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Catholic World News

German Catholics leaving Church in record numbers

July 29, 2011

The number of German Catholics dropping their registration in the Catholic Church jumped by almost 50% in 2010. Analysts tie the increase to the emergence of the sex-abuse scandal in Europe.

Official figures showed 181,000 people (up from 124,000) leaving the Church last year. German citizens who are enrolled in a church pay a portion of their taxes to that church, so the parish membership figures also have obvious implications for church finances.

Catholics now number 24.6 million in the country, accounting for just over 30% of the German population.


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  • Posted by: garedawg - Jul. 30, 2011 10:29 AM ET USA

    If you drop out of a church in Germany, are those taxes you pay required to go somewhere else, or you get to keep them?

  • Posted by: koinonia - Jul. 30, 2011 9:04 AM ET USA

    Obviously people leaving the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church speaks volumes about these poor souls. It is unlikely that they have received the catechetical foundation and spiritual resources to facilitate fortitude in the Faith. Perhaps they did not have the Faith to begin with. Nonetheless, this news must be especially painful to our German Holy Father. Protestants have portrayed Catholic prelates as perverts and hypocrites for centuries. What harm has been done to evangelization!

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Jul. 30, 2011 8:53 AM ET USA

    The Church founded by Jesus Christ when he was on earth (and sustained by the blood of so many Catholics over the centuries) should be cleansed and purified, never abandoned.