Not to see the wood...

From an ecclesial flyer about the use of church taxes:

The church “cultivates its forests in a sustainable and nature-protecting way ... enough space is consciously left for animals … When a tree is damaged by a storm, it is often cut away at a height of a few metres … woodpeckers are the first to arrive … wild bees, squirrels, bats, etc. follow …”

Jesus, as written by Markus: The axe is applied to the tree's roots; every tree that fails to bring satisfying fruits is chopped down and thrown into the fire. luw

Al Naqba—the catastrophe?

The immigration of several hundred thousand Jews from Europe in the previous centuries is part of the past history of the “catastrophe”, which Arabs call “Naqba”—the foundation of the state Israel. An Israeli Arab is asked what he thinks about that time.

His mother, he says, is ninety-five years old today and experienced that time. She says: “Jews are intelligent people. They brought technology, agricultural improvement, revived economy. Before they came, we had no electricity, no running water, no streets. There was nothing, nothing at all. Palestine was a poor country. Our shoes were made of old car tires. Jews have changed this country—it's a Garden of Eden today.” mas

Two countries—problem solved?

When asked about which country he would prefer to live in in that case, a Palestine Arab in Israel answers:

Even if he could become the king of Jordan, he would like to live here, in Israel, the place where he can freely speak the way he thinks. He adds empathically: All of the Israeli Arabs think that way, some of them just don't dare to tell. We were going to test that by asking our Palestine cab driver a slightly modified question: Could there be two countries one time? Definitely not—it's stated by the Koran, the Torah and the Bible. There shall be one country only. And that country must be a Muslim one. ses

To know the scene

What is it like when a couple wants to marry in a Catholic church, and thank God or whomever, a former altar boy is present at such an “event”.

The whole wedding party is happy about the one, who can show when to stand, kneel, sit or say “Amen”, the FAS reports on 9 October 2016. The humorous suggestion—remembering the glorious times of satire, when it still taught us to face reality—how he could market himself: “Rent a Catholic. Hallelujah instead of hossa. You want to have a party Catholic-style? Prayback instead of payback—I will be your entertainer, the best for religious parties. What I offer: profound knowledge of religious rituals, role model, bookings available for weddings, child communion, christening, funeral. The portfolio is extendable for protestant interests.” Question to his friends: “I bet I will be booked!” Nobody objects. pez

From a report about a journey through France

At the portal of the Gothic cathedral in Metz she is still standing: a crooked, blindfolded woman with a broken cane—unnoticed, forgotten. Who will lift her up after the unimaginable has happened?

Is it easier or is it harder than to re-establish the style of life of the old orders? The question is meaningless. It is only important that the blindfold is removed, not from the woman's face of the synagogue, but from the church's. This enables it to see the first and only love of God in another's face. bek

Germany can handle the introduction of the shock pictures

At the kiosk:

One pack of Marlboro, please



I got several ones. Do you want these with fallen out teeth?

No, I already have these

Hole in the neck?

No, got those already, too.

I got smoker's legs

Okay.  I do not have these, yet.

“I like being an import priest!”

In an interview with “Augsburger Allgemeine”, ZdK president Thomas Sternberg says import priest are no long-term solution for the lack of priests in Germany.

He probably is not a soccer fan. There, imports are absolutely normal. The same holds true for international management. No change is in sight. Why would I, an Italian-born, not be able to do a great job for the diocese Augsburg just as Carlo Ancelotti is now trying to do for FC Bayern. So that is why like being an “import priest” in the diocese of Augsburg, where I can put in my experience from home into counselling in Germany. In the episcopal ordinariate I am responsible for approximately 150 priests from the world church, and I do counselling as well. Hence, I feel obliged to lend a voice to the 150 priests from the world church. We like being here and do not feel like foreigners! Everybody talks about a globalised world. The Catholic church might even be the oldest, global company. Why would German churches not want to learn from priests from the world church? We are always available for help, also for the president of the central committee of the Catholics. My first advice to him would be: Pope Francis himself said after his election, he came from the end of the world. I doubt that Mr. Sternberg would consider him an “import pope” or use the word of “import” at all in this context! alp

Green wave uphill

A cyclist is driving heroically up the hill at 20 km/h in front of my MINI. Respect.

Nevertheless, letting me overtake him would be a nice gesture. With his riding style this seems to be completely impossible for miles. Enough time to get acquainted with his extensive self-confidence, which appears to be two lanes wide. Apparently, something more important than cycling is being conducted here. He is just about to save the world. The sweeping self-esteem in front of my bonnet is truly impressive, almost without emitting any CO2. It moves as relentlessly and tirelessly as the wind turbines of the energy revolution while being as cool and energy efficient as a triple A refrigerator. He does not care about me or any sorrows such as globalisation or industrialisation—a brilliant role model in front of my bonnet just like a LED, which shines brighter than my anger-filled head at the moment. mas

Brexit 1534 | 2016

The discussion about the “posthistoire” and the end of history, which was conducted by historians after the end of the cold war, has finally been rendered absurd:

You can not get out of history like you can leave a train that goes in the wrong direction. But you can make historical decisions. The British have made use of this.

For the Catholic Church the “Brexit” will soon be half a millennium old. Henry VIII separated the English Church from the Catholic Church by the Supreme Act of 1534. The time-lapsing slowness of the Church's history perception, which is breathtaking in relation to the history of the world, reveals continuities which are hardly perceived in political events.

Englands foreign-policy sense of security, based on the balance of power, was increasingly disturbed by the EU. The self-portraying of the German chancellor as a leader of Europe has grown to be the decisive motive for the Brexit, intensified by her demand for a Europe-wide refugee quota. This is the rather regrettable part of the story for us Germans.

This national perspective can be further expanded. Britain's insistence on deciding themselves what clearly affects them comes close to what was developed in the nineteenth-century Catholic social doctrine as a general principle of subsidiarity. ses


On the news reader of N24 on 20 June 2016: “Munich is the richest diocese”, even before of Cologne and Paderborn.

Other channels were telling sums. Significant sums! Should we become wary only because the church tax office is also taking the capital gains tax?

On 4 December 1842, John Henry Newman, still anglican back then, told his listeners: “As long as gold and silver are used by the Church to increase the praises of the Lord, it will be given and accepted; but when it is loved for it's own sake, it loses it's sanctification, and is no longer given ‘by the Lord’, but by the world.”

No further questions. ars