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There must be something in the water — or the beer — in Germany which causes Catholic prelates there to lose their minds, to go mad. Not only do some of them not think like Catholics, some of them have difficulty figuring out how to read a spreadsheet.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops conference, has apparently been taking political hair-splitting lessons from Hillary Clinton. According to numbers released by him and the national conference of his fellow bishops, close to a fifth of a million Catholics walked out of the Catholic Church last year. 181,000 souls abandoned the true Faith. That compares with just about 2,000 who converted.
One hundred eighty-one thousand left. Two thousand came in. For every one that came, in 90 walked out.
What does he have to say about this? "The statistics show that the Church in Germany continues to be a strong force, whose message is heard and accepted. There obviously not only is an interest in, but also an active desire for the sacraments of the Church, as the slight increase of baptisms and marriages proves."
Riiiiight! "A strong force." Suuure! "Whose message is heard and accepted."
What a purely political statement, if there ever was one. Only a politician could talk like that. If the cardinal wants to lie to himself, go right ahead. But don't put a spin on the lousy work the Church has done in Germany and try to present it as some kind of success story.
And the staggering loss was just for 2015. Since 1995 — the past 21 years — numbers approaching half the total of German Catholics have given up the Faith. Good thing the Church's strong voice is listened to. Perhaps they can take some of the nearly 7 billion euros they received from the government last year and buy giant rock concert speakers to attach to the outside of all the churches, so the people leaving can still hear their strong voice.
In these past 21 years, baptisms have fallen from approximately 260,000 to 160,000. The number of Catholic marriages has essentially been cut in half, from 86,000 to 44,000. Eighty million Germans — 44,000 Catholic marriages. Good thing the Church's strong voice is being listened to.
Mass attendance in the past 21 years — approaching a near-50 percent decline. Nineteen percent to 10 percent. Thank Heaven for the strong voice being listened to.
According to a recent, well-founded study, more than half of the clergy don't go to confession in a given year. More than nine out of 10 pastoral assistants likewise go to confession less than once a year. There's that strong voice being listened to again.
So let's do a 30,000-foot summary for the good cardinal. Your people are not getting married in the Church. Your baptisms are abysmal. Your clergy don't go to confession, and your faithful don't go to Mass. Has Cdl. Marx lost his mind, seriously? The only individual celebrating these numbers and saying they are good is Satan. What Martin Luther started 500 years ago, the German bishops are finishing in short order. Good job.
Is the cardinal lying about the numbers with his spin? Has he gone mad? Is he not all that concerned because the Church in Germany is drowning in money because the unique way the tax system works there in paying the Church tax receipts? Nearly $7 billion last year alone. One diocese alone has over $1 billion in liquid assets in the bank — cash. $1 billion. That's more than most Third-World countries.
And speaking of Third-World countries, remember this guy? Cardinal Walter Kasper, who was recorded by a journalist at the 2014 synod in Rome. His racist comments were played all around the world. He said African Catholics "should not tell us too much what we have to do."
Seems like the Africans should be telling the Church in Germany exactly what to do — including how to interpret a spreadsheet.