Church taxes and Germany
Bernard Dauenhauer has asked that this story from the NCR be posted; it concerns a court decision allowing German Catholics to refuse to pay their church tax and yet remain members of the Catholic Church. A very different system than our own!
The gist of the story: “Leaving the church in Germany starts with a visit to the local court or registry office where the applicant completes an official declaration of withdrawal before a court official. The court then sends notifications to the parish, the employer and the local registration office.
“Excommunication from the church ensues automatically and one’s baptismal certificate is endorsed to that effect.
“The German Catholic church has meted out the penalty of excommunication to 1.1 million former members from 1998 to 2007.
“In August 2007 Zapp, an emeritus professor of canon law, went to his local registry office to announce that he was leaving the Catholic church. After signing the required document, he went to the archbishop’s office and declared that he was still a Catholic.” Read the whole thing here: http://ncronline.org/news/global/german-court-upholds-church-tax-challenge