Skip to comments.German Catholics to exclude church tax dodgers
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 doesnt 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 persons 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.
When I told God I was sorry....I don’t ever remember hearing “Pay me”!!
As my husband said, Oh, those Krazy Krauts!
Maybe they could just set up a ticket turnstile next to the holy water.
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.
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?
I've seen this movie.
German Catholics should come here: If they wanted to, they could get away with murder.
“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 dont know when life begins.”
They’d have to change the movie, the tax is also paid for and to Protestant Churches.
something activated my BS detector...
Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:
Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.
“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
Back to indulgences?
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.
protestants sell indulgences? Catholics sure don’t, but since protestants pay this tax you must mean them too, right?
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.
It was a joke, son.
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. 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.
The German Church bowed to the government in the 1930’s. It did not go well then.
This article is about the Catholic denomination excluding non-tax payers, how do different Protestant denominations enforce the tax?
Do they do it spiritually?
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.
Well I would imagine that this story is a crock of feces.
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
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.
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.
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.
(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.)
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.
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.
How so? That this tax is not collected, or that the Roman Catholic Church is not adopting this policy in Germany?
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.
Calling in the troops, eh?Nope, just pinging people who may have an interest in this odd story. tumblindice wrote:
Well, lets 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 thats `life. But a viable fetus isnt 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.
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.
The German Church bowed to the government in the 1930s.The German PROTESTANT Church bowed to the government in the 1930s.
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.
All churches bowed to Hitler. They did not stand and say no. Like the churches of the United States have bowed to the IRS.
Less than you knew, gramps.
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.
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.
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.
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?
The Church is not denying Communion to poor Christians. What next pay up for the last rites?
"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?
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.
"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.
It’s still not in line with Church teachings to follow
According to whom?
All churches bowed to Hitler.History is clearly not your strong suit, right? Look up Alfred Delp and Maximilian Kolbe, just to name two.