Shrinking German archdiocese faces budget shortfall
February 01, 2024
CWN Editor's Note: The Archdiocese of Cologne is facing a budget deficit of over €20 million ($21 million) in 2024, despite revenues from Germany’s “church tax.”
Archdiocesan officials said that the shortfall reflects a “background of declining numbers and a continued weakening economy.” More than 50,000 Catholics in the archdiocese formally broke their ties with the Church last year.
German dioceses owe their enormous financial resources to the country’s “church tax,” which imposes a surcharge on taxpayers who are officially listed as members of a congregation. Last year more than a half-million German Catholics dropped from the church rolls to avoid that tax. If the trend continues, other dioceses will soon join Cologne in showing budget deficits.
In Cologne the situation is complicated by the uncertain status of Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, who has twice offered his resignation amid criticism of his handling of sex-abuse complaints. Pope Francis declined his first resignation; he has not officially responded to the second, offered in 2022.The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.
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