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Departures from German Catholic Church soared in 2010

April 07, 2011

The number of German Catholics formally withdrawing from the Church has jumped by about 40% last year, according to figures published by the daily Die Zeit.

A survey of 24 dioceses showed that 180,000 people left the Catholic Church in 2010, as against about 130,000 the previous year. For the first time since World War II, the number of Catholics dropping from church rolls was greater than the number of Protestants.

Die Zeit attributed the exodus to the fallout from the sex-abuse scandal, which emerged in Germany last year. In Germany, taxpayers who are registered as members of a church pay a portion of their taxes to that church, making registration figures particularly important.


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  • Posted by: Bernadette - Apr. 17, 2011 1:54 AM ET USA

    German Catholic Church? What church is that? Should it not be "Catholic Church in Germany"? We don't want to mislead people into thinking that there are national branches or synods of the Catholic Church! Do we say "American Catholic Church"? No. It's the Catholic Church in America. I do think this is an important point, aside from the great loss of Catholics in Germany which is certainly very tragic and shows a lack of understanding of the Faith, poor catechesis again. How very sad!