Predicting a Bittersweet Homecoming…

…as noted in a dismal little Der Spiegel article.

When the German Pope Returns Home, He’ll Find an Unchristian Land
When Pope Benedict XVI lands in Cologne for World Youth Day, he will be arriving in a country that has become foreign to him. The churches are empty, the politicians are non-believers and the people in the east are complete strangers to God. And now organizers of the biggest religious festival of the post-war era plan to turn it into a launching pad for a new religious awareness…
…The German pope’s first trip abroad is essentially a homecoming to a strange land, a country in which more people enter training programs to become orthopaedic shoemakers and equestrian managers than to join the Catholic clergy; a country in which just eight percent of the population in a city like Magdeburg, in the former East Germany, has been baptized…

…Most Germans have developed their own private concept of faith. For them, the Big Bang has replaced the myth of creation, while catastrophic climate change is their new apocalypse. And depending on where they are in life, they enjoy small servings of ecstasy in the form of sex & drugs & rock ‘n’ roll or a concert subscription for two. At best, they pray on Wednesdays and Sundays, when the lottery numbers are announced. Internet chat forums are the new confessional, and everyone has his own homemade answer to the question of spirituality: a little Jesus, a big dose of career and, when in doubt, a deep gaze into their children’s eyes. Indeed, many Germans are likely to view the World Youth Day with the indifference reserved for a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

One Response to “Predicting a Bittersweet Homecoming…”

  1. NJ Sue says:

    Interesting article. It would be great if the Pope could get people in his own country to consider Christianity as something more than an historical or cultural relic, although this piece does not seem very optimistic about that possibility.

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