German priest criticized, ridiculed for headscarf protest

German priest criticized, ridiculed for headscarf protest

German priest criticized, ridiculed for headscarf protest

Bishop Gebhard Furst of the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, Germany, is pictured in an undated photo. (Credit: CNS photo/Harald Oppitz, KNA.)

Bishop Gebhard Furst has criticized the manner of a protest by a priest who tied a scarf around his head during a Pentecost sermon and wore it on the altar during the duration of the May 20 service.

ROTTENBURG, Germany — A German pastor ignited controversy by donning a headscarf during his Pentecost Sunday sermon.

Father Wolfgang Sedlmeier, pastor of the Parish of St. Maria in Aalen, shocked his congregation by tying a scarf around his head during a Pentecost sermon and wearing it on the altar during the duration of the May 20 service.

Sedlmeier said he wished to protest discrimination against Muslims and Jews, according to SWR radio. The gesture has sparked a storm of outrage and ridicule on social media, including Twitter and Facebook, earning Sedlmeier the internet nickname of the “Headscarf Priest.”

Bishop Gebhard Furst of Rottenburg-Stuttgart has criticized the manner of Sedlmeier’s protest.

“The form … is certainly borderline and not well-chosen,” Furst told the media. “Therefore, I will start a clarifying conversation with him in the next coming days.”

The diocese said that no disciplinary actions are planned. However, a diocesan spokesman expressed unhappiness with Sedlmeier’s behavior in Mass and the ensuing social media rampage.

“To put on a headscarf during a Mass is certainly very unusual for the Catholic Church,” a diocesan spokesman told local media.

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