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While German bishops collected over $7.1 billion through the government-mandated church tax, which was called "unmerciful" by Pope Benedict XVI, barely 10 percent of Germany's Catholics attended Mass.
Although there were over 167,000 baptisms, the highest number since 2010, there were, however, more burials than baptisms, with nearly 10,000 fewer children receiving their First Holy Communion.
Germans Catholics have been leaving the Church in droves. In 2015, nearly 182,000 souls left, keeping with the trend of at least 100,000, leaving the Church every year since 1990. Ninety-four parishes were closed and only 58 men ordained in 2015.
It was reported in 2015 that less than half of German priests pray outside of Mass or the Divine Office or go to confession.
The bishops, while collecting over $7.1 billion in 2015, have been the leaders of the largest deterioration since the Protestant revolution in the sixteenth century.
They have praised arch-heretic Martin Luther, calling him a "Gospel witness and teacher of the Faith," while promoting homosexual behavior and pushing the globalist agenda, allowing the influx of hundreds of thousands of anti-Catholic Muslims into Europe while continuing to support homosexuality.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the German Catholic Conference, has proposed as a solution that lay people have more involvement in the liturgy and that priests should be allowed to marry.
He is one of several Catholic bishops who openly promote doctrines contrary to Catholic teaching. He recently remarked that Holy Communion should be allowed for the divorced and civilly remarried and has also called for the Church to rethink its position on artificial contraception in marriage.
He also hinted at schism in a press conference, saying that if the Church didn't allow what he and other German bishops wanted, they might go their own way.
"We are not a subsidiary of Rome. The synod cannot prescribe in detail what we should do in Germany," he claimed. "Each episcopal conference is responsible for the pastoral care in their culture and has to proclaim the Gospel as their very own office. ... We cannot wait until a synod states something, as we have here to undertake, in this place, marriage and family ministry."
Bishop Heiner Koch of Berlin has openly approved of gay sex, and Cdl. Karl Lehmann of Mainz — former head of the German Bishops' Conference — criticized Vatican oversight in selecting bishops, saying, "Much greater attention should be given to an episcopal candidate's theological competence than his formal orthodoxy."
Although there is a group of German bishops who seem to be downplaying the catastrophe in the German Church, Pope Francis is not one of them. In 2015, at their annual "ad limina" visit in Rome, the pope chided the German bishops, saying "it is indispensable for the bishop to diligently perform his function as a teacher of the Faith."
Fellow German Cdl. Walter Brandmüller even called out unfaithful brother bishops as "heretics." "A change of the teaching is unthinkable. Who nevertheless consciously does it or insistently demands it, is a heretic — even if he wears the Roman purple."
Six bishops, headed by Bp. Stefan Oster of Passau, authored a letter, condemning the stance of other German bishops as being open to homosexual unions and Holy Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried.
Cardinal Marx previously said the rest of the world looks to the German Church for leadership but fellow German Cdl. Paul Josef Cordes criticized his claims, noting that nobody is looking to the German Church for leadership since Germany has barely any supernatural faith left.