choices.

Members of the Rosa Alter group at a rally in Germany
Members of the Rosa Alter group at a rally in Germany
Ingrid Hügenell

MUNICH -- Peter Priller is a priest. He's also gay. For a long time he assumed he could reconcile the two by leading a celibate life. So in 1991 he was ordained and became a chaplain in the Bavarian town of Bad Tölz. Soon after, however, he realized it just wasn't going to work.

"I was conducting 11 o'clock mass one morning when I noticed this guy with a mustache," he says, laughing wistfully. The man was Josef Hanfstängl, who became the young chaplain's life partner in 1992. They were still together when Hanfstängl died in 2009.

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Work In Progress

Work → In Progress: The Ripples Of Ukraine War On The World Of Work

Jobs for Ukrainian refugees, too busy to quit in Hong Kong, the rise of 'asynchronous' work....and more

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the working world — still recovering from the global pandemic, no less — was dealt a sizeable blow, from ripple effects of unemployment to supply chain disruptions to office campaigns to support the victims of the war.

Of course, the most immediate impact of the war is inside Ukraine itself, which UN News estimates has lost 4.8 million jobs. The immediate impact has also been felt across the global economy, as energy embargoes and grain blockades have undermined the most basic elements of life. Meanwhile, the influx of refugees has put newfound pressure on labor markets in certain countries.

But as the war unfolds before us on our screens, business in Western countries have also felt compelled to get involved, often with spontaneous initiatives to offer help. In the UK, for example, several companies have put pressure on the government to make it easier on refugees, and have offered jobs themselves to Ukrainian refugees. Some are going even further by offering relocation and other assistance.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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