For Christian Easter, church fairs have to be canceled due to the Corona crisis. Some readers find this disproportionate, a reader encourages registration lists for short, consecutive church visits on a small scale. A reader writes about the effects of blessings in the Bible.
On “Safer than in any supermarket”, April 6 and “Shock Prayers” from 28/29. March:
Preaching for moderation
How about if the churches were to get a little creative and get used to the issues of the time? Imagine a priest standing on the stairs in front of his church on Sunday morning with the sign “Preaching strike for the climate”. In front of him there is a relaxed group of listeners at a reasonable distance. He then gives an open air speech on “Subdue the earth, but don’t overdo it!” The topic fits many of our current problems, from the conflict between maximizing profits and basic health care to the topics of factory farming, limitless globalization, economic egoism, or even the exploitation of nature. Actually, we humans have exaggerated almost everything that is often not that bad when used in moderation.
It is purely by chance that someone reports on the open-air sermon in the press. And on the following Sunday there may be copies of this action from other pastors, other churches, other denominations? Suddenly, a wide variety of faith communities come together and into the media perception and even become part of the solution. This idea would be great for us and for the earth, which should no longer be ruthlessly subjugated? One insight now unites us: In the future, nothing more to be exaggerated. Because that goes backwards, as you can see.
Otto Große Mühl, Bramsche
Short fairs in stages
Finally, someone has the courage to question the proportionality of justified and sensible compliance with infection control to fundamental prohibitions that affect essential areas of our lives. The SZ article on the “Freundeskreis St. Philipp Neri” rightly points out that church services at the highest feasts of the church year in the usually high and large rooms of churches with a sensible organization would be entirely possible and that the conditions in supermarkets, even public buildings such as post offices can often be far more problematic.
Lists could be posted on the Internet and at the church door, in which worshipers can only register in such small numbers that the distance rules are observed. Shorter services, offered several times in a row, would be conceivable. The priest at the altar or in the pulpit is protected, as is the organist in the gallery on the organ.
The response given to me by the church authorities in response to such inquiries: in contrast to religious services and visits by pastors at the bedside of the seriously ill and dying, the provision of food and visits to the doctor are vital – this assessment seems to me to be questionable and essential with regard to the essential tasks of our churches falling short.
Helga Müller-Bardorff, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Church should support the state
With all the impressions of the past weeks and months, I notice that we have hardly seen one: the church! Of course, the social commitment of the churches has inevitably almost come to a standstill as a result of the contact restrictions, but in this case I am talking less about services or other church and charitable events, but about financial aid. Why, for example, does the Catholic Church, in which individual dioceses such as Cologne or Munich-Freising each have a balance sheet capital of up to four billion euros, behave so quietly in these times of crisis? Why doesn’t the Church directly support the state in its comprehensive measures at a time when it should be challenged more than ever? Where is the church at this time of crisis? Perhaps I am doing the Church wrong or the reporting does not do justice to the church measures in the background, but the only thing that has been heard from the Catholic Church in recent weeks has been a call to prayer and the “Urbi et orbi” blessing of the Pope.
Dr. Stefanie Rodler, Valley
Lawsuits damage reputation
The lawsuits against the ban on public services are deeply annoying to me. We in hospital and nursing home chaplains are also in demand in secular houses, are appointed to ethics committees, we are trusted that we act responsibly. What mistrust will I have to expect in the future from a doctor or nurse who does not know me personally but who has heard of “these Catholics” and – I could not blame it – associate myself with them. Once again, people who feel particularly Catholic are harming my church.
Josef Silbermann, pastor, Munich
Powerful wishes of the Bible
The Latin blessing speech is often interpreted as benedictio, as mentioned in “Prayers of the Day”. But Greek (eulogia) and Hebrew (bracha) contexts go much further. What is meant is a comprehensive expression of appreciation. Whoever blesses someone gives him dignity, prestige and beauty. Theologian Fulbert Steffensky emphasized that with the blessing we pass on something, give away something that does not belong to us. The shine over other people belongs to this and the giving God. But we recognize the need for approval, for reaffirmation. This is also a valuable concession for the exhausted nurse, which should be followed by social and tariff policy consequences.
Numerous such algorithms are biblically documented. In the first psalm, for example, the adolescent is called an “aschre ha-isch” (Happy the man!): The efficient housewife is praised because “Strength and dignity are her robe and she will laugh the next day” (Book of Proverbs 31, 25 ). Those who are honored in this way need not hope for a miracle. Man himself is the miracle when he makes peace, practices meekness, promotes justice, suffers persecution. Blessings are not purposeless and unintentional good wishes, but powerful statements that will work, even beyond our narrow horizon.
Wolfgang Piechota, Bad Kreuznach