German Website Offers “Rate-A-Priest” (and “Rate-A-Pope”)

The Catholic Church in Germany has been through a lot recently. A new website attempts to capitalize on the turmoil:

You can rate your restaurant meal, your make-up, your teacher online and now in Germany your priest.

Hirtenbarometer or the “shepherds’ barometer” is the first online platform where priests can be rated for their performance at church services, on projects for youths and the elderly, on their credibility and on how up to date they are.

… Ratings for priests on the site are represented by sheep, whose woolly coats range from white to black to visually express a priest’s rating. The pope and other prominent German priests so far sport light to middle grey wool. [Reuters]

I poked around the website and found Pope Benedict’s rating:

And here are the details:

Of course, it’s always easier to “rate” other people than it is to acknowledge our own faults.

What do you think — is this a completely bad idea, or does it have some merits?



  • Mark Polo

    It could have some merit if one could know the makeup of the “rating pool”. As the only people who are likely to vote on something like this are the people with an axe to grind, it is unlikely that there is going to be anything resembling an objective result here, though.

    Nonetheless, I registered and gave the Pope a 6 and Cardinal Meisner a 5.8 or so.

  • Warren

    The idea of a rating site is repugnant. It allows cowards to weigh in, perpetuate their personal grudges in complete anonymity and not be held accountable for what they say. Isn’t there enough misinformation and calumny on the net as is without giving barbarians yet another forum into which they can spew their bile?

    • Scott S

      Kind of exactly the same thing as when we “rate” the worthiness of other people’s marriages and allow cowards to take out their personal grudges behind the anonymity of ballot box curtains and deprive others of their civil rights. It’s odd how Catholics are all for such treatment for others, but not for themselves.

  • HV Observer

    Ganz schrecklich! (That is, “totally awful!”)

  • Andrea

    This isn’t just a Catholic thing, though that seems to be all that Reuters got out of it. I did some poking around after I noticed a ‘pastorin’ (feminine form of pastor) on the first page. On the search page, you can pick which denomination your pastor belongs to and the 4 choices are Protestant, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Russian Orthodox. There are plenty of choices for each denomination.

    I also found that Pope John Paul II was rated 4.56 and Cardinal Schoenborn received 4.81.



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