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A report from the fractious German Bishops' Conference reveals 221,390 Germans apostatized last year.
The long-troubled German Church suffered a massive loss in 2020, which the bishops are blaming on the Wuhan virus. The July 14 statistics report was accompanied by a statement from Bp. Georg Bätzing, the liberal bishops' conference president.
"These numbers are a drastic reflection of how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting life in our communities," the prelate insisted. "We are experiencing a profound shock in the Church. ... I very much hope that the Synodal Way can make its contribution to building new trust."
Heading the diocese of Limburg, Bp. Bätzing has been president of the bishops' conference since March 2020.
The "Synodaler Weg" or "synodal way" touted by the Teutonic prelate is a years-long project to reinterpret Catholic teaching. Its fruits are, of course, a probable catalyst for the steady loss of life in the German Church. The pandemic may have contributed to 2020's loss of souls, but the synodal way of far-left pandering and financial bullying have ensured Catholic Germany's consistent decline.
Germany has been losing Catholics far longer than Bätzing's COVID reasoning admits. In 2019 — before COVID lockdowns — Germany lost a record-breaking 272,771 Catholics. And in 2018, it lost 216,078.
The state-imposed German "church tax" (Kirchensteuer) has dissuaded some from officially identifying as Catholic. If registered as Catholic, nearly 10% of an individual's tax dollars is given to the Church. The only way out of the tax is to formally leave the Faith. The German Bishops' Conference holds fast to implementing the tax.
Money from the "church tax" rakes in vast sums for the Catholic hierarchy in Germany; in recent years, it's amounted to billions of dollars annually.
The synodal way has been used to hawk for female priests, globalism, ecumenism, multiculturalism and homosexual unions.
Cardinal Ruini observed:
Problems are coming to a head that unfortunately have existed for some time, especially in German-speaking countries, as demonstrated by the so-called German Synodal Assembly currently underway, which has clearly indicated its objectives: not only the blessing of same-sex couples, but also the priesthood of women, the abolition of the obligation of ecclesiastical celibacy, the intercommunion between Catholics and Protestants.
Bishop Bätzing and other Church leaders have long been proponents of the synodal way, which in preliminary synodal documents promotes such aberrations as homosexuality, masturbation and contraception. Bätzing himself signed off on the documents.
In the preliminary papers, acts of sodomy are labeled "positive meaningful values, insofar as they are an expression of friendship, reliability, loyalty and support in life." Masturbation — referred to as "self-sex" — is dubbed "a responsible approach to one's own sexuality." And contraception is rebranded as permissible.
All of this is in opposition to authentic Catholic teaching. The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls homosexual acts "intrinsically disordered" (2357), masturbation a "gravely disordered action" (2352) and contraception "intrinsically evil" (2370).
Bätzing himself has clashed with the Vatican as recently as April this year over blessing homosexual unions. When the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reiterated the Church's ban on blessing same-sex unions, the German prelate pushed back and was joined by most of the other German bishops.