FaithWorld

Bishop sorry for stinging “idolatry” attack on banker

January 18, 2009

Of all the denunciations of greed coming from the pulpits in this financial crisis, few have had as much sting as the attack that Bishop Wolfgang Huber of Berlin delivered just before Christmas. Huber, who as council chairman of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) is the country’s top Protestant prelate, singled out the head of the biggest German bank when he lambasted top financiers for their rush for profits.

(Photo: Bishop Wolfgang Huber, 5 Nov 2006/Alex Grimm)

Referring to Josef Ackermann, he told the Berliner Zeitung that he hoped “a Deutsche Bank chief executive should never again set a profit goal of 25 per cent.” Such goals fuelled excessive profit expectations and amounted to a form of idolatry, he said. “In these circumstances, money has become a god.”

The bank angrily rejected his criticism as inappropriate.”

Now comes the news that Huber has apologised to Ackermann. “Since many have suspected I was personally attacking Mr Ackermann, I have apologised to him,” he told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. “The issue now is not to criticise a single person, it must be to discuss at length what led to this financial crisis. And what we must avoid, so as not to fall into equally destructive mechanisms again.”

Many religious leaders’ comments about the crisis seemed a bit tame considering all the damage it’s done and the way few if any business leaders have accepted any blame. At least Huber was clear. Was his comment really over the top? Are critics not allowed to single out prominent business leaders who they think contributed to this mess?

(Photo: Josef Ackermann, 17 Nov 2008/Kai Pfaffenbach)
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“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.” Luke 16:13-15

Praise GOD!!!! That’s the truth, this love of money GOD hates and the fact that they, the bankers, didn’t like it just goes to show its truth! This story mirrors closely the encounter with Jesus, above. The prelate shouldn’t have said sorry, he was in the right.

“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.” Ecc 5:10

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Tim 6:10
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5

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