For money? I doubt our Holy Father will sign it. This almost relegates the Sacraments to acts of simony, requiring you to pay almost. This is ridiculous. This is outrageous and disgusting. What does my taxes have to do with worshipping Our LORD??
“Render unto ceaser what is ceasers, but give to GOD what belongs to GOD!!”
This means, keep my tax files out of my worship. In my opinion anyway, it should be immoral to pay taxes. The rate is so high, the usage is very immoral (Funding Abortion, the advancement of the homosexual movement etc.) (Im talking about Canada). I Love my country, but its leaders should stop doing this kind of idiocy. I feel sorry for the Faithful in Germany. The last thing they need over there is a barrier to divide themselves. I have a fear that this will polzarize the faithful even more.
Let me explain one thing that might be foreign to most North Americans. The vast majority of donations to the Church in Germany come via this church taxing system. This is an optional service provided by the German state that the churches actually pay for.
Basically Germans pay 8-9% of whatever their civil taxes are. For example if you earned $50,000 and paid 25% in taxes you’d pay for example $12,500 x 8% or $1000 to the Church. In effect that’s about $20 a week. Some practicing members choose to say legally that they are not, such as in this case, Catholic to avoid this church payment.
Are you really a member of a church if you aren’t willing to support it with a fairly moderate amount of money (say 2% of your income)? That’s the debate that is really going on here.
When we were in Finland earlier this year our guide told us that church membership was way down in her country because if you belong you are taxed. Seems like they don’t want to trust people to tithe. By the way, she was not speaking of the Catholic Church.
I read that Pope Benedict approved of it. As a Christian in RCIA, I’m really confused now over the Church’s stance on tithing. I was told the Church’s stance was “give, but give what you can.” now it seems 8-9% is now mandated by the Church.
No, this has completely to do with how the German tax system works. You get taxed XYZ amount, then Germany sends it to different places, including churches. To attempt lower their taxes, some people legally declare they are not Catholic.
After the changes to Canon Law in 1983, technically no one can “leave” the Church, Baptism is permanent. But with German tax laws as they are now, some wish to not support the Church any further, so they want a legal means to not call themselves Catholic, especially if the Church needs to run reports to determine membership so they can get the proper money from the government.
What this will do will allow people to leave the Church in a civil sense, thereby they will not pay money through taxes.
This reminds me of a civil divorce between two people married in the Catholic Church, actually. They can’t dissolve their marriage within the Church, but they may need to dissolve it via the civil government to divide assets.
I’m confused over this as well. This is not a Catholic mandate (coming from the Vatican) and does not apply to Catholics world-wide. So, this is a special situation having to do with how the German government re-partitions tax money?
Actually, the last change to Canon Law regarding an Formal Act of Defection was much more recent than 1983.
This is a concession to the growing movement in Europe of “un-baptism”. Atheists want to remove their names completely from Church rolls. This will not remove their name (as far as I know) - that would be unwise and destructive to the integrity of sacramental records. This will put an official notation in their record that they have made a Formal Act of Defection.
I don’t think you can invoke this just by failing or refusing to pay taxes. That would clearly be simony. I am sure that the Holy See has given this a critical look. Perhaps it is necessary to avoid a larger scandal. But this isn’t just about paying taxes. This is about ex-Catholics attempting to renounce the Church entirely. The taxes are just part and parcel of renunciation. The media, of course, is playing up the angle of simony for sensationalism. Is it really any surprise? Don’t buy into it.
Hartmut Zapp, a retired canon lawyer, was taken to court but claimed his religious rights. “What bothers me is that a member of the church of Christ loses his soul because of a declaration before a state authority,” he said.
Herbert Frahm, a former Catholic, said: “I have resigned from this hypocritical club. There are many ways to do good with the money I have saved from the church tax. Leaving the church does not change anything about my religious beliefs. I am extremely doubtful whether Jesus Christ would pay his church tax to stay in this club.”
The article does not say explicitly, but these quotes seem to indicate that the “tax dodgers” in question got out of the tax by committing a formal act of apostasy. I.e. declaring to a government representative that they were renouncing their faith.
They would not be excommunicated for withholding support from the Church, but they would for apostasy.
It’s NOT a tax on Churches. It’s the German government collecting money from church memebers that is passed on directly to the churches. The churches do pay a for this service. Or more simply the German Goverment is passing the collection plate on behalf of the churches The Church is free to opt out of the system if they would like.