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(RNS) As the new pontiff tries to reform the way the church does business, German dioceses, which reportedly include the world's wealthiest in Cologne, are chafing under the new direction as membership numbers continue to dwindle.


  1. This soft suspension is typical of the way in which the Vatican has also handled the outrageous sexual abuse of young people by its clergy. It is sin itself. It is criminal. And it maintains the mentality in the hierarchy that they are royal, above everyone else, especially the poor people. And in Germany, they also receive money from the government till from which they suck up wealth to support their shallow, monarchical, materialistic life styles.

    None of it has anything to do with Jesus. Such priests and bishops are nothing but false prophets. They are exploiting religion to support their desire for materialistic, cushy living. No Catholic should ever enter a door of another Catholic church until the lay people of each parish and each diocese are given management control over all financial aspects of both entities and an equal participation in all other matters.

  2. I am a German teacher and there is a major factual error in the report. The German church tax is not 8-10% of an individual’s income but rather 8-10% of an individual’s income tax bill. Big difference. A typical middle class German family is not paying more than 1000-2000 Euro for the church tax, which is a lot less than an American middle class family that is tithing 10% of the family’s income.

    • Absolutely correct. I live in Switzerland where we also have the same tax System. People declare themselves Catholic or Protestant; they canb also declare as having no Religion in which case thy are not taxed. Whereas we tithed in North America–in Switzerland and German, the state collects the tax on behalf of the church. I am taxed 8% of my City tax bill. In total this come to less than 1/2 of 1 months salary. The reasons the churches are so rich here is because the tax is collected whereas in North America we cannot be sure that People give in their tithe regularly and consistently. In this Germanic System you know how much is available because it has already been collected. To maintain a building you don^t need to do any fundraising. You simply call the maintenance People and transfer the moneyy!