The Catholic Church in Germany misplaced a report variety of members final 12 months – Bible Type

The Catholic Church in Germany misplaced a report variety of members final 12 months

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According to official figures released on Friday, a record number of Catholics officially left the church in Germany in 2019.

Statistics released on June 26 showed that 272,771 people left the Catholic Church last year, a significant increase from 216,078 in 2018.

In a statement on June 26, Bishop Georg Bätzing, President of the German Bishops' Conference, said he did not want to "gloss over" the numbers.

He said: "Of course, the declines are also due to demographics, but they show above all that despite our concrete pastoral and social measures, we no longer motivate many people for church life."

“I find the very high number of people who leave the church particularly stressful. We regret every departure from church and invite everyone who has left or wants to leave to speak to us. The number of people leaving the church shows that the estrangement between members of the church and a life of faith in the church community have increased. "

The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), an organization that represents 20 Protestant groups, also published its annual statistics on June 26. She reported that her membership dropped from 21.14 million in 2018 to 20.7 million in 2019, a decrease of 440,000.

According to the new numbers, the number of Catholics in the country decreased from 23 million in 2018 to 22.6 million in 2019.

Catholics today make up 27.2% of Germany's almost 84 million inhabitants, after 27.7% in 2018.

The proportion of Catholics attending services fell to its lowest level in 2019, at 9.1%, compared to 9.3% in the previous year.

Formal exits from the Catholic Church in Germany are sometimes motivated by the desire to avoid the country's church tax. When a person is registered as a Catholic, 8-9% of their income tax goes to the church. The only way to stop paying tax is to make an official declaration that you will not be a member. They are no longer allowed to receive sacraments or Catholic burials.

Meanwhile, church admissions decreased from 2,442 in 2018 to 2,330 in 2019, while readmissions decreased from 6,303 to 5,339 over the same period.

According to the website of the Catholic Church in Germany, church marriages decreased by 10% in 2019, confirmations by 7% and first communions by 3%.

The number of baptisms also decreased from 167,787 in 2018 to 159,043 in 2019.

In Bätzing's own diocese of Limburg, 9,439 people left the Catholic Church in 2019, 1,459 more than in 2018.

The bishop, who succeeded Cardinal Reinhard Marx as chair of the episcopal conference in March, said that the church should not respond to "chasing a zeitgeist," but to recognize the "signs of the times," as used by the Second Vatican Council.

He said: “This sometimes requires brave changes in our own ranks. That is why we made our way to the Synod of the Church in Germany last year to ask what God wants us to do in this world today. "

"We will take the figures published today seriously and include them in the discussions about the Synodal Walk."

The Synod Walk is a two-year process in which lay people and bishops come together to discuss four main issues: the way power is exercised in the church; Sexual morality; the priesthood; and the role of women.

The German bishops initially said that the process would end with a series of “binding” votes, which raised concerns in the Vatican that the resolutions might question the doctrine and discipline of the church.

In June 2018, Pope Francis sent a 28-page letter to the German Catholics asking them to focus on evangelization in the face of "growing erosion and deterioration in faith".

"Every time an ecclesial community has tried to get out of its problems alone and rely solely on its own strengths, methods and intelligence, it has multiplied and promoted the evils it wanted to overcome," he wrote.

Last September, the Vatican sent a letter to the German bishops stating that the plans for the synod were "not valid for the church".

After a back and forth between the Episcopal Conference and the representatives of the Vatican, the first synod meeting took place in Frankfurt in late January. The second meeting is expected to take place in September despite the coronavirus crisis.

In his letter to the German Catholics, the Pope said that the participants in the “Synod Path” were subjected to a special “temptation”.

“Based on this temptation, it is believed that the best answer to the many existing problems and shortcomings is to reorganize, change, and reassemble things in order to create order and facilitate church life by adapting to it current logic or that of a particular group, ”he wrote.

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