Officials from the Catholic Church and Germany's main Protestant faiths said they were worried the economic downturn – caused by the selfishness of a privileged few – could increase the suffering of many people around the world.
“I'm concerned in particular about the growing numbers lining up at soup kitchens, those hoping for a meal at a poorhouse because they simply can't afford anything else,” said Bishop Wolfgang Huber, head of the Evangelical Church in Germany.
He said he hoped people would cease to worship money and called for people to show more solidarity with those in need.
The head of the Catholic Conference of Bishops in Germany, Robert Zollitsch, questioned society's priorities in the wake of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression during a sermon in Freiburg. He asked rhetorically why billions of euros in taxpayer money can quickly be found to bolster the ailing financial system yet it's seemingly impossible to raise funding for Germany's children and schools.
The Protestant bishop of Hannover, Margot Käßmann, echoed those sentiments: “Billions for bank bailouts. Where did this money come from? Would it not be better used for nursing care, or to raise Hartz IV (welfare benefits), or for families?”
Munich's Archbishop Reinhard Marx even warned that an economic system that was no longer oriented on people destroyed the fundamental fabric of society.