More than half a million people left the Catholic Church in Germany in 2022. Specifically, the number of people leaving the church was 522,821, as announced by the German Bishops’ Conference (DBK) in Bonn. That is more than ever before and significantly more than in the previous record year 2021. At that time there were 359,338.
It had already become apparent at the beginning of last year that the already dramatic development for the German Catholic Church would accelerate again. Especially after the presentation of a report on abuse in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising in January and the discussion about the complicity of Pope Benedict XVI, who has died in the meantime. the exit numbers had literally exploded.
“The Catholic Church is dying an agonizing death”
Allegations of lying against the controversial Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, who had only been raided on Tuesday, made headlines last year, as did legal disputes over compensation for victims of abuse in Cologne and in Traunstein in Upper Bavaria.
“The Catholic Church is dying an agonizing death before the eyes of the public,” according to canon law expert Thomas Schuller. “Many causes play a role here, but also current fire accelerators such as the cardinal tragedy in Cologne, in the whirlpool of which all dioceses and even the regional evangelical churches are drawn in,” said Schuller of the German Press Agency. In fact, the exit wave is not only rolling faster and faster in the Catholic Church. With 380,000 members, the Protestant Church also lost more in 2022 than in the previous year.
sti/AR (dpa, epd, kna)