‘Church Meets Soccer’ in diocese of Münster…

Public Screening of Live Soccer Match in German Church

The European Soccer Championship, which is held once every four years, is a big deal for Germans. It is an even bigger deal in 2024, for this time around — from June 14 through July 14 — the Land of Luther is itself the host nation for the popular European tournament.

Since watching sports in the company of others is a lot more fun than doing so all by oneself, one ‘Catholic’ church in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia had a brilliant idea, perhaps in the spirit of promoting a ‘culture of encounter’: getting people together to watch the quarter final on July 5, in which Germany takes on Spain.

Although the idea is legit in itself — it would be a great opportunity for Catholics to reach lots of people they might otherwise never reach — it all depends on where one gathers the people in front of a big screen for the public showing.

For the Novus Ordo parish of St. George in Hiddingsel, a district of the town of Dülmen, the answer was clear: The showing would take place inside the church, of course.

To that end, the following promotional flyer was distributed (as found on the parish Facebook page):

The big July 5 soccer game was scheduled for 6:00 pm, with admission starting at 5:30 pm. The flyer excitedly announces that “admission is free” and reassures the hungry soccer fan: “Food and drink will be provided before, during, and after the game — including alcohol in moderation in the church”!

In other words, not only is the sacred church building being misused for the watching of a profane sports game — with all the celebrating, cheering, cursing, yelling, and other expressions of great excitement that are typically associated with such an event. No, the church is also being used as a venue for eating and drinking, not excluding booze.

Just for the record: St. George’s is a traditional Catholic church building, constructed around 1910. The parish itself dates back to at least the early 14th century.

The fact that “[t]he proceeds will go towards the redesign of the cemetery”, as the flyer also says, cannot redeem that terrible sacrilege in the slightest; although it does perhaps indicate something about the future of the Novus Ordo Sect.

As Hiddingsel is part of the diocese of Münster, the man ultimately responsible for this horror is ‘Bishop’ Felix Genn (b. 1950). The pastor of St. George’s is the Rev. Ferdinand Hempelmann (b. 1968), who was once featured on Vatican News. He is the kind that doesn’t mind ‘celebrating the Eucharist’ in a soccer jersey (see photos here).

It remains to be seen if any further games of the 2024 European soccer championship will be shown in St. George’s in Hiddingsel.

Perhaps not, as Germany lost to Spain today and is now out of the tournament.

Image sources: composite with elements from Wikimedia Commons (Dietmar Rabich) and Shutterstock (irin-k) / Facebook
Licenses: CC BY-SA 4.0 and paid / fair use

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