Skip to comments.'Untrusting' Catholics rush to leave church
Posted on 11/07/2013 8:06:41 AM PST by Alex Murphy
The number of Germans leaving the Catholic church as much as tripled in October. Trust among followers has plummeted after a major financial scandal, experts said on Thursday.
There has been a significant increase in people filling out paperwork at town halls to leave both the Catholic and Evangelical churches between September and October, new research suggested on Thursday.
The trend is, experts said, linked to the bling Bishop scandal, in which Catholic Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst was found to have spent millions of euros of church money on his own private house including hundreds of thousands on cupboards alone.
Church officials are calling it the Tebartz-effect, with dioceses across the country reporting receiving letters from congregation members saying that they had lost faith in the church's handling of its finances. When a person leaves the church, they become exempt from church tax which is levied by the government.
A full, 65 percent of German Catholics consider their church less, or not at all, trustworthy, according to pollsters Forsa who recently conducted a survey.
In Cologne, 571 people officially left the Catholic church in October twice the number who left in September. This was, city council spokesman Marcus Strunk said, the highest number in years.
Cologne's Evangelical church also saw an 80 percent rise in people leaving its pews in the same time frame with 228 people unregistering. People are queueing morning and evening, at the council offices, said Strunk.
In Paderborn, also in North Rhine-Westphalia, the number of Catholics unregistering tripled on the month before. Osnabrück and Bremen also reported rising figures. As did councils across Bavaria, a largely Catholic state.
Bavariacapital Munich saw 1,250 people leave the Catholic church in October, more than twice the 602 who left in September. In Regensburg, Nuremberg and Passau the number tripled.
Religion sociologist Detlef Pollack from Münster University said this sudden jump was part of a trend that had been developing slowly for some time.
The quality of living and level of education is so high [in Germany] that fewer people are turning to the spiritual support and social services of the church, he said.
....Church officials are calling it the Tebartz-effect, with dioceses across the country reporting receiving letters from congregation members saying that they had lost faith in the church's handling of its finances. When a person leaves the church, they become exempt from church tax which is levied by the government.
What’s the deal on all the anti-catholic articles on Free Republic?
How is this an "anti-Catholic" article? Should the headline have read....
'Trusting' Catholics rush to join church....or should we just avoid reporting any news event that doesn't paint the rosiest of all possible pictures about Catholicism?
That's the point.
Eyes on the Prize, people. Jesus is the founder of the Catholic faith, not Bishop Tebartz, or any other mere mortal who loses their way.
Whats the deal on all the anti-catholic articles on Free Republic?There are a number of non-Catholic Christians who deplore Catholicism, and they want their voices heard. Since this is an open forum, they voice away.
Not just anti-Catholic, but anti-Christian articles as well; it does also state: "There has been a significant increase in people filling out paperwork at town halls to leave both the Catholic and Evangelical churches between September and October, new research suggested on Thursday.
**There has been a significant increase in people filling out paperwork at town halls to leave both the Catholic and Evangelical churches between September and October, new research suggested on Thursday. **
LOL! at the reporter who wrote that. No paperwork needs to be filled out at a town hall.
What a riotous laugh!
The “Catholic Church” is NOT the imperfect human members.
Those members are NOT where faith and trust is to be placed.
The “Catholic Church” is comprised of the Word of God, as conveyed in Scripture and Tradition, as Tradition and oral teaching preceded the written Word.
Churches in Germany are supported by tax money. They're filling out papers to tell the government to stop taking money out of their taxes to support the church.
Shhhh! Don't upset the apple cart! The next thing you know, people might start doubting whether the sky is green!
I have it on good authority that Hitler died. And now I find out that Jews and Catholics must pay 8 to 9 percent more on their income tax in order to join a church or a synagogue.
And the Jews and Catholics failed to stop the government from doing this.
There is NO rule in the Catholic church that any member must pay a given amount in order to receive Communion, etc. The money paid is filtered though The German government which means great gobs of money must be spent on government offices. Hitler still lives.
How sad that they’d leave a church based on what one Cardinal did ... even after he’s been caught and the situation taken care of.
At the end of the year you can deduct it from your taxes.
IMHO, if your faith in God is dependent upon the scandalous actions of a Church official (or worse a 'church tax'), you didn't have a real 'faith' to begin with.
Those who commit these types of scandals are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder," destroying other people's faith in God by their terrible example. But then he warned his listeners, "But I'm here among you to prevent something far worse for you. While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal who allow scandals to destroy their faith are guilty of spiritual suicide." ... St. Francis de Sales
Germany’s Roman Catholics can only remain part of the Church if they pay a membership tax, a court has ruled. All Germans who are officially registered as Catholics, Protestants or Jews pay a religious tax, worth an extra 8-9% of their income tax bill.
This had been challenged by a retired law professor who said he wanted to remain a Catholic but not pay the tax. Last week, a new bishops’ decree warned that anyone not paying the tax would be denied the right to religious rites. The German church levy was introduced in 1803 in compensation for the nationalization of religious property.
In 2011, the Catholic Church received 5bn Euros and the Protestant Church 4.5bn Euros from taxpayers, each adding up to the bulk of the churches’ income, the BBC’s Berlin correspondent Stephen Evans said.
He added that this arrangement, whereby the state collects taxes on behalf of religious groups and then reimburses them, was unusual in Western secular societies.
A nice bit of foot work there, SC. In my discussions with many former Catholics I find it loss of faith in the Catholic church that follows the endless and horrid scandals not a loss of faith in God.
So these former Catholics continue their search for God. As in Jesus’ illustration the wheat is easily distinguished from the weeds ever more easily.
>>When a person leaves the church, they become exempt from church tax which is levied by the government.<<
Lived and worked in Germany in 1977 but I had to declare my religious affiliation for tax purposes.
I told them that I was an atheist (I am not), it was unacceptable. I still had to pay German taxes.
So these former Catholics continue their search for God.It's like searching for a way to quench your thirst, when you've turned your back on the only known body of water. Christ is living in the Eucharist; He's alive in the Blessed Sacrament. He patiently awaits.
Why don’t you find an article on islam or jews?
Where are the anti-christian articles then?
I don't know about German law, but what you state makes sense. Can't help smile on that one too! :-)
The Christ of the Bible didn’t wait patiently, he was the shepherd who left the 99 sheep to search for the one.
Eat some crackers and sup some wine but Catholicism has failed to meet the criteria Jesus gave and failed over and again.
"Our Hearts are Restless Until They Rest in You" ... St. Augustine
Jesus didn’t “give criteria”; he founded a Church. Would you prefer his own handiwork, or something built by men to fit, according to their own reckoning, Jesus’ “criteria”.
It’s a simple English word so there should be no difficulty understanding it, if there is just say so.
No doubt, but that avoids the issue.
If Catholics were eating crackers at Mass (instead of the Eucharist, the True Body of Christ), the Church would all but disappear.
Thank you for that link! Christ gives us His saints, so that we may continue to learn; it’s a shame non-Catholic faiths do not see that.
I tried your Eucharist, a couple of times...There wasn't anything there...
And since a majority of Catholics do not believe in the real presence in the Eucharist, they know from personal experience that there is nothing there as well...
Your phrase, 'the only known body of water' is a deception...I know that from eating the wafer (1), and actually being indwelt with the Holy Spirit (2) without the wafer...But heh, good sales pitch...
Glad you admitted that you disregarded a Church teaching. Why are Protestants so disrespectful and intolerant?
There is no benefit in receiving the Eucharist, if the one receiving doesn’t believe. That’s why there are so many lukewarm Catholics, the scourge of the earth.
Nope. Jesus said wheat and weeds would grow together until the harvest.
note it’s not just Jews and Catholics — it’s members of all religious groups
But be aware that this has been overturned and soon your Jehovah's Witnesses too will collect Church tax at 8% or 9%
there are quite a few posted by non-Catholics who forget that the forces who are anti-Catholic hate other Christians as well...
Sorry, cyc, but Jehovah’s Witnesses too have failed to meet the criteria to acknowledge Jesus Christ as God, not some glorified angel
pssst... those are not Protestants. The main detractors are Jehovah’s Witneses, or cool Moslems.
Oh, you mean your Christian brothers the Mormons and the Muzzies...
The article mentioned Evangelicals too. It seems the seculars in Germany see the Roman Church as an easy target, meaning its size. The underlying issue we should all key in on is the comment about “educated” and prosperous people leaving the pews. As an Evangelical I say good riddance because the ones leaving because their god is mammon not our Holy God Almighty. I am sure Roman Catholics see it the same way.
The other lesson we should get from the article is having the State tax believers to support their particular church is bad “business.” Our founders saw fit to torpedo that bad idea. The Roman Empire did not tax The Way to keep their doors open. Paul and his companions risked dangerous sea routes to deliver aid to the Jewish churches. All coming from fellow Christians.
So Evangelical or Roman Catholic, these turncoat mammon lovers should be helped to the door.
To be exempt from the tax they have to do it. Weird ways in Europe. Truly I am shocked a secular government gets away with this in the 21st century. This is truly an alien concept for Americans given our Protestant founders torpedoed the idea of taxing citizens to support the clergy. They had enough of that nonsense under the church of England.
your moslem brothers aren't Christians.
The Pope then needs to cut off the imperfect member meaning the mammon loving bishop.
Perhaps the apostles should have written down those oral traditions and oral commands when they penned the epistles. Seems to be a huge oversight. Maybe they didn’t because they were not so important or left those traditions to local churches. When we find Paul’s letter to the Ephesians on liturgy practices it might clear things up. Until then bishops and popes can keep adding to the Scriptures at whim and declare infallibility. And when they rip off their lay folks by spending six figures to put in cabinets people can make excuses that the infallible men make fallible mistakes now and then. A wonderful self licking ice cream cone. It is like unaccountable government. We have a lot of that these days.