• 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

As Pope Benedict XVI arrives for an official four-day visit to Germany on Thursday, The Local asked the opinion of average people on the street for the first instalment of our new Zeitgeist series.

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
Minister's jet grounded twice in a month
Foreign Minister Steinmeier reboards his plane after the delay. Photo: DPA

Minister's jet grounded twice in a month

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had to wait for two hours on a runway on Wednesday night due to a technical glitch on his plane - the second problem the jet has had in a month. READ () »

German of the Week
'It's important people are confronted with cancer'
Photo: Marina Proksch-Park

'It's important people are confronted with cancer'

Images of children with cancer often evoke weakness and defeat. But Marina Proksch-Park shows them enjoying life. The photographer who has sparked an online campaign with her pictures is The Local's German of the Week. READ () »

CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo
Yasar Calik. Photo: Facebook/Yasar Calik

CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo

A Christian Democrat (CDU) town council candidate has apologized and withdrawn campaign bags on which he had printed a new party logo where the Turkish crescent appeared inside the "C" for Christian. READ () »

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand
Lufthansa's daughter company Germanwings is one of the faster-growing budget airlines in Germany. Photo: DPA

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand

Budget airlines are expanding their range of routes from Germany but ticket prices are climbing along with them, a report from the German Aeronautics Centre (DLR) revealed on Thursday. READ () »

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened
Bernie Ecclestone with his lawyers in a Munich court on Thursday morning. Photo: DPA

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened

UPDATE: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone went on trial in Germany on Thursday, denying charges of bribery that threaten to land the British billionaire in jail. READ () »

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'
Photo: DPA

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'

A revamped version of European student exchange programme Erasmus officially launched in Berlin on Thursday with Germany's education minister praising the scheme as a Europe-wide “success story”. READ () »

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid
Photo: DPA

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid

A German couple has lost their legal fight to get a refund for a Turkish holiday which they said was ruined by the calls to prayer from a nearby mosque. It is just one of a series of court claims by picky German tourists. READ () »

Germany halts arms sales to Russia
Russian troops surround a Ukrainian base in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany halts arms sales to Russia

Germany has stopped selling arms to Russia due to the current “political situation”, according to reports on Thursday. The sale of military equipment to Russia by German firms has been criticized by the country’s Nato allies. READ () »

Truck kills man lying in middle of road
Photo: DPA

Truck kills man lying in middle of road

Police were searching for witnesses on Wednesday morning following a mysterious road accident in which a 25-year-old man was killed as he lay in the middle of the road. READ () »

Where are Germany's smartest towns?
Germany's cleverest town. Photo: DPA

Where are Germany's smartest towns?

A brain training website released scores on Wednesday showing which German towns performed best and worst in a range of cognitive tests - with some surprising results. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
National
Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Photo: DPA
National
Girls find live ammunition in Easter bonfire
Photo: Facebook/screenshot
Berlin
Germany's most viral advert for an apartment?
Gallery
11 things you need to know about German beer
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

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

3,077
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd