Germany: Saddening Yet Accountable Departures from the Church
Archbishop Reinhard Marx, of Munich-Freising, esteemed that the recent increase in departures from the Church in Germany is not connected with the personality of Benedict XVI. “That someone remains a member of the Church or leaves it because of the pope is not a constant phenomenon,” he declared on TV channel Phoenix on October 9. The German archbishop declared that there had been more departures from the Church in the past, and if they are “saddening”, they can be understood today.
“For the first time in the history of the world, we are confronted with a situation allowing large strata of the population to choose freely their objectives and life style, as well as their manner of living as a couple, to marry several time, and to choose their mode of cohabitation. These strata may choose everything freely, and this is true also of religion,” explained Archbishop Marx. He then called upon the Church to take her stand again and to “set again upon the road.” The link to the Church is no longer something obvious in a pluralistic society, but “it must always conquered anew.”
At the end of September 2008, the German Bishops’ Conference had published the number of departures from the Church in 2008: 121,000 persons, i.e an increase of more than 27,500 persons compared with 2007. (DICI n° 206 – 12/17/2009 – Sources: apic/kna)