Many of Germany's Catholic church members, dismayed by sex abuse scandal, vote with their feet.

Germans are turning their backs on the church, simply leaving the congregation - Comment on 2011 May 29 (2)

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2011 May 29 (2)
Official numbers from the seven archbishoprics and 20 dioceses have not yet been released, but data show an increase ranging from 19 per cent in Magdeburg, to more than 60 per cent in diocese of Passau and Wuerzburg in the pope's homeland. Read more:

Today I read an article from which I am now going to quote some passages:

 

Many of Germany's Catholic church members, dismayed by sex abuse scandal, vote with their feet

A year after a widespread sex scandal rocked Roman Catholics in Pope Benedict XVI's homeland, German intellectuals and faithful alike are turning their backs on the church, urging change or simply leaving the congregation.

Germany has long been a cradle of religious thought and agitation for reform, stemming from Martin Luther in the 1500s.

There are nearly 25 million Catholics in Germany, but numbers gathered indicate a spike in people leaving the congregation last year as allegations of sexual and physical abuse of hundreds of children by clergy surfaced.

While tens of thousands of Germans formally "quit" the church every year, 2010 saw a jump in the number of walkouts. German authorities easily track the numbers, because members pay a church tax, unless they formally leave the congregation.

Official numbers from the seven archbishoprics and 20 dioceses have not yet been released, but data show an increase ranging from 19 per cent in Magdeburg, to more than 60 per cent in diocese of Passau and Wuerzburg in the pope's homeland.

Augsburg, also in Bavaria, was among those hardest hit. Some 12,065 Catholics resigning their membership last year, compared with 7,000 in 2009, the diocese said.

Austria, which taxes church members in a way similar to those in Germany also saw a significant drop in the number of departures. Figures published by the Austrian Bishop's Conference said 87,000 Austrian Catholics left in 2010, a 64 per cent increase over the 53,000 who formally had their names struck from church registries in 2009.

 

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