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Author Topic: German Catholic Bishops Make Their Church "Pay to Play"  (Read 1653 times)

Altair

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German Catholic Bishops Make Their Church "Pay to Play"
« on: September 23, 2012, 01:17:25 pm »
Fascinating. I wonder if this will stem the exodus...or accelerate it?

German bishops get tough on Catholics who opt out of church tax

Quote
Germany's Roman Catholic bishops have decreed that people who opt out of a "church tax" should not be given sacraments and religious burials, getting tougher on worshippers who choose not to pay.

Alarmed by a wave of dissenting Catholics quitting the faith, the bishops issued a decree on Thursday declaring such defection "a serious lapse" and listed a wide range of church activities from which they must be excluded.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/21/us-germany-catholic-churchtax-idUSBRE88K0LX20120921
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Re: German Catholic Bishops Make Their Church "Pay to Play"
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 03:35:41 pm »
Quote from: Altair;74830
Fascinating. I wonder if this will stem the exodus...or accelerate it?

German bishops get tough on Catholics who opt out of church tax



http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/21/us-germany-catholic-churchtax-idUSBRE88K0LX20120921

 
Wow. I'm not sure how anyone thinks this will help. Won't it make people want to leave even more?
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Castus

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Re: German Catholic Bishops Make Their Church "Pay to Play"
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2012, 04:10:27 pm »
Quote from: Altair;74830
Fascinating. I wonder if this will stem the exodus...or accelerate it?

German bishops get tough on Catholics who opt out of church tax



http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/21/us-germany-catholic-churchtax-idUSBRE88K0LX20120921

I don't think it will work, but I certainly applaud their intentions.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 04:10:52 pm by Castus »

MadZealot

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Re: German Catholic Bishops Make Their Church "Pay to Play"
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2012, 04:27:32 pm »
Quote from: Castus;74850
I don't think it will work, but I certainly applaud their intentions.

 
Looks to me like the church is (ab)using faith to extort the body religious.
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Asch

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Re: German Catholic Bishops Make Their Church "Pay to Play"
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2012, 04:42:17 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;74858
Looks to me like the church is (ab)using faith to extort the body religious.

 
Maybe, but aren't the parishioners who refuse to pay the tax but still use the church's services etc taking away attention and resources from the parishioners that do pay the tax? I mean, theoretically these aren't persons that *can't* pay the tax but rather persons that won't. Sooo who is extorting whom?

Castus

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Re: German Catholic Bishops Make Their Church "Pay to Play"
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2012, 04:46:13 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;74858
Looks to me like the church is (ab)using faith to extort the body religious.

 
And it looks to me like the Church is attempting to cut back on people who leave the Church to avoid paying a tax but attempt to still enjoy privileges of those in the Church. I see no reason why those who leave the Church/refuse to pay should have their cake and eat it too.

Rhyshadow

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Re: German Catholic Bishops Make Their Church "Pay to Play"
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2012, 05:03:04 pm »
Quote from: Castus;74861
And it looks to me like the Church is attempting to cut back on people who leave the Church to avoid paying a tax but attempt to still enjoy privileges of those in the Church. I see no reason why those who leave the Church/refuse to pay should have their cake and eat it too.

 
I think it's going to accelerate the exodus - the fact that American Churches survive fairly well on a voluntary donation basis makes me think that the time of Government support of the European Churches is coming to a close.

Denying services, in my opinion, goes against the very basis of the Christian Faith, and the mandatory tax is becoming oppressive in the light of the current world financial situation.  The Churches are going to have to either streamline expenses, work more for voluntary donations, or cease to exist - they can't rely on handouts from Governments that are instituting "austerity measures" to keep themselves afloat.

Asch

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Re: German Catholic Bishops Make Their Church "Pay to Play"
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2012, 05:07:19 pm »
Quote from: Rhyshadow;74862
I think it's going to accelerate the exodus - the fact that American Churches survive fairly well on a voluntary donation basis makes me think that the time of Government support of the European Churches is coming to a close.

Denying services, in my opinion, goes against the very basis of the Christian Faith, and the mandatory tax is becoming oppressive in the light of the current world financial situation.  The Churches are going to have to either streamline expenses, work more for voluntary donations, or cease to exist - they can't rely on handouts from Governments that are instituting "austerity measures" to keep themselves afloat.

 
I concur, I was quite surprised that there such a tax still exists in any European nation let alone one as fiscally wise (traditionally) as Germany. *existential shrug*

Annie Roonie

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Re: German Catholic Bishops Make Their Church "Pay to Play"
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2012, 05:19:50 pm »
Quote from: Altair;74830
Fascinating. I wonder if this will stem the exodus...or accelerate it?


 
I had no idea there was a church tax in Germany. I'm thinking the hard line will accelerate the exodus. It seems odd that the non tax paying people cannot help with fundraising though. That and other volunteer service could be a way to sort of work for their keep if the church was of the mind to barter time, work and thoughtfulness, but if they are only concerned about the euros ... they may not have as much to be concerned about soon.

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Re: German Catholic Bishops Make Their Church "Pay to Play"
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2012, 05:46:31 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;74858
Looks to me like the church is (ab)using faith to extort the body religious.

Agreed, this attitude strikes me as not very Christian (as in "Christ-like"). I can't imagine Jesus refusing to aid people because they did not give him money.
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Shine

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Re: German Catholic Bishops Make Their Church "Pay to Play"
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2012, 06:37:56 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;74867
Agreed, this attitude strikes me as not very Christian (as in "Christ-like"). I can't imagine Jesus refusing to aid people because they did not give him money.

 
Now that you guys mention it, I agree, too. But I guess maybe the Catholic church has bigger expenses to pay for than other denominations of Christianity? I'm not sure, because I haven't been interested in anything Christian-y for a looong time now.
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Altair

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Re: German Catholic Bishops Make Their Church "Pay to Play"
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2012, 07:32:50 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;74858
Looks to me like the church is (ab)using faith to extort the body religious.


Not responding to MadZealot in particular, but to the thread generally. It seems there may be 2 ways to look at this.

1) A church is saying "stay or go, but there's no halfway." I think many folks would have sympathy with that position. Of course, it leaves open the question of what kind of participation church leaders will define as staying.

2) A church is saying "pay or go." This would turn people off. It's #1 if staying is defined as providing $.

I'm not sure they're going to win friends and influence people with this one.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

MadZealot

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Re: German Catholic Bishops Make Their Church "Pay to Play"
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2012, 08:15:46 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;74867
Agreed, this attitude strikes me as not very Christian (as in "Christ-like"). I can't imagine Jesus refusing to aid people because they did not give him money.

 
I agree, a church holds itself up as an authority in the religion has a moral obligation to perform the rites and sacraments for the body religious as needed-- regardless of pay.  A person of the cloth is a servant.  The bishops claim that one can never truly leave the church-- well those bishops can never fully abdicate their responsibilities.  

The way I learned it was that Jesus gave his life on the Cross, and that salvation was a gift of grace, not a commodity to be taxed or bought.
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MadZealot

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Re: German Catholic Bishops Make Their Church "Pay to Play"
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2012, 08:26:25 pm »
Quote from: Altair;74882
1) A church is saying "stay or go, but there's no halfway." I think many folks would have sympathy with that position. Of course, it leaves open the question of what kind of participation church leaders will define as staying.

2) A church is saying "pay or go." This would turn people off. It's #1 if staying is defined as providing $.

I'm not sure they're going to win friends and influence people with this one.

To the first, I could see the point.  There is plenty of criticism for those who are "lukewarm" with their faith, but with that comes the question of who judges whom in this regard, and what exactly gives church leaders the authority to judge their parishioners thus.  Also there's the question of why so many are halfway in their beliefs-- is this a general cultural/social trend, or is it due to a lack of leadership and a failure to inspire on the part of church leaders.  

To the second, a church which says 'pay or go' is no church at all.  Churches here in the states seem to do well on voluntary donations, and given the rate of some denominations' growth in recent years, what they're offering has value in the eyes of the attendees.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 08:29:48 pm by MadZealot »
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Zoness

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Re: German Catholic Bishops Make Their Church "Pay to Play"
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2012, 10:46:42 am »
Quote from: Altair;74830
Fascinating. I wonder if this will stem the exodus...or accelerate it?

German bishops get tough on Catholics who opt out of church tax



http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/21/us-germany-catholic-churchtax-idUSBRE88K0LX20120921

 
I can appreciate the idea but the execution is poor, I think it will accelerate the exodus.

But in terms of Christianity, this could prove to be a boon for Protestant churches that aren't quite so rigid and operate on less strict financial requirements. I know my family certainly wouldn't be Catholic if such a "church tax" existed here.

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