German Catholic Church could face financial collapse
May 17, 2023
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CWN Editor's Note: German Catholic dioceses will be forced to sell off thousands of parish churches, rectories, and charitable agencies in future years, because of the steep decline in the number of practicing Catholics, a new report predicts.
The number of German Catholics leaving the Church—and thus avoiding the obligation to pay the “church tax” that sustains the dioceses—reached an all-time high of almost 360,000 last year. Although about 21 million Catholics remain in Germany, less than 5% attend Mass, and as the exodus continues, the revenues from the “church tax” are likely to plummet.
Matthias Kopp, the spokesman for the German bishops’ conference, told OSV News: “It’s a fact that church attendance has strongly (been) reduced, with a significant and steady decline in priestly vocations and church membership, and an increasing loss of financial income. However, the closures have not only affected parish churches—the abandonment of monasteries, as well as of church and charitable institutions, has also led to empty religious houses, pilgrimage centers and chapels.”
Despite their spectacular failure to retain members, the German bishops, with their Synodal Path, have sought to persuade Church leaders worldwide to follow their pastoral policies.
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