For German bishops mercy comes at a price, critics charge

I think you are right. On one hand, they use “mercy” to propose Communion for gay, totally ignoring the fact of sin and bring in extra income, on the other hand, they disallow Communion to those who do not pay church tax, since they don’t bring in money. Money is valued above the individual. The deeper problem is Christ’s teaching can be ignored, doctrine can be changed as long as their purposes are fulfilled. :eek: The deeper problem is “my will be done”, not “Thy will be done.”

That’s all well and good–but there are plenty of more Christian ways of raising revenue than having the civil government force people to pay you if they don’t commit apostacy.

Another poster was correct that this has more to do with Catholics committing apostasy than the tax in of itself.

It would be akin to a Catholic rejecting his/her Catholic faith as a requisite to joining the Nazi Party.

I also agree, the Bishops of Germany need to get out of the business of receiving government funding, which has caused this issue in the first place.


My initial reaction was to abhor the idea of the churches in Germany participating in a “church tax”.

But then, there are staggeringly beautiful churches in Germany, and the upkeep costs must be enormous. Those churches are part of Germany’s heritage, but should they be “secularized” because of state support, like Hagia Sophia is “secularized”? I wouldn’t think so. Let the Lutherans keep their services in their churches and let the Catholics do the same.

So, perhaps it’s just as well that Germany has a tax like that. Italy too. Maybe the tax money should ONLY go to the physical upkeep of the churches, with the churchmen relying donations for the remainder of their expenses.

In the U.S, of course, there would be little no need for such a tax because there aren’t all that many “pre-modern” churches of note, and few of the ones built in the last 50 years would be worth saving.

Back at the dawn of time when I was a little kid, we had a pastor who published, once a year, who gave how much over the preceding year. Handed out the list with the bulletin. That was painful to a lot of people, and one would consider it hardly less coercive than the government adding 3% to one’s tax bill. It was a boon to the vain, however, because it didn’t take long to mentally divide the donation amount by .10. :wink: "Wow! I remember thinking, “that guy makes that much?”

Except, as I understand it, who’s committing apostasy? The fact that these people are still coming around to the Sacraments and are being quizzed about whether or not they’ve paid the tax man seems to put that one to bed. If they were truly committing apostasy, they’d be getting quizzed by their new Lutheran pastor or some such.

It really is an issue of tax evasion. Whether or not you like the idea of a government tax to fund religious institutions (I don’t, because we have enough trouble here in the US with just the tax-exemption laws muzzling priests, rabbis, pastors and other religious figures from the pulpit) you have to admit that Christ didn’t say “Thou art Peter, and on this Rock I shall build my Church. Except for those people who do not check a box on a German government form some 2,000 years from now. They, I shalt expel from my church and send them into the outer fire where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

In fact, if it weren’t from fear of violating forum rules, I’d accuse a different party of sin, one that starts with an “S” instead of an “A”.

Pat Payne

Except, as I understand it, who’s committing apostasy?

The moment they deny their faith, they commit apostasy. It’s why the Bishops are denying them the sacraments, until they go to confession and proclaim their faith.

The fact that these people are still coming around to the Sacraments and are being quizzed about whether or not they’ve paid the tax man seems to put that one to bed. If they were truly committing apostasy, they’d be getting quizzed by their new Lutheran pastor or some such.

You can not receive the sacrament while in sin, in this case, apostasy.

It really is an issue of tax evasion.

That’s the reason why they deny their faith. Can you imagine if it was a risk to their life if they didn’t deny their faith ?

Yeah, I don’t like the idea of the government collecting a tax for religion. I believe deeply in the separation of Church and State and why I’m glad I don’t live in Germany under such a law.


We cannot “assume” that someone is an apostate unless they claim to be. There is a huge difference between witholding information from the government and being an apostate. Its not justifiable to “assume” anything without that person being able to speak for himself.

Nice post.

…its really hard not to let the anxiety of socialism within the Church get to me. Its frustrating, and I just cant stand it. :frowning:

2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

It appears that the German Bishops are speaking of the bold I highlighted.


I dont understand Jim. :o

…How can a third party relay information to the Church about one of their parishioners being an apostate, and then that parish excommunicates that parishioner without asking him what he believes first. :shrug:

It makes no sense, because if i decide not to tell a coworker what my religion is, after being asked, then that makes me an apostate too? It just doesnt add up. The Church in Germany is full of smoke.:cool:

I have no idea how the information about an apostate was received by the Bishops, but apparently it was.


Nobody has the right to call someone an apostate just because it is “assumed” . it needs to be declared openly, without doubt, by the so called apostate himself… Its too serious a charge to take lightly.

It’s not quite that simple. These people didn’t just fail to pay taxes. They made an official statement that they were no longer part of the Church. That’s apostasy and it does bar one from the Sacraments. But they should be admitted to Confession if they wanted to reclaim their Catholic identity and return to the practice of the faith.

Our pastor used to live and serve as a priest in Germany. From what he has told us, the parish or the diocese gets money from the government based on the “list” of people who identify as Catholic. It makes sense that the list is shared with the diocese or, at least that additions and deletions are shared. This would enable either side to check for accuracy.

An official statement? No… Actually, not offering information is not a statement at all. It’s the exact opposite of a statement.

…this is radicalism, where salvation is being held ransom for money.

Saying Germans who don’t want to pay this tax are apostates is wrong and focuses on the people rather than the real villains and that is the German Bishops and Rome who should order the Bishops to cease and desist this Anti-Catholic measure and if they don’t excommunicate every one of them and laicize them if they still refuse.

There is no moral justification for this whatsoever.

Similar to my thoughts as well. Of course, if you are disobedient to moral teaching; no prob - then the German church advocates for your right to receive the sacraments (communion for divorced/remarried.) There’s something very dark here.

And didn’t the pope recently say something about a “poorer” church? :rolleyes:

The Church draws a hefty income from this so-called church tax, and the clergy are paid rather large salaries by the state. Most Americans would be a bit shocked to learn that German bishops make between €8000 ($10,965) and €11,500 ($15,763) a month, depending upon their seniority. That comes to between $131,000 and $189,000 a year. Priests make less – but still far more than their American brother priests.

Yeah, exactly. :shrug:

This type of thinking in Germany is distorted. There is no excuse for it.

Apparently their tax form asks which religion they belong to.

When a Catholic answers, “none,” it’s viewed as apostasy, which is why the Bishops are refusing them the sacraments.

But hey, don’t go by me, go by the German Bishops who are the authority in this.


Then the Bishops are wrong as this would never fly in an Ecclesiastical Court.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit