Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- August 19, 1887The German Language Jeopardized.
Even the most radical German unbeliever has to agree that the German language and its use in this country depends much on the support it receives from German churches. The unbelieving element of the German-American is in the minority; the majority is devoted to its churches. The steadily growing number of German Churches gives evidence enough of the religious belief of German people. The burden and responsibility of the upkeep of these places of worship rests on the shoulders of church members. The state has no obligations toward the church whatsoever. Millions of German-Americans will continue the use of the German language, as long as the churches to which they belong will not discard the mother tongue. Therefore it seems, that special effort should be made by these churches to preserve our German language through the example they can set. In regard to the German Protestant Churches, we should not feel concerned about the German language being extinguished in this country. The two largest German-American religious associations of the Protestants, namely, the United Evangelical Church and the Lutheran Evangelical Church, were far sighted enough to erect schools and seminaries, preparing even young men born in this country to become ministers fitted for the pulpit of German Churches. But according to the opinion 2of a German-Catholic theologist, the German-Catholic Church does not build seminaries, neither is it especially interested in the perpetuation of the German tongue in this country. This scholar's warning is: "We are approaching very quickly the time when we shall become aware of the fact, that German speaking Catholic priests are becoming more scarce as time goes on. The German Catholic Churches in America received their principal support from priests who were raised and educated in Germany. Due to better political conditions in their native land, many of these priests are leaving our shores to return to Germany. For instance, the Order of the Franciscan Fathers has now been permitted to return to its homeland, from which it had been banished some time ago. This Order has supplied the German Catholic Church in the United States with many priests and churchmen." It is to be hoped, that the German Catholics of America will not disregard the warning of this scholar, and will fortify against that danger by erecting German Catholic colleges, at which a good German education should be afforded our youth. Action is required and, the sooner the better.
III C, I A 2 a, I A 2 b, III A, III H
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