Schlagwort-Archive: church

Theology of the Chapel Veil

Now that I probably have your attention again, I thought I could provide a link to a text I found interesting.

This is one of the topics I am juggling around in my mind for months now. Tell me what you think about it.

I still haven’t come to any kind of conclusion. There are both arguments I find convincing that are in favor of wearing a headcover in Church/ in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and arguments that I find convincing that say it isn’t neccessary/important/ appropriate. So any kind of input is welcome. I won’t neccessarily agree with you, but learning what others think always help me to find my own position, because I notice that I agree or disagree on some points.

Here you go: Theology of the Chapel Veil


Elections I

In june it is election time, there’s the election for the European parliament and also, at least where I live, regional elections. And I have a problem. I have no idea what party to vote for. I won’t vote right-wing and I won’t vote left-wing, the SPD is too left-wing already and the CDU just totally lost their profile as a christian party. The liberals (not liberal in the american sense! ) are what I would favour when it comes to economy but other than that…

Today I was at a conference organized by the liberals with Prof. Dr. Dr. Hasenhüttl (for those who can read german and don’t know him, here’s the wiki, for everyone else: he is a theologican and suspended priest who wants the celibacy of the priests to be abolished, who invited non-catholics to receive the Eucharist during a „service in catholic rite“ in a protestant church with more than 2000 people taking part and is convinced that core beliefs of christianity/catholicism like the resurrection are „symbols“…well, you get what kind of guy he is by now. Some kind of Uta Ranke-Heinemann, male version.)

What can I say…the majority of the audience agreed with him on all the points where I strictly disagree, and that same party also was in favor of a proposition to the European Parliament concerning our pope Benedicts viewpoint on condoms- they see this viewpoint as a violation of human rights. Yeah. Right.

So, no right wingers for me, no socialdemocrats, greens or „post“communists either, no CDU or FDP.

What else is there?

Day of Decision

Tomorrow, Sunday 25th of April 2009 is an important day, at least for Christians in Germany and, more specifically, in Berlin. It is the day of the referendum about wether pupils and their parents have the free choice between ethics lessons (in theory neutral, in practice often biased or even openly hostile towards Christianity…I still remember very well what some teachers told us in other subject taught at public schools, and I also know what kind of pupils was enthusiastic about „neutral“ ethics lessons and was thinking about studying to become a teacher for that subject…) and religious instruction (let me repeat it: free choice between those possibilities. No one wants to force all children to religious instructions, school prayer or anything like that! ) on the one side and mandatory biased neutral ethics lessons with the possibility to attend extra lessons for religious instruction.

There might be some people who think that this isn’t really a big issue as long as it is possible to attend those 2 extra hours per week. Well. It still is possible. For how long?

Why is there no free choice between ethics and religion? If I was still in school or already had a child attending school in Berlin, why should I, go or sent my child to lessons that are hostile to my Church despite the states asserted neutrality when it comes to religion and philosophies of life in general?

My own experience with schools in Berlin ended in 2002 when I got my university-entrance diploma, the Abitur, after 13 years of going to school in Berlin, capital of Germany, both in the western part of the city and the eastern, post-communist part (we moved there about 4 years after the reunification). In the western part, during my first years at primary school, there never was a problem. Protestant children went to Protestant religious instruction (so did I, as a Protestant child at that time), the Catholics went to Catholic religious instruction, non-christian children, like the Muslims we had in our class or the (very few) children who where raised agnostic or atheist had the possibility to spend those two hours doing something fun like painting or playing or could attend remedial teaching lessons, one boy insisted on taking part in our Protestant lessons despite his mothers will to keep him away from anything religious (what we did was also mostly play and paint, but by doing this, we learned a lot). Free choice for every child. Then, in the two schools in the eastern part that I attended, one primary, one grammar school, the three that my brother attended (same primary school, but another grammar school before he attended the same school as I did) and from what friends told me, things were different.

It started in primary school where the school administration, responsible for the class schedule, did its best to choose a time for the (optional) religious instruction that was the least attractive one. 3 hours after the last regular lesson. Then, in grammar school, things got worse. The timetable was a bit better, but a lot of colleagues wouldn’t allow the religious instructions teacher to present himself for 5 minutes in the first week of the year (but other teachers who wanted to present their after-school clubs got much more than the 5 minutes the religious instruction teacher asked for…). During lessons (in my case especially during history lessons) there were teachers making constant remarks about all the „horrible crimes“ of the Church, about how outdated a belief was, that there was no scientific proof for Gods existence and therefore the faithful would be ignorant and so on.

At that time, there was the regular schedule and the free choice to stay 2 more hours per week for religious instructions.

Now, we have the regular schedule plus ethics lessons which weren’t compulsory before 2006 and the possibility to have extra religious instruction lessons (in the afternoon.) Pupils already spent very much time in school, have extracurricular activites like sports, instrument lessons, need time for homework and learning and probably would like to see their families and friends not only for 10 minutes a day. Time is a scarce ressource even for pupils at grammar schools in Berlin.

I was discussing this shortly with my mum. It seems like there’s currently a rather anti-Christianity attitude in Berlin, which she notices not only when talking to people she knows, but also from official sides, especially the current senate (socialdemocrats and socialists/the former communist party of the GDR. One of their members, Petra Pau, apparently had a press release that accusing the Catholic Church as well as the Protestants of  starting a crusade…well, in my books dedicating tax payers money to get free choice between ethics and religion away deserves that term, too…) My mother has no idea how this referendum will end; leftists are usually very good in mobilizing people to vote, and as my mum sadly noticed, there’s a high chance that religion will lose that fight.

I hope she’s wrong.

(links in that post in german)

Dominica in albis or: Quasimodogeniti

That’s today. This Sunday is the Octave Day of Easter, also sometimes referred to as Low Sunday (often explained as of lesser importance than Easter, but probably the „Low“ is just a corruption of „Laudes“ (which means praises and is the first word of this Sundays, and since 1970 officially Second Sunday of Easter. Also called St. Thomas Sunday:

19 In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‚Peace be with you,‘

20 and, after saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord,

21 and he said to them again, ‚Peace be with you. ‚As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.‘

22 After saying this he breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit.

23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.

24 Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.

25 So the other disciples said to him, ‚We have seen the Lord,‘ but he answered, ‚Unless I can see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.‘

26 Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‚Peace be with you,‘ he said.

27 Then he spoke to Thomas, ‚Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving any more but believe.‘

28 Thomas replied, ‚My Lord and my God!‘

29 Jesus said to him: You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.

(John 20:19-29, source: New Jerusalem Bible:; „that same day“ is the day when the disciples discovered that the tomb was empty, Mary of Magdala, weeping, talked to the angels and finally met Christ , whom she didn’t recognize at first.)

This often comes to my mind when I hear people saying that there’s no proof that God exists. Or, worse, when catholics say that about some aspect of our faith. Instead of admitting that all of us need to grow in faith anything  is seen as „in reality it wasn’t so“.

And, since 2000, this Sunday is also the Divine Mercy Sunday. When I was in Lithuania lately, I learned that there are several versions of the Divine Mercy image, the (as far as I know original) version in Vilnius, and two named by the artists that painted them, Hyla and Skemp (I believe the Hyla/ Kraków version is the most common and most known). Honestly, this isn’t really my kind of spirituality, but I came to like the Vilnius image of the Divine Mercy. I hope to be able to upload a picture at least of this version soon.