The church in Germany
- There was an article in "Der Spiegel" on-line edition of July 1, 2005,
entitled "Das soll uns eine Leere sein!" It's a pun (rare in the German
language) which makes fun of empty German churches and learning something
from that experience ("Leere" means "emptiness," whereas "Lehre" means
[learning a] "lesson").
You can access the full original text of the article (in German only) at:
I will only paraphrase and summarize the salient points of the contents here:
Many people still visit churches, some just to find a place of quietness
and reflection, but the masses have stayed away from religious
services. The commission for Liturgy of the German Conference of Bishops
thinks that churches ought to be re-constructed so that they don't look so
empty by reducing the number of pews so that the lack of attendees does not
become so obvious to the faithful. Also, breaking down large churches into
smaller rooms may accomplish the same. Seems to me that the church
business is learning from real business and politicians. For meetings, use
a small room so that the audience appears to be overflowing to the press!
Some parts of large churches could be divided off by glass panels,
wrought-iron grills, or chiprock walls and used as storage rooms. If the
faithful complain, just tell them it's their own fault because they no
longer come to mass in masses.
The most radical way to solve the "problem of the empty church" that was
discussed was the demolishing of large churches and replacing them with
smaller buildings. There was also an idea to rebuild some churches by
partial demolition and restructuring of the remains.
To emphasize the humor in all this, I will translate the final paragraph of
the article here:
<<Perhaps this is only a confessional problem: It is the Catholics that
stay away. The recommendations of the working group for church
architecture and sacred art of the Commission for Liturgy referred to the
horrendous vacuum represented by the 15% of sad Pope-followers who still
attend church. Nobody can touch me. I am a Protestant. My church
Food for thought!
H. E. (Ernie) Schreiber
EUNACOM Secular Journal: http://eunacom.net
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