German Catholics continue to leave Church in droves this year

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The number of people leaving the Catholic Church in Germany in 2023 is expected to remain high, a year after a record-breaking half a million Catholics turned their backs on their churches, reported dpa.

According to the survey of German towns and municipalities conducted for dpa, tens of thousands have again left the Church this year, however the number of Catholics leaving is not expected to surpass last year's exodus.

In some regions, slightly fewer people have left the Catholic and Protestant churches than in previous years.

In Freiburg in south-west Germany, a region that was rocked by a sexual abuse scandal involving senior German prelate Robert Zollitsch — the number of people leaving the church fell, despite the controversy.

In April, Zollitsch was accused in an expert report on sexual abuse by clergy in Germany of failing to report cases to Rome during his time as archbishop of Freiburg. The Vatican has since opened an investigation into whether Zollitsch should face disciplinary proceedings.

Freiburg theologian and canon law expert Georg Bier told dpa that "those who leave the church out of disappointment with current developments have had sufficient reason to do so in the past and have long since taken this step."

  •  Catholics
  •  Church
  •  Germany


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