No Give, No
We note with ironic
interest the current situation in Germany where the German Bishops with
the approval of the Vatican have declared that anyone who informs the state he
or she no longer wants to pay the church membership tax will be excommunicated.
We quote from the
Catholic News Service story:
The German bishops'
conference defended a controversial decree that said Catholics who stop paying a
church membership tax cannot receive sacraments.
"There must be
consequences for people who distance themselves from the church by a public
act," said Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg, conference president, in
defending the Sept. 20 decree.
The article goes on to
said the pope's native Bavaria region had suffered the worst losses. The
dioceses of Augsburg, Bamberg, Eichstatt, Passau and Wurzburg reported a 70
percent increase in departures in 2010, the height of the clergy sexual abuse
The document added
that departing Catholics could no longer receive the sacraments of penance, Holy
Communion, confirmation or anointing of the sick, other than when facing death,
or exercise any church function, including belonging to parish councils or
acting as godparents.
Marriages would granted only by a bishop's consent
and unrepentant Catholics would be denied church funerals, the decree said."
The Church in Germany
is one of the wealthiest in the world. The tax used to amount to about $6
So a decision's been
made for a crackdown, "consequences" as Archbishop Zollitsch calls it.
Instead of addressing
what's causing the rush to get out of the Church - 180,000 Germans took the
official don't tax me for that Church step in 2010, followed by 126, 488 persons
in 2011 - the German bishops, with Vatican muscle back-up have decided on a
school boy take-their-ball-and-go-home approach.
When it comes to the
permanent removal of priests anywhere who rape and molest children and priests
who use them as objects of pornography the Church does the slowest dance it can
- a dance that actually makes statues look like Dancing with the Stars
While the Vatican can
find time to back up the German Bishops Conference, it can't seem to find a
minute on the Pope's schedule for him to sign a farewell note to criminally
convicted Bishop Robert Finn removing him from the highest post in the Diocese
of Kansas City/St. Joseph.
Where your treasure is,
there your heart will be.
The German Bishops,
with Vatican approbation, have clearly announced what's most important.
Think it's the
It's the money.
Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC), KristineWard@hotmail.com