Sunday, February 03, 2008

Pastoral Innovations - Not to be Imitated

Strange news from Germany. I'm not sure if this priest is Catholic or not:
Desperately wanting to see his flock increased by at least three-fold, a German priest has started offering money to his parishioners in exchange for attending mass.

Instead of passing out collection trays during church services, Father Burkhard Westphal doles out five-euro notes in envelopes to everyone who attends Sunday mass at his church in Collinghorst, Germany.

Westphal said that with his innovative idea, the number of churchgoers has increased from about 60, to 189.

"The aim is to provoke and raise interest in the Church. I wanted to bring as many people as possible to talk about the Bible," the priest said.

"Anyway, people are returning the money by dropping them during collection," he adds. "(It only means) God's message of giving seems to have got through to most."

1 comment:

Father Volker said...

Not really comforting: According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung (http://www.sueddeutsche.de/panorama/artikel/709/154311/?CMP=NLC-SDE071022&nlsource=taeglich), Burkhard Westphal is not a catholic priest, but a lutheran pastor. He lives in a region called "Ostfriesland". In Germany we often crack jokes about the people there - sometimes not without any reason...