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Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
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Statistics show sharp decline of German Catholic Church

July 18, 2016

Despite statistics that show a catastrophic decline, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich insists that the Catholic Church in Germany is "a strong force, whose message is heard and accepted."

Cardinal Marx-- who is president of the German bishops' conference, as well as a close adviser to Poper Francis-- spoke in response to statistics showing that over 180,000 Germans left the Catholic Church last year, while fewer than 10,000 adults entered or returned to the Church. Even taking into account the 167,000 babies who were baptized, the German Church experienced a net decline in official membership.

Among those Germans who remain formally affiliated with the Catholic Church, Mass attendance on an average Sunday has dropped to 10.4%, the figures show. Twenty years ago, that figure was 18.6%. The number of Catholic couples married in the Church has also been virtually halved in the past 20 years.  



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  • Posted by: BrickBonaventure - Jul. 19, 2016 1:28 PM ET USA

    The Cardinal might be showing adherence to Ad Gentes. John Paul II said in reference to AG: "All are called to bear witness to the world’s Redeemer in a way that is joyful, vibrant and strong (Cf. AG 22)." - Homily, 5th Sept. 1990 - It seems the Cardinal is right in adhering to a higher truth.

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Jul. 18, 2016 6:49 PM ET USA

    Card Marx is in denial. Pope Benedict criticized the Church in Germany for its bloated bureaucracy and Pope Francis scolded the Germans for its lack of Evangelization. The Church there is beset by many problems. They need to get rid of the abuses in the liturgy, teach the Faith without seeking tge approval of secular society and return to tradition. Denial will continue the decline.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Jul. 18, 2016 6:38 PM ET USA

    My dear Reinhard Cardinal Marx: If you do not recognize that you have a problem you are unlikely to solve it. Faithfully yours in Christ, &c.

  • Posted by: wcbeckman51 - Jul. 18, 2016 6:37 PM ET USA

    Whistling, no make that yodeling past the graveyard.