Caritas logo (symbolic image): Three quarters of the residents forwarded money
Photo: Martin Schutt / dpa
Many people and companies are suffering from the recent sharp rise in energy prices.
Also nursing homes.
However, how Caritas in Thuringia wanted to help caused outrage.
The Catholic home operator in the diocese of Erfurt had written to hundreds of people in need of care in facilities of the supporting company St. Elisabeth gGmbH asking them to forward the energy aid paid to them in the amount of 300 euros to him.
The letter was sent to 650 people in need of care at the beginning of December, as the sponsoring company admitted.
It was a request, according to Caritas and the supporting company.
In the letter, those in need of care were informed of the significant increases in energy costs in the facilities, as Managing Director Gundekar Fürsich announced.
Three-fourths of those contacted then forwarded the money to the company or had it debited by direct debit.
The Caritas sponsoring company operates almost half of the 20 Catholic nursing homes in the diocese of Erfurt.
The diocese distanced itself from the process that MDR had previously reported on.
"The action of Caritas was not agreed with the diocese of Erfurt and the diocese leadership," said a spokesman.
Bishop Ulrich Neymeyr was outraged.
He expects the measure to be canceled immediately and the money already paid or collected to be returned to those affected.
The SPD member of parliament Cornelia Klisch described the procedure as "absolutely unacceptable" and spoke of an "abuse of the support payments paid by the federal government".
Caritas said the repayment had already been initiated.
At the time of writing it was not yet known what relief could be expected in view of the increased energy prices, Fürsich justified the procedure.
He now regrets this.
According to a statement by the home operator, the sponsoring company "went the wrong way with this project, especially the accounting and collection by SEPA direct debit mandate".
"From today's point of view," an amicable arrangement with those in need of care would have been necessary.
A few days after the letter, the Bundestag and Bundesrat had decided on the energy price brake for private households and companies.
The Bundestag had also decided on an eight billion euro energy aid package for nursing homes and hospitals.
The one-off energy allowance for pensioners of 300 euros was granted in mid-December.
A total of 20 nursing homes for the elderly belong to Caritas in the Diocese of Erfurt, for which there are other sponsoring companies.
There were no such events there, said a spokesman for the association.
The Thuringian Ministry of Social Affairs said that no other cases were known nationwide.