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July 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A survey commissioned by German Catholic news service Die Tagespost found that 30 percent of the Catholics they spoke with would consider leaving the Church soon.

The survey interviewed 2,040 adults earlier this month and asked them to respond to the statement: “I am a member of the Church and can imagine leaving the Church soon.”

Die Tagespost reported that 54 percent of the Catholics interviewed disagreed with the statement,nine percent said they did not know, and seven percent did not state anything.

The news comes after one German bishop recently stated that the Church and its message is “losing relevance.”

Bishop Heiner Wilmer of the Hildesheim Diocese wrote in a July 1 article that “We, as the Catholic Church, are losing relevance in interpreting people's lives.” 

Wilmer has recently criticized some Catholics for being “fixated only on the Eucharist” and earlier this year welcomed the idea of Catholics forming joint parishes with Lutherans.

In his July 1 article, Wilmer advocated for the creation of “power centers” that would be led by lay people rather than priests.

“I don't want to downplay the classic parish,” he said, “but we need alternatives in preaching.”

Wilmer also says a “corona effect” will lead to a “drastic drop” in those attending churches. 

”I assume that if the distance regulations and precautionary measures fall, we will have a drastic drop in church visitors again,” he said.

Wilmer has previously said “the corona crisis is not a punishment from God” and suggested that to think so is “un-Christian.”

Earlier this year, the Munich statistical office reported that more than 10,000 people from the German Archdiocese of Munich and Freising officially left the Catholic Church in 2019, with the compulsory church tax in Germany thought to be a key reason for the record number. More than 8,000 people are reported to have left Wilmer’s Hildesheim Diocese.

Even many faithful Catholics in Germany are reluctant to pay the church tax because in addition to the upkeep of churches the monies are used in part to fund the heterodox activities of German Catholic bishops.

In April this year, Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, the head of the German Bishops’ Conference, called for a change in the Church’s teaching on homosexuality in an interview with a German newspaper. 

The German Church’s “synodal path,” which held its first meeting earlier this year, has in its preparatory documents indicated clearly the aim of dissenting from the Church’s sexual teaching, her ban on female “ordination,” and her apostolic discipline of priestly celibacy. At the first “synodal path” meeting at the end of January, a majority of the 230 synodal members voted against a proposal that only those votes that are in accordance with the Church’s teaching be passed on to the general assembly.

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