Germans Fleeing the Church

by Ryan Fitzgerald  •  •  July 20, 2015   

Hundreds of thousands of Germans are leaving the only established means of human salvation

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BONN, Germany, July 20, 2015 ( - More than 200,000 German Catholics formally left the Church last year.

The total loss of members, according to the German Bishops' Conference, was 217,716, to be exact. That's even more than the year before, when more than 175,000 left.

Unlike in other countries, German Catholics have an extra incentive to officially remove themselves from the Church, because the German government enforces a strict "Church tax" for all Catholics.

The losses would perhaps be less disturbing if there were a comparable number of Germans formally coming into the Church. That's not even close to being the case, though. Not even 3,000 Germans entered the Church last year, and only a little more than 6,000 were readmitted.

All in all, 208,593 more Germans left the Church than were either admitted or readmitted into it. For every German who either entered or rejoined the Church, 23 officially bailed.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops, says he and his fellow bishops "profoundly regret" the astounding losses, but at the same time "also respect the freedom of choice."

Cardinal Marx is president of the German bishops’ conference and a notorious advocate of the heretical "Kasper proposal" — the idea, being pushed at both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Synods on the Family, that those living in adulterous civil "remarriages" should be officially permitted to receive Holy Communion.

As the Church in Germany struggles under his leadership, some prelates suggest that Cardinal Marx may be a threat to the entire Church. Once asked about a plan revealed by the German bishops to separately issue their own pastoral letter on marriage after this fall's Synod, he insisted, "We are not just a subsidiary of Rome." Those words elicited fellow German cardinal Walter Brandmüller to warn: “If he thinks that he can take nationally an independent path, he puts the unity of the Church at risk.”

Regarding the same comments by Cardinal Marx, Cardinal Raymond Burke, former head of the Church's highest court, stated, "I have not read Marx' declaration verbatim, but of course formulations like 'subsidiary of Rome' are ridiculous."

"We are all oriented toward Peter, that is the unity of the Catholic Church," explained Cardinal Burke. "'Subsidiaries’ — that is the language of business, that does not belong to the Church. That is where obedience counts."

The rest of the clergy in Germany isn't faring much better than the laymen they're supposed to serve. One recent study on German priests, authorized by the German Bishops' Conference, revealed that nearly half of them don't even pray daily and more than half don't go to Confession regularly.


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