Are the German Bishops Just Greedy?

by Jimmy Akin

in +Religion, Bible, Canon Law

Did the German bishops make the right decision?

That’s certainly the impression you would get from some discussing a recent decree issued by the German bishops’ conference.

It’s being characterized as a “pay to pray” policy, whereby the Church will deny you the sacraments if you don’t give it money.

One news source headlined the story “German Bishops To Catholics: Pay Up Or Die Without Absolution.”

That seems to be about as misleading a headline as you could want, because the decree in question expressly refers to the possibility of people receiving the final sacraments.

But let’s look at the matter . . .


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John P September 27, 2012 at 1:33 am

But how can an entry in an administrative register, which is protected by the strictest privacy and data protection laws, be considered as a statement “before men”? It seems to me the scripture you have cited refers to statements that are actually public, which the civil register is not.

marycatelli September 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm

If it’s so private, how do the bishops learn of it?

Inge Ars Vivendi September 28, 2012 at 9:51 am

There is no such entry. As a German, you are required by law to state your faith in the civil register. The states checks their register and if you are of faith, you will have to pay church tax. The only way to get your faith removed from that register is by leaving your faith, filing papers proving you have defected and then your Church Tax will be removed.
In short: if you don’t want to pay Church Tax, the STATE requires you to publicly denounce your faith, which is a grave sin. When you are under grave sin, you cannot receive the Sacraments until you go to Reconciliation and exit the state of denying your faith publicly.

K C Thomas September 27, 2012 at 9:19 am

If the warning of bishops is correct, it is most unbecoming of a christian way of doing things. Money should never come in the way of sacraments

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