tho’ we spoil your pious rest.
Hello Rome, like, we’re just sayin’,
our Church has become a mess.
That’s the first stanza of the “longest protest song in the world” from the Catholic Youth of Upper Austria. My rough translation attempts to capture the colloquial flavor of the original:
Hallo Rom, wir wollen etwas wagen,
auch wenn’s eure heil’ge Ruhe stört.
Hallo Rom, wir wollen nur mal sagen,
in unsrer Kirche läuft etwas verkehrt.
Under the slogan Not Just Yes and Amen, the “Katholische Jugend Oberösterreich” hope to shake up the Church’s leadership. The goal is not to complain and condemn, but to offer constructive criticism and show readiness to collaborate. It started on Pentecost. At the website, anyone can add another stanza, and so the protest song gets longer and longer complete with YouTube videos of budding singing stars. Stanzas added so far criticize narrow ideas (“initiative” and “archconservative” rhyme also in German), call for more democracy and greater involvement of women in the Church, and ask that the Mass be more “cool.” One stanzas asks Rome to “save our priests from burnout” (in German: “der Burnout”) because “we laypeople are ready to help.”
Here’s another stanza someone submitted – this time with a more literal translation.
Hallo Rom, ist es dir egal
wenn überhaupt kein Mensch dich schätzt und braucht?
Sei du doch Wurzel, Stamm und Baum,
gib uns halt, dann wirst du in Liebe getaucht.
Hello Rome, doesn’t it matter to you,
when no one at all values you or has any use for you?
Just be a root, trunk and tree,
give us support and you’ll be showered with love.
* * *
That comes from the religious news department of Austrian Public Radio. By coincidence, also in today’s news there is a report on the Pope’s comments at today’s general audience. Benedict XVI called for a positive view of the Church’s hierarchy and said it is a widespread misconception today that the division of Church into faithful, priests, and bishops is subordination. People wrongly associate authority with 20th century dicatorships which exercised power arbitrarily and demanded blind obedience. Here is a report on his talk in English.