The ambo becomes the butt

The ambo becomes the butt

"One should tell the truth cheerfully, because one prefers to listen to the clown than to the preacher." The calendar saying of the british writer john B. Priestley had special significance on carnival sunday, because in ebern and zeil, the parish priests rudolf theiler and michael erhart made the spab for themselves and mixed up the man in the regalia and the jester's cap.

Theiler's carnival sermons guarantee full churches, sometimes bring him spontaneous applause, and provide an opportunity to get to the heart of things that one would otherwise never be allowed to say so openly as a talar and sausage bearer. Now both pastors made their own rhyme with grievances. The audience, surprised for the first time in this way, applauded spontaneously and enthusiastically.

Disgust at bigotry

In the service full of jokes and anecdotes, during which even organist ralf hofmann made mischievous capers, father theiler joked in the town parish church st. Laurentius in ebern about resignations. Of course, one spontaneously thinks of freiherr zu guttenberg or bundesprasident wulff. But also in ebern, where within a very short time three employees – the church administrator, the head of the kindergarten association, and a sacristan – had left the church. "Tri tra trullala, in ebern it is wonderful!", the pastor said, "and if it's not true, I'll resign, that's for sure. If the pastor does not always praise and honor me and thus increase what I want, I am offended and throw down, then it is no profit for him." Harsh words, which were as worthy of an organ-tush and applause, as the verses of praise for the many employees in the parish.

For six years, the priest rhymed, he had now had to deal with his little sheep in ebern, and had nine churches to look after, but actually he had never wished for so much work. For him "it is necessary to be here and there and always smile, good and fine. But sometimes, people believe me, I could roar like a bull." He confessed: "yes, I've also run away with my horse, but I always demanded patience from the priest." It's because of "strange sheep, who he would prefer to punish with god's punishments: "they are always complaining, they know everything better, they are always sharpening their knives, and then they demand the good old times back with a stern look."

He abhors, says the carmelite priest, the bigotry "that among and above their brothers and sisters so many pretend to be pious and again and again powerfully vices." Instead, one should "cultivate the love of one's neighbor, then much good could rain down in ebern".

The disastrous use of cheap products and the schlecker insolvency gave him food for thought: "what do we learn from this?? The church will feel the same way, because branches will continue to remain, and plants that are still sprouting will be cleared. The parish is over, dies in the multipurpose parish." Religion must not be allowed to degenerate into a club, theiler complained, the church needs a fresh cell cure: "only with a renewed structure, does jesus' healing culture work."


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