Tuesday, 26 June 2007
This is Bishop Wilhelm Emmanuel Freiherr von Ketteler - the "Father of the Poor", as he's referred to in Mainz.
Born in 1811, he was elected to the Frankfurt Assembly at the age of 37 and is widely seen as the leading Catholic social thinker in Germany, arguing that the social question was the essential problem of the time and laying the foundation of modern Catholic social teaching.
Died in 1877, which proves that Billy Joel was right - Only the good die young. We could use a couple more like him around here. Or there. Or anywhere.
This is the Bischofsplatz and he's been here (as a bronze statue, created by Thiomas Duttenhöfer) since 1993, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. That's what I'd like to interpret into it, anyway.
And it's quite appropriate that the Bischofsplatz seems to be a magnet for a mixture of the folk that Kettler worked so hard for - punks, daytime drinkers and the socially disadvantaged.
Young on one side, old on the other.
And yes, I did pick up the trash littering the square. Not all of it, but quite a bit.
Wilhelm would have done the same thing, I'm sure
(Thanks to Ohio University for an excellently researched and written article.)
Posted by John Burland @ 4:18 pm