• Germany's news in English
 

'I liked the Polish pope better'

The Local · 22 Sep 2011, 07:33

Published: 22 Sep 2011 07:33 GMT+02:00

The German pontiff will spend from September 22 to 25 in his homeland – his first official trip since becoming the head of the Catholic Church in 2005. Highlights will include a speech to the German parliament and mass for a crowd of over 70,000 at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.

Excited at first by the prospect of having a pope hail from Bavaria, Germans have since cooled considerably to the man formerly known as Joseph Ratzinger in the wake of a massive child abuse scandal at Catholic institutions in Germany.

A Forsa polling group survey showed only four percent of German said the visit was very important to them, 10 percent said it was rather important, 31 percent said it was not really important to them, while 55 percent said it was not important at all.

The Local hit the Berlin streets to ask average Germans what they thought of the pope's trip to Germany.

Ingrid Straßbourg, 64, retired engineer

“I don’t have anything against it. There are also huge ceremonies and to-dos when presidents and others come. (The pope) is also a representative for the people. It should be allowed. But it’s not important that he’s German. The nationality doesn’t matter. I liked the (last) Polish pope better.”

Klaus Peter Schultz, 62, real estate agent

“For those who belong to the Catholic Church, it’s a huge event. But it’s also an inordinate waste of money. It’s hard to believe that it will be spent just like that. If he were really so loved and honoured, then that would somehow work, but he must be doing enough wrong to make all the security measures necessary. And for that sum of money – I can’t understand that.”

Michael Köster, 28, works in a book shop

“I didn’t even know (the pope) was coming. It doesn’t really matter whether he comes or not. They spend a lot for others, too. It’s just a normal state visit.”

Anita Rügner, 74, retired

“I was close to him once in Italy. He seemed very likeable, but he’s already so old for his job. We’ll have to see what (his visit) is like. I think it’s a good idea, but the police need to look after him.”

Olga Dembitskaya, 32, student

“Actually it’s interesting that (the pope) can visit different countries and cities, but I’m not really interested in it. I think it’s good and a lot of Germans might be interested to see him personally, only I don’t know if they’ll be able to with all of the blocked streets and (security). I think the money could be used in other ways. There are other areas that are better to sponsor and invest money in. Of course it might be interesting to see him in the Vatican but not in Germany.”

Jörgen Janev, 48, unemployed

“It doesn’t matter to me at all. It’s all going to be very expensive. It’s expensive for the state. We don’t have any money anyway, and now (the state) has to pay for this.”

With reporting by Erin Huggins

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

20:28 September 25, 2011 by kr77
If people complain about the cost of this visit, they should really look at the billions that are paid to the Catholic church in Germany by all Germans, in addition to the church tax.
Today's headlines
Champions League
Bayern get lucky in Champs League draw
FC Barcelona' Sports Manager Andoni Zubizarreta draws FC Bayern Munich during the draw ceremony for the UEFA Champions League group stage on Thursday. Photo: DPA

Bayern get lucky in Champs League draw

2 hours ago

Bundesliga titans Bayern Munich were celebrating on Thursday evening after a Champions League draw that made them clear favourites in their group. Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Mönchengladbach weren't so lucky.

Germans still love couch and TV in their free time
Sitting front of the TV - Germany's favourite pastime. Photo: DPA

Germans still love couch and TV in their free time

17 hours ago

A new study shows that Germans' best-loved activity is sitting in front of the idiot box - and when they're not doing that they're probably slumped in front of a computer.

This Week in History
The day that 'sealed East Germany's fate'
At 3am on August 23rd, MPs applauded as the People's Chamber set a date for reunification. Photo: DPA

The day that 'sealed East Germany's fate'

17 hours ago

After the Berlin Wall was destroyed in 1989, East and West Germany still had a long way to go before they could become one nation. But in August 1990, the date was finally set for the birth of reunified Germany.

Migrant crisis
Merkel: Austria tragedy a ‘warning’ for Europe
Forensic experts investigate a truck in which refugees were found dead as it stands by the Autobahn in Austria. Photo: DPA.

Merkel: Austria tragedy a ‘warning’ for Europe

17 hours ago

The "horrible" discovery on Thursday of between 20 and 50 dead migrants on a truck in Austria is a warning to Europe to get to grips with the migrant crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday. Other leading German politicians laid out their plans for handling the influx of refugees.

Facebook to meet gov on Internet hate-mongering
Are Facebook keeping a close enough eye on hate speech? Photo: DPA

Facebook to meet gov on Internet hate-mongering

23 hours ago

Update: Facebook on Thursday accepted an invitation from Germany's justice minister to discuss doing more to purge the social network of racist posts after widespread complaints from users.

Berlin orchestra angers Israel with Iran concert
Renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim is under attack by Israel's government. Photo: DPA

Berlin orchestra angers Israel with Iran concert

19 hours ago

Israeli-Argentinian conductor Daniel Barenboim is hoping to take one of Germany's top orchestras to Iran to perform a concert there, the Berlin State Opera said Thursday, drawing angry protests from Israel.

Netzpolitik Affair
Merkel's office 'hid knowledge of probe'
The Chancellery. Photo: Heinz Albers

Merkel's office 'hid knowledge of probe'

21 hours ago

After digital rights blog Netzpolitik revealed that state prosecutors were investigating two of its journalists for treason, Chancellor Angela Merkel's office reacted with shock. Now Spiegel reports that the Chancellery knew about the investigation in April.

Internet surveillance
Spies 'traded Germans' data for US software'
Photo: DPA

Spies 'traded Germans' data for US software'

21 hours ago

Media reports on Thursday alleged that German spies traded access to information about the country to the US National Security Agency (NSA) in exchange for surveillance software.

Man City snap up De Bruyne for €80 million
Kevin De Bruyne. Photo: DPA

Man City snap up De Bruyne for €80 million

1 day ago

Manchester City have signed one of the stars of last season's Bundesliga campaign. But he didn't come cheap.

NATO troops join in large German training exercise
NATO paratroopers training in Romania on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

NATO troops join in large German training exercise

1 day ago

More than 1,000 NATO paratroopers jumped from aircraft above Germany on Wednesday in one of the alliance's largest airborne training exercises in Europe since the Cold War ended, the US army said.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
Weekend of anti-refugee violence shocks Germany
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,072
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd