Austrian Catholic Church Reports Decline in Membership and Increase in Income | Catholic National Register

Austrian Church authorities have announced that 4,301 people joined or first joined the Church in 2021 – more than in 2020, when 4,068 joined or joined the Church.

VIENNA, Austria – The Catholic Church in Austria reported a drop in membership and an increase in income on Wednesday.

New statistics published on January 12 showed that the number of Catholics in Austria decreased in 2021 by around 1.6%, from 4.91 million in 2020 to 4.83 million as of December 31, 2021.

This central European country, located in the south of Germany, has nearly 9 million inhabitants.

A total of 72,055 people officially left the Church in Austria in 2021, compared to 58,727 in 2020 and 67,794 in 2019.

CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language information partner, reported that the Church has also published financial figures for the year 2020.

They showed that the Austrian dioceses received 484 million euros (approximately $ 550 million) from the bond Contribution of the Church in 2020, compared to 481 million euros ($ 546 million) in 2019.

Catholics registered in Austria pay approximately 1% of their taxable income to their local diocese, which represents 75% of the Church’s annual income.

The increase in income and declining membership are not without precedent in the Catholic Church in Europe.

If a person is registered as a Catholic in Germany, 8-9% of their income tax goes to church. The Church has received more money in church taxes than ever in 2019 despite the loss of a record number of members. This increase is believed to be due to the growth of the German economy in 2019.

The Austrian bishops’ conference on Wednesday did not provide an explanation for the increased revenue from the Church’s contribution in 2020, a year marked by the global COVID-19 recession.

But the president of the episcopal conference, Archbishop Franz Lackner, thanked the Catholic taxpayers of his Archdiocese of Salzburg for their contributions.

“Every euro of the church’s contribution makes possible our commitment and dedication to the people of our archdiocese,” he said. noted January 12.

Austrian Church authorities have announced that 4,301 people joined or first joined the Church in 2021 – more than in 2020, when 4,068 joined or joined the Church.

In addition, 545 people made use of their “right of withdrawal” in 2021. Those invoking this right initially declared their intention to leave the Church, but decided not to take the plunge after contacting the authorities. Church leaders within three months.

Wednesday’s figures showed a significant drop in the number of baptisms, with 32,521 in 2020 and 44,977 in 2019.

The Church said many baptisms have been postponed to 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

As the country continues to fight the pandemic, a rosary initiative launched in Austria is expanding in the world.

Austria is set to become the first Western country to introduce compulsory COVID-19 vaccination from February 2022 – a move that has sparked large-scale street protests.

The bishops of Austria have suggested that the bond qualifies if it is used as a last resort.

Commenting on the official departure of 6,335 people from the Archdiocese of Salzburg in 2021, Bishop Lackner invited Catholics leaving for the Church to meet with him.

“Pope Francis invites us on several occasions to dialogue together. Ultimately, a new credibility is needed – in the Church as in every individual. We must continue to work on this, ”he said.

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