It's worse than feared: Germany's two major churches have lost more trust in the past year than any other social institutions. No wonder, says editor-in-chief Ingo Bruggenjurgen.
In the latest RTL-NTV trend barometer (see info on the left), the churches are overtaken only by the pope, who has plummeted by a full 20 percentage points in Germany and now lies somewhere in the middle of the institutional rankings with 34% trustworthiness. The Catholic Church has landed in the bottom third with only 18% trust. The abuse by too many church officials sends its greetings. But it is certainly not only the sluggish, often inadequate and poorly coordinated inter-diocesan processing of sexual abuse. How often does every Christian fall short of his own claims? Where is water not preached everywhere and then, unfortunately, wine is served in the wrong bottles?? If the "Mr. Pastor" lives more or less openly in a marriage-like relationship, while at the same time celibacy is sold as dogma, that is just as untrustworthy as the "Mr. Neighbor", who in truth is a real adulterous puke, but takes a seat in the front row in church every Sunday.
Does it help in the proclamation of "fraternal togetherness" when rich dioceses do not know how to invest their billions sensibly, while other dioceses have long since been running on empty and have no more money for the organist or their schools?? If for decades it is promised to consider women in the church guidance – women however in nearly all church guidance circles still the minority form, strengthens also not exactly the necessary confidence. The unattractive list of untrustworthiness could be continued without any problems ..
The immense loss of trust has therefore long since gone to the core substance: many believers at grassroots level are now frustrated and disillusioned. Since it concerns the church primarily around the passing on of the faith, untrustworthiness is particularly disastrous in so high measure.
Yes, the Lord will not give up his church, one can hope for that. But the words to the early Christians from the letter to the Ephesians should perhaps be taken more to heart again, especially in difficult times: "Therefore put away falsehood, and speak the truth among yourselves; for we are joined together as members… Every kind of bitterness, anger, wrath, clamor, and blasphemy, and all evil, banish from among you! … Forgive one another, because God has also forgiven you through Christ!" (Eph 4.25ff)