German Church loses 200.000 faithful every year
The German bishops' conference published the statistics for 2020. "Only" 220,000 people left the Church. people, which is less than in 2019.
The tide of the faithful leaving the German Church continues. In the last year alone, 221,390 people officially left the church structures, which is nineteen per cent less than in 2019, when the episcopate recorded 272,711 such cases. For at least three years, according to the German branch of Catholic News Agency (CNA Deutsch), these numbers have remained above 200,000. annually.
This year’s report was commented on in an accompanying statement by the chairman of the German episcopate, Bishop Georg Bätzing, who said that although the German Church made strenuous efforts during the coronavirus epidemic, it was experiencing “a profound shock.”
“This is also reflected in the statistics of people leaving the Church, which I find painful for our community. Many have lost their trust and want to send a signal by leaving the Church. We take it very seriously and we have to face this situation openly and honestly and answer the questions we are asked” – said the hierarch.
He also admitted that the number of people leaving the Church is influenced by cases of sexual abuse. Bishop Bätzing repeated the hope expressed by Cardinal Reinhard Marx and picked up by Pope Francis that the German Synodal Way would make a significant “contribution to building new trust.”