The Austrian daily Die Presse reports on the aftershocks of the St. Poelten poofter porn scandal:
The figures, which have not yet been published but have been seen by "Die Presse," reveal that the number of people leaving the Church has surpassed religious leaders'’ greatest fears, with an increase of 185.7 per cent recorded in the affected diocese St. Poelten. ... The number is also particularly high in Krems, which recorded a 322.2 per cent increase in the number of people handing back their baptism certificates.
Lacking raw numbers, it's hard to gauge just how great the meltdown is. Lacking data on who's leaving and why, it's hard to know whether the Church is losing active members, or (as the odd expression "handing back their baptism certificates" suggests) dead leaves are dropping from the tree.
No doubt senior churchmen are concerned about a backlash. As Cardinal Hans Herman "Soapy" Groer said so well, "What I'm afraid of is we're going into this witch hunt for monophysites."
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Posted by: Don Vicente -
Aug. 26, 2004 10:34 AM ET USA
In Germany, "leaving the Church" is a juridical act. You go down to the city hall and swear out an affidavit. (Hence the exact figures - so Germanic!) Why would you swear out an affidavit? So that you would no longer be charged the "Church Tax." That's how the Church in Germany gets its money -- not primarily from the collection plate. BTW: Remember, folks, Bp. KRENS was famous for his orthodoxy. Cardinal Groer too! Fat lot of good they did the Church. We also need orthoPRAXIS.
Posted by: -
Aug. 20, 2004 4:55 PM ET USA
That this were all about a theological controversy! Bp. Krenn must go! I am happy that a responsible, orthodox bishop, Bishop Kung, has been appointed by the Holy See to investigate, report and make recommendations. I am also glad the seminary has been closed down. Such laxness in Church practice and discipline can no longer be tolerated, especially in our seminaries! If we ordain problematic weirdos, we are stuck with problematice weirdos. I do not fear a smaller, more faithful Church.