What creates special feelings in the church

Why we need the church

The church is in crisis. Many claim that it has to change fundamentally. But despite weaknesses and the need for reform, it remains important - for every individual Christian as well as for society.

For many Christians the church is spiritual home. It helps in the search for God and on the way through life. Sure, some Christians ask: do I still need the church? Can't I keep in touch with God without it? The Catholic political scientist Andreas Püttmann says: “It is an illusion to believe that one can live faith in the long run without the Church.” Faith needs Christians to pray and sing together and to feel that they belong together, like in Sunday mass at Catholic Day.

The church is important - for individuals, but also for society. It strengthens the individual in faith and it helps him to understand faith. Püttmann says: “It can prevent believers from derailing ideologically. That is important, because faith is not exactly sure-footed ground. ”The church not only offers believers a community, but also a space in which their faith can develop. A church room is a special place: high, quiet, full of figures of saints, full of scents. Püttmann says: "The church interior creates a sense of home."

At the turning points of life, even Christians far removed from the Church long for these feelings. They celebrate baptism, first communion and wedding there. They want to shape and celebrate their lives religiously at these turning points. For Püttmann it is “still one of the core brands of the Church: that it can do this particularly well”.

What if this church no longer existed? What would our society look like then? "Colder. Rougher. Harder. More selfish, ”says Püttmann. “The church nourishes idealism and the willingness not to always ask: What is the benefit for me?” She encourages people to get involved socially and offers them the opportunity to do so.

The church organizes voluntary visiting services in many Christian retirement homes and hospitals. These services are not as common as they were 20 years ago, but they are still important. It does not matter whether a clinic, a nursing home, a school or a daycare center is ecclesiastical or secular, says Püttmann. Because the church houses make more pastoral offers. But also because they “tend to have a different spirit” despite high economic pressure: “A spirit that is more strongly shaped by Christian values ​​and that shows special empathy for the weak and has special respect for the sanctity of life.” That shows when dealing with the dying or the fact that Catholic clinics do not perform abortions.

Church prevents substitute religions from spreading

The church stands for something. It can provide the support that many people are looking for today. It prevents inhumane substitute religions from spreading, says Püttmann: "If I am filled with my religion, then I don't have to exaggerate the nation or the people, I don't have to numb myself with consumption and entertainment, I don't have to worship my wealth."

A society without a church and without God, says Püttmann, "would have less hope and meaning". But everyone needs hope and meaning.

Andreas Lesch