• Germany edition
 
The Local Zeitgeist
'I liked the Polish pope better'
Photo: DPA

'I liked the Polish pope better'

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

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Man narrowly escapes unwelcome drop-in
Emergency services use a crane to lift the fallen crane in Cologne. Photo: DPA

Man narrowly escapes unwelcome drop-in

A Cologne resident was pinned to his bed after a 40-metre construction crane toppled onto his home early on Friday. READ  

Pilots' strike grounds 116 flights
Passengers in Hannover check departure boards showing cancelled Germanwings flights. Photo: DPA

Pilots' strike grounds 116 flights

UPDATE: A spokesman for pilots' union Cockpit said that strike action may continue over the weekend after 116 flights and up to 15,000 passengers of Lufthansa subsidiary Germanwings were grounded on Friday. READ  

'Further sanctions' could hit Russia, says Merkel
Merkel looking grave at Thursday's West Balkan conference in Berlin. Photo: DPA

'Further sanctions' could hit Russia, says Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that European leaders will discuss the worsening Ukraine crisis and possible further sanctions against Russia at a weekend summit. READ  

UK-Germany rivalries live again in Champs League
Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm with fellow World Cup champion Bastian Schweinsteiger. Photo: DPA

UK-Germany rivalries live again in Champs League

The 2014-15 Champions League draw yesterday brought déjà-vu for English and German clubs as old opponents found themselves facing off once again. READ  

German of the Week
Animal activist fights off murder threats
Photo: DPA

Animal activist fights off murder threats

Friedrich Mülln has been dragged through the courts and threatened with murder during his years of animal rights activism. His latest court case was in Munich this week but he tells The Local he has no plans to give up the fight. READ  

Has Merkel's Russia policy failed?
A Russian tank at a military parade in Moscow in May. Photo: DPA

Has Merkel's Russia policy failed?

A foreign policy expert in Chancellor Angela Merkel's own party said on Thursday Russia was fighting a "war" in Ukraine. Despite dozens of phone calls to President Vladimir Putin, Merkel's policy of restraint seems to have completely failed. READ  

Arson attack causes Berlin train chaos
Passengers look at messages about the damage this morning at Ostkreuz. Photo: DPA

Arson attack causes Berlin train chaos

Travellers in southeast Berlin can expect disruption on the S-Bahn until Sunday morning after an arson attack damaged a cable duct on Thursday morning, affecting services on six lines. READ  

Germany posts weaker job figures
Photo: DPA

Germany posts weaker job figures

Unemployment in Germany remained steady in August, official data showed on Thursday, as clouds continue to build over Europe's biggest economy and the eurozone as a whole. READ  

Police suspect arsonists were behind mosque fire
The facade of the Mevlana mosque was badly damaged by smoke from the fire. Photo: DPA

Police suspect arsonists were behind mosque fire

UPDATE: Investigators now believe a fire which damaged a mosque in Berlin earlier in August was started deliberately. READ  

Berlin struggles to sell former Goebbels villa
The Haus am Bogensee. Photo: DPA

Berlin struggles to sell former Goebbels villa

After two failed attempts, Berlin is trying again to sell the sprawling estate and villa once known as Joseph Goebbels' illicit love nest, but so far, nobody's buying. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
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

3,707
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd