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Last year, nearly 360,000 Germans were de-registered from the Catholic Church. Record. There are a lot more than in the previous record year 2019. When about 272,000 Germans turned away from the Catholic Church.
According to the German Bishops’ Conference, the large number of church leaving is mainly due to the concealment of sexual abuse within the church. Since the 1970s, at least 200 people working in the Diocese of Cologne have been guilty of abuse.
A report on this has not been published from 2020. The Archbishop of Cologne, Rainer Wolke, has been widely criticized for his approach. So he announced in March that he was leaving the post of Archbishop.
In the diocese, the number of departed has doubled to more than 40,000. “The painful process of coming to terms with the past has eroded many people’s faith in the Church,” says Vice Archbishop Marcus Hoffmann.
The head of the German Bishops’ Conference, Georg Patzing, said he was very shocked by the record number of church graduates. He talks about a “deep crisis within the German Catholic Church”. According to Patsing, loyal believers also leave the church, not only Germans who are registered but do not practice religious rituals.
Also many Protestant dropouts
Abandonment of the Church is not a problem specific to Catholic Germany. The Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD), of which 20 Protestant denominations are represented, reported earlier this year that the number of members had fallen below 20 million for the first time. Last year, 280,000 Germans left one of the EKD churches.
For the first time, less than half of Germans are members of the Catholic or Protestant Church. 26 percent of Germans are registered as Catholics, and 23.7 percent are registered as EKD.
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