It is being reported in Europe that Austrian Bishop well said this about the stampede at the ‘Love Parade’ in Germany that killed 21 people…
“An Austrian bishop has described the stampede at a German music festival that left 21 people dead as a sinful event and said the incident was God’s punishment for losing faith.”
So do we have a Catholic Pat Robertson on our hands? It would seem no.
This summary is being reported and reprinted by many news services and in not one (of the dozens I looked at) actually contained the quote by Bishop Laun in which Bishop Laun actually said this. These summaries only mentioned that the Bishop said it at Kath.net.
But what did the Bishop actually say? I was curious since none of the reporting I found contained the actual quote. So I went to Kath.net and found the article and ran it through the Google translator.
This line jumped out at me. (Babel Fish Translation)
Also it is not entitled to humans to judge and state beyond that of the dead ones, their death is one – naturally fair – „punishment of God “for the Sündigkeit of the Love parade, in whose process the misfortune happened!
So the Bishop seems to be saying the exact opposite of what is being reported. He clearly indicates that no man can make that assessment. To emphasize the point he suggests that anyone who makes links such misfortune directly to sin should be worried about his own health.
But the Bishop does go on to say that one cannot escape the fact that the God of the Bible can and does punish people for sin. This is a fact.
One can question the wisdom of making such a point at this time, but it is entirely unfair for news agencies to suggest that Bishop Laun made a direct suggestion that the tragedy was a punishment.
Now to suggest that there is a direct linkage between such poor reporting and the imminent demise of many of these news services, that would be fair.