Germany : Fall in number of Catholics

Source: FSSPX News


According to statistics published on November 3 by the Bishops Conference, Germany had 26,160,000 Catholics in 2003, that is, 300,000 less than in 2002. In the dioceses in the East of the country (Berlin, Dresden, Erfurt, Gürlitz, Magdeburg and a part of the archdiocese of Hamburg), a more precise census has recorded a drop in the number of Catholics from one million to 903,000. The proportion of Catholics in the country has, therefore, fallen from 32.1% to 31.7%.

For the number of practicing Catholics, the decline is less marked. The number has dropped from 4 million to 3,980,000 in a year. Which gives a rate of 15.2% of Sunday Mass attendance. The faithful leaving the Church – those who no longer pay the Church tax – was 119,405 in 2002 and 129,600 last year. Those who came back to the fold numbered 8,510 in 2003, against 8,721 in 2002.

These statistics also reveal a drop in the number of ordained ministers in the country. The number of priests dropped from 16,777 in 2002 to 16,523 in 2003, and the number of monks from 5,250 to 5,146, - and the number of sisters fell from 28,973 to 27,736.