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?



  • Davide

    @ Tom Peters not only do I think this is a “completely bad idea” I think it is insanely stupid idea. I bet you 5 bucks the people who came up with this can not name the four gospels; the five precepts of the church nor the seven sacraments. However I bet if you look in their little black {German} book you will find the names of every German priest that has been accused of molesting children. This is what it’s all about isn’t it?

  • tz1

    There is some merit, but not in a grade type scale.

    For me I have a problem in that the most reverent churches are uncharitable, and the ones that are the most charitable are the least reverent (e.g. don’t change the words to the Agnus Dei!). helps find masses, but some congregations prefer the more touchy-feely participate as in actively type services, others have the more quiet, meditative ones. Some align with the GIRM, others see how far they can stretch things (on rare occasions past the breaking point).

  • Bill

    Completely bad idea. It’s not up to us to judge, rate, or vote on priests, bishops, or other ordained ministers.

    I notice that the Web site very carefully avoids identifying who is behind this. Perhaps they are afraid of being rated.

    It would have been interesting had you posted a similar poll here so readers could vote on this Shepherd’s Barometer.

  • George

    I would be interested to see a good homily rating as many are put one to sleep dreadful. Ratings for caring and kindness could be useful as well.

  • Kathy Schiffer

    This is completely disrespectful. Imagine a website where one could “Rate Your Boss” or “Rate Your Next Door Neighbor” or “Rate Your Mother.” Priests are people, too. Pray for them, and unless there’s a serious problem with orthodoxy, keep the bashing to yourself.

  • Micah

    I’m tempted to say this has some merit, but as much as I’d like some way of knowing which priests I should trust, I don’t think I trust the public to know the proper criteria for such things. Also, we all have a tendency to do things like this only when we have complaints; just like apartment ratings, I’m afraid these would be strongly negative by nature.

    • greg smith

      Hi Micah ~ Others may be “strongly negative by nature” but if the scale of 1-6, I’d rate my pastor as a 10. Every parish should be as fortunate as ours. ~ Greg



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