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German Catholics to exclude church tax dodgers
The Local (Germany) ^ | 21 Sep 12 10:24 CET

Posted on 09/22/2012 9:58:53 AM PDT by DeaconBenjamin

The Catholic Church in Germany is urging its followers to put their money where their faith is. Under a new rule, anyone who doesn’t pay church tax will no longer be considered a member of the flock.

Catholics who decide to skip the tax will be unable to receive Communion, be confirmed or go to confession, Die Welt newspaper wrote on Thursday. The rule, which takes effect on September 24, also bars non-payers from becoming godparents or belonging to a Catholic congregation.

Critics have argued that believers can still count themselves as members of the Catholic community and practice their faith without paying the church tax – which amounts to 8 or 9 percent of a person’s income, depending on the state.

A “general decree” published on Thursday by the German Bishops Conference says church-leavers have violated their obligation to make a “financial contribution that allows the church to fulfill its role.”

Die Welt reported that Pope Benedict XVI personally approved the document, which puts an end to months of wrangling over the issue.

Couples can receive an exemption to be married in the church, as long as they pledge to maintain their faith and raise their children as Catholics. But the powers that be can deny church tax dodgers a Catholic burial “if the person who has left the church has not shown any sign of remorse before death.”

Though the bishops’ text avoids the word “excommunication,” the consequences of the all-or-nothing rule are essentially the same.

If a Catholic notifies the registry office that he has chosen to renounce his faith, thereby allowing him to stop paying church tax, he will receive a letter from a priest that includes a list detailing the consequences of his decision – and an offer to meet for “reconciliation” talks.

More than 100,000 people have left the Catholic Church in Germany each year since 1990 – with more than 126,000 deciding to part ways with the church last year.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: churchtax
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1 posted on 09/22/2012 9:58:56 AM PDT by DeaconBenjamin
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To: DeaconBenjamin

When I told God I was sorry....I don’t ever remember hearing “Pay me”!!


2 posted on 09/22/2012 10:02:31 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: DeaconBenjamin

As my husband said, Oh, those Krazy Krauts!


3 posted on 09/22/2012 10:02:45 AM PDT by miss marmelstein
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Maybe they could just set up a ticket turnstile next to the holy water.


4 posted on 09/22/2012 10:07:21 AM PDT by Humidston (For the first time in my adult life I FEAR my government.)
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To: miss marmelstein

Having lived in Germany for sixteen-odd years...I can offer this observation. For the past hundred years....folks have basically stopped going to church in Germany. You have a full church on Easter and Christmas...otherwise, in a village of 3k residents...the one and only local church (of just about any denomination) will be lucky to have forty people to show up on a Sunday.

So the deal is simple...you sign up via the local city hall to note your religious preference, and a church tax is automatically deducted from your paycheck. If you note no church....then you get no church funeral or church marriage.

Years ago, the church funeral was a big deal. Now, local guys have buildings that are arranged for a funeral and rent them out. So I’d guess that half the folks in Germany have quit the church tax. As for the younger crowd? Well...if you have hopes of finding a decent guy or gal....and want a big nice ceremony...then you accept the church tax for a decade or so until you are married, then you dump the church tax.

The truth is that there is a fair amount of cost to keep these older buildings in operational order.


5 posted on 09/22/2012 10:13:15 AM PDT by pepsionice
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To: DeaconBenjamin

There’s another thread on this, but I haven’t seen what the policy of the Evangelist regional church is when it’s members do the same: declare they have left the church to not pay the tax. Anyone know?


6 posted on 09/22/2012 10:13:30 AM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

I've seen this movie.

7 posted on 09/22/2012 10:15:01 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

German Catholics should come here: If they wanted to, they could get away with murder.
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/nancy-pelosi-on-abortion-catholic-churchs-conscious-thing-puts-women-at-physical-risk/

“Back in 2008, Pelosi appeared on an episode of “Meet the Press,“ where she described herself as an ”ardent, practicing Catholic,“ but claimed that ”we don’t know” when life begins.”


8 posted on 09/22/2012 10:22:06 AM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: all armed conservatives)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

They’d have to change the movie, the tax is also paid for and to Protestant Churches.


9 posted on 09/22/2012 10:22:50 AM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

something activated my BS detector...


10 posted on 09/22/2012 10:25:08 AM PDT by delcopatriot
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To: DeaconBenjamin; PJBankard; scottjewell; ebb tide; Sirius Lee; lilycicero; MaryLou1; glock rocks; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.


11 posted on 09/22/2012 10:25:08 AM PDT by narses
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To: Sacajaweau

“Now this I say: He who soweth sparingly, shall also reap sparingly: and he who soweth in blessings, shall also reap blessings. Every one as he hath determined in his heart, not with sadness, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7


12 posted on 09/22/2012 10:26:26 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Back to indulgences?


13 posted on 09/22/2012 10:27:06 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Apparently you have NOT seen the movie because Protestants pay the church tax too. It was originally a Protestant idea in modern Germany, in fact.


14 posted on 09/22/2012 10:27:18 AM PDT by vladimir998
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To: onedoug

protestants sell indulgences? Catholics sure don’t, but since protestants pay this tax you must mean them too, right?


15 posted on 09/22/2012 10:28:08 AM PDT by vladimir998
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To: narses

Calling in the troops, eh?
Well, let’s see you square this circle: The Catholic church and its members actively assisting in infanticide in this country which guarantees “life (liberty and property)”.
We find a single cell somewhere millions of miles, or light-years, away and that’s `life.’ But a viable fetus isn’t “life” down the street at the abortion clinic.
Go ahead, make my day.


16 posted on 09/22/2012 10:35:55 AM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: all armed conservatives)
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To: vladimir998

It was a joke, son.


17 posted on 09/22/2012 10:36:14 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: tumblindice; narses
I believe you're in error on this part:

The Catholic church and its members actively assisting in infanticide

Certainly some members go against Church teaching; however, the Catholic Church has always strongly opposed abortion.

Concerning church positions, on the non-Catholic side: from Wikipedia:

Protestant supporters of abortion rights include the United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church, the Episcopalian Church, and the United Presbyterian Church, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), The United Church of Christ, The United Methodist Church, and the Lutheran Women's Caucus.[9][28] The American Baptist Churches USA, Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and The United Church of Christ consider abortion permissible under certain restricted circumstances.

18 posted on 09/22/2012 10:49:24 AM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

The German Church bowed to the government in the 1930’s. It did not go well then.


19 posted on 09/22/2012 10:56:53 AM PDT by bmwcyle (Corollary - Electing the same person over and over and expecting a different outcome is insanity)
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To: vladimir998; D-fendr

This article is about the Catholic denomination excluding non-tax payers, how do different Protestant denominations enforce the tax?

Do they do it spiritually?


20 posted on 09/22/2012 11:05:22 AM PDT by ansel12
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To: ansel12

I’ve tried and haven’t been able to find out how Protestants enforce it.

I have learned there’s a formal legal process required, the call it ‘leaving the church’ to declare you are not a member, and another one to rejoin that involves the churches.

But I don’t know what the Protestants do when a member legally leaves their church and stops paying.


21 posted on 09/22/2012 11:16:57 AM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
From this article I can't glean nearly enough info on this tax to form a strong opinion.As a Catholic I fully understand,and accept,the moral..the religious...obligation I have to support the Church financially as well as in other ways.But I have 1,000 questions to ask before I pass judgment.Questions like,to whom do I send these “tax” payments,a government office or the office of a Cardinal,Bishop or priest?
22 posted on 09/22/2012 11:32:28 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (If Obama's Reelected Imagine The Mess He'll Inherit!)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Well I would imagine that this story is a crock of feces.


23 posted on 09/22/2012 11:55:08 AM PDT by Mike Darancette (Take two Aspirin and call me in November - Obama for Hindmost.)
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To: D-fendr

Every one of those Protestant churches are members of the National Council of Churches or World Council or both. Liberals.... every one of them!

Just an FYI


24 posted on 09/22/2012 11:58:56 AM PDT by Humidston (For the first time in my adult life I FEAR my government.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

People want the church to be there for them at all the “big” events in their lives, marriage, births/baptisms, death, but don’t want to be bothered in their day to day lives.

I don’t understand those people who complain about giving money to the church to support the clergy and buildings. I guess they have forgotten that everything they have belongs to God.


25 posted on 09/22/2012 12:07:21 PM PDT by Jvette
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To: ansel12; vladimir998; D-fendr
how do different Protestant denominations enforce the tax?

I don't know, but observe that the matter stands differently with the Protestants:

1. There is no single Protestant body, and often no authority above the local pastor. The pastor asks you to leave, you find another Protestant community of faith. For that reason there is no "excommunication" from the Protestant Church in general.

2. Protestantism emphasizes belonging to the body of Christians through profession of faith in Jesus Christ. "Works" -- including support of the physical plant of the church and the ministers -- are considered a desirable fruit of the faith, but not an instrument in the ongoing process of salvation. It is easy to justify avoiding the collection with that kind of moral theology.

3. Protestantism does not consider the sacred rites of the Church important, and in fact they have but analogues of most Catholic rites, therefore interdict of Protestant communion, confessions, baptisms, weddings and burials simply does not frighten the Protestant flock all that much.

26 posted on 09/22/2012 12:29:56 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: ansel12; All

In Germany there has been a long tradition of a “church tax” which pre-dates government income tax.

The Church used to assign a amount you owed, according to your income, and they would collect it themselves. This was in both Protestant and Roman Catholic regions of Germany (which are actually different states).

Of course to most American Christians this seems odd—as few churches here handle pledges that way. Some do, however, and I’ve even heard of synagogues that will charge a membership fee—according to the size of your family (and perhaps income too)...so its the same idea.

When a national income tax began, in the typical German orderly fashion, it was suggested that the tax collectors for the State and the Church be combined (no 1st Amendment separation there, mind you), and the government collect both income taxes along with Church donations (the “Church tax”). Since at the time 95%+ of Germans were baptized either Protestant (usually Lutheran) or Roman Catholic—this assured a steady income for the churces and seminaries—of which there were (and are) many.

Of course today, as someone mentioned above, very (very) few Germans attend Church more than twice a year (Christmas and maybe Easter)...only about 4% or less attend more than 4 times a year. Still, nobody wants to see the churches fall down—and pastors to be unemployed, and the renowned seminaries to close...so traditionally secular Germans keep paying the Church tax—as it is taken along with their regular income tax...so they never see it.

In recent years though, a form is available to exempt oneself from the “church tax.” As I understand it, this form basically requires the person to sign that they renounce their faith...and therefore should no longer be required to pay the Church tax.

The policy by the Roman Catholic church mentioned not to allow the privileges of Church membership to those who have formally renounced their membership (to avoid the tax) seems pretty fair by me.

We must keep in mind in Germany—its a very different culture—and a person has to have formally renounced their faith, in writing...to avoid the Church tax.


27 posted on 09/22/2012 12:31:20 PM PDT by AnalogReigns (I'm an Anglican (NOT an Episcopalian))
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To: Sacajaweau

(See my comments above. All Christians in Germany pay a “Church tax,” along with their regular government income taxes, which goes to their respective denomination.)


28 posted on 09/22/2012 12:37:40 PM PDT by AnalogReigns (I'm an Anglican (NOT an Episcopalian))
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To: bmwcyle

I can’t imagine you’re referring to the Catholic Church; they have famous sermons that were read from the pulpits (written by Pius XI) that warned of Nazism.

Hitler had no use for the Church (for the same reason the French revolutionaries and the Bolsheviks didn’t); it was a competing authority.


29 posted on 09/22/2012 12:45:42 PM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: AnalogReigns

I guess, if they pay the tax, then they can confess that they didn’t used to pay it, if they don’t pay, then they can’t confess the non-payment.

There must be some American type Christianity over there that is fighting this.


30 posted on 09/22/2012 12:58:13 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: Mike Darancette

How so? That this tax is not collected, or that the Roman Catholic Church is not adopting this policy in Germany?


31 posted on 09/22/2012 1:00:17 PM PDT by DeaconBenjamin (A trillion here, a trillion there, soon you're NOT talking real money)
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To: kearnyirish2

During the 1930s during the time the Nazis took power there were Nazi flags covering the alters of the churches in Germany as Bohnhoeffer reported and rejected. Stop kidding yourself.

32 posted on 09/22/2012 1:01:47 PM PDT by bmwcyle (Corollary - Electing the same person over and over and expecting a different outcome is insanity)
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To: tumblindice; PJBankard; scottjewell; ebb tide; Sirius Lee; lilycicero; MaryLou1; glock rocks; ...
tumblindice wrote:
Calling in the troops, eh?
Nope, just pinging people who may have an interest in this odd story. tumblindice wrote:
Well, let’s see you square this circle: The Catholic church and its members actively assisting in infanticide in this country which guarantees “life (liberty and property)”.
What bizarro claim are you making? tumblindice wrote:
We find a single cell somewhere millions of miles, or light-years, away and that’s `life.’ But a viable fetus isn’t “life” down the street at the abortion clinic.
Again, what oddball claim are you tring to make here? tumblindice wrote:
Go ahead, make my day.
You ain't no Clint Eastwood buckwheat, trust me. But you might think about getting help, you appear to be in real need.
33 posted on 09/22/2012 1:40:24 PM PDT by narses
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To: bmwcyle

The pastors who covered their alters with the Nazi flag were Lutheran, by the by, as you can find out with a bare minimum of research.


34 posted on 09/22/2012 1:44:39 PM PDT by Rashputin (Only Newt can defeat both the Fascist democrats and the Vichy GOP)
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To: bmwcyle
The German Church bowed to the government in the 1930’s.
The German PROTESTANT Church bowed to the government in the 1930’s.
35 posted on 09/22/2012 1:51:12 PM PDT by narses
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To: bmwcyle

The so-called Roman salute is practiced in Catholic Churches today, in America as well as in Germany and all over the world. I gave that salute many times myself, most recently, in all likelihood, last Easter, and look forward giving it again.

That the Nazis injected a patriotic or even partisan meaning into it does not mean everyone exchanging it was a Nazi, or could predict that it would have a sinister associations a decade later.


36 posted on 09/22/2012 1:55:19 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: Rashputin; narses

All churches bowed to Hitler. They did not stand and say no. Like the churches of the United States have bowed to the IRS.


37 posted on 09/22/2012 2:18:28 PM PDT by bmwcyle (Corollary - Electing the same person over and over and expecting a different outcome is insanity)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Less than you knew, gramps.


38 posted on 09/22/2012 3:06:14 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: bmwcyle

Actually the Catholic Church did say no on a number of occasions.

There were three religious bodies which distinguished themselves in opposition to the Nazis:

1) The Catholic Church
2) The Swedish Lutheran Church (in Northern Germany especially).

3) The Jehovah’s Witnesses - who resist every government really.


39 posted on 09/22/2012 3:20:01 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: DeaconBenjamin; vladimir998; D-fendr
Catholics who decide to skip the tax will be unable to receive Communion, be confirmed or go to confession,

I believe this story is bogus. There is no Catholic teaching that would allow this and deny Communion or confession for this sort of thing..

If a Bishop is endorsing such a thing He will be excommunicated

If the German government is calling for this then every Catholic Church in Germany is bound to ignore this.

40 posted on 09/22/2012 4:11:15 PM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: bmwcyle; narses
This is the first time I've heard that. The Catholic Church read out a proclamation against Hitler when he was first elected and again after they burned the Jewish Synagogues. I first heard all of this when a German Lutheran pastor and several other Lutherans who had lived thorough the period spoke to our Lutheran Church. According to these folks the majority of Lutherans went along with Hitler and when Catholics spoke out against him most Lutherans were glad that the State cracked down on them so that maybe more people would leave the Catholic Church.

One of these folks who had been an officer in the German Army when Hitler too over said that in '37 they had an influx of Catholics who were drafted out of seminaries and were told to make sure they were trained for combat units rather than support units. Apparently the training was through a regionalized system as this man said he wasn't sure whether that was nationwide or only in the area he was serving in, but obviously someone had decided there were not exemptions for Catholics in seminary while Lutherans were still exempted. He said the Nazi supporters in the Army thought it was a good way to help end Germans becoming priests while the regular Army folks weren't so sure it was a good idea given the need for educated people in other capacities.

Maybe you have better sources than these speakers but given the diversity of the four folks who spoke I'd be surprised if they had a distorted picture of things. I am sure, however, that a great many people who write books and articles these days are determined to rewrite history to suit themselves. IMHO, you're misled if you think the majority of any group other than the State Church (which was the Lutheran Church) cooperated with Hitler. Some small Protestant groups formed what they called the German Christianity movement but even large numbers of Baptists and other denominations only cooperated to the degree they were forced to while the Lutheran Church actively supported him.

Lutherans like Bonhoeffer who spoke out against Hitler were the exception which is why he survived so long. Others who didn't have the Lutheran Church on their side were silenced or drafted into some sort of service (military or forced labor) well before the war even started according to what we were told. In addition, the eugenics programs Hitler modeled US eugenics laws were all acceptable to the Lutheran Church both here and in Germany but universally opposed by the Catholic Church.

You can bet that as a good Lutheran who had read and reread Bonhoffer I was absolutely shocked to hear this from German Lutherans who had lived through it all but I see no reason to doubt what they had to say. As the Lutheran pastor who spoke said during the Q&A session, talk about how Catholics and even other non-Lutheran Protestant groups cooperated with Hitler are based on either select propaganda the Nazi party published or a clear case of the survivors writing the history. Survivors who have a vested interest in making everyone seem just as complicit as they were. I guess that's why a lot of Lutherans were always anxious to talk about how the German Army belt buckles had "God Is With Us" stamped on them even though that was a holdover from the WWI equipment used initially rather than based on anything the Nazi regime had anything to do with.

Without a lot of trustworthy new information I think I'll stick to what I heard from people who were there rather than accepting the broad brush some folks like to paint with.

41 posted on 09/22/2012 4:35:21 PM PDT by Rashputin (Only Newt can defeat both the Fascist democrats and the Vichy GOP)
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To: stfassisi

Don’t be so sure: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/21/us-germany-catholic-churchtax-idUSBRE88K0LX20120921


42 posted on 09/22/2012 4:38:48 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: tumblindice; narses; Dr. Sivana; campaignPete R-CT; Tax-chick; RitaOK
tumblindice:

I don't suppose you would care to give specific proof that the Catholic Church to which I belong is somehow "actively assisting in infanticide." I would offer contrary evidence in the Catechism of the Catholic Church which provides for excommunication latae sententiae (automatic) for material cooperation in abortion and the papal encyclical Evangelium Vitae (Gospel of Life) by the late John Paul II. What have you got that proves otherwise?

43 posted on 09/22/2012 5:10:26 PM PDT by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline, Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen's Society. Broil 'em now!!!)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

The Church is not denying Communion to poor Christians. What next pay up for the last rites?


44 posted on 09/22/2012 5:12:25 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Take two Aspirin and call me in November - Obama for Hindmost.)
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To: vladimir998
From the article :

"A major departure wave from both Catholic and Protestant churches occurred in the early 1990s, when the government raised taxes to finance ex-communist eastern Germany.

Since the levy was almost the same as the church tax - whose origins date back to the 19th century - Germans could neutralize the tax boost by quitting their church."

Interesting, a sudden outpouring of the spirit led a large number of people to abandon organized religion and at the same time saved them money.
I wonder what spirit that was?
45 posted on 09/22/2012 5:19:47 PM PDT by Rashputin (Only Newt can defeat both the Fascist democrats and the Vichy GOP)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

What about the Poor Clares of the world? (not just the Order) What about the couples who followed Church teaching and had large families and struggle to provide - and they do provide the necessities - but certainly do not have cash flow for that tax? “Blessed are the poor...”

Now they have to worry about their children receiving Sacraments and their own burials while those couples who used birth control to limit their offspring and have more cash flow will have no problem receiving Sacraments.

Each German parish will need to set up a fund to help the poor in their area get the Sacraments.


46 posted on 09/22/2012 5:46:53 PM PDT by Domestic Church (AMDG ... there is no such thing as coincidence)
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To: Mike Darancette
From the article :

"Catholics who leave can no longer receive sacraments, except for a special blessing before death, the decree states."
Obviously they're not planning on charging for last rites. What they're doing is removing from their membership rolls those folks who have sworn to the government that they are no longer Catholic.

Apparently many non-Catholics prefer to wink and nod at their "snow covered pile of dung" (to quote Luther) fellow church members who lie to the government in order to save a few bucks.

47 posted on 09/22/2012 5:57:48 PM PDT by Rashputin (Only Newt can defeat both the Fascist democrats and the Vichy GOP)
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To: vladimir998

It’s still not in line with Church teachings to follow


48 posted on 09/22/2012 6:17:49 PM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: stfassisi

According to whom?


49 posted on 09/22/2012 6:27:39 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: bmwcyle; Rashputin
All churches bowed to Hitler.
History is clearly not your strong suit, right? Look up Alfred Delp and Maximilian Kolbe, just to name two.
50 posted on 09/22/2012 6:40:42 PM PDT by narses
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