FOREIGN tourists requesting visas to visit Germany for the Pope’s first pilgrimage abroad are being asked searching questions about their knowledge of Christianity.
The measure by Germany is designed to prevent a wave of illegal immigration, especially from the Balkans.
More than a million young believers are expected to attend the World Youth Conference in Cologne in August, when Pope Benedict XVI will make his first papal trip.
Germans are concerned that the religious festival will be exploited by people because of their country’s fast-lane visa regulations.
The career of Joschka Fischer, the Foreign Minister, was damaged this year after he was questioned on television for 12 hours over visa rules that allowed an influx of illegal Albanian and Ukrainian immigrants, many of whom were said to have become involved in drugs and prostitution.
German embassies abroad have therefore concocted a scored questionnaire to sort out the true pilgrims from the would-be criminals.
The questions begin harmlessly enough. “Who were the first people?” and “How and when did Jesus die?” The seven deadly sins, judging by a straw poll conducted by The Times among young Germans in Berlin, are generally known, though often for the wrong reason. “I know them because of the film Seven with Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow,” a 26-year-old woman said.
For infrequent churchgoers, naming the sacraments proved more difficult, and a question asking about the types of sin baffled many. Describing God’s activity (or rather lack of it) on the seventh day of creation was regarded as a little too tricky.[Source]
And if you don’t know the answer I wonder if you can just claim you went to a Catholic school during the seventies and beyond, surely they would understand. Though in this circumstance they could ask them a follow up question like how do you make a felt banner to verify that they are telling the truth.