Priest serves Oktoberfest masses

Despite a warning from his archbishop, Fr Rainer Maria Schiessler is back serving beer at Munich's Oktoberfest.

The Nation reports that Fr Schiessler's customers in the beer tents are unaware of his true identity, as he wears no priestly vestments and sports a name tag that refers to him simply as "Rainer".

This is Fr Schiessler's second Oktoberfest. Last year he was summoned to offices of the archbishop in the staunchly Catholic city to be told that priests should not go around playing waiter.

But he has shrugged off the reprimand.

"If this job is below the dignity of a priest, are the others serving beer here worth less than I am?"

Fr Schiessler, whose parish falls in the gay Glockenbach quarter, is convinced he is gathering valuable life experience.

"I would send any priest out here for a practical," he says.

The Oktoberfest, which began on Sunday, is expected to draw six million visitors by the time the last one-litre measure of beer is drawn on 7 October.


SOURCE
German priest serving beer at Munich's Oktoberfest (The Nation, 25/9/07)

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