Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Grave Lapse by German Bishops for German Catholic Faithful


Americans have an election coming up in November. It didn’t even take 30 years for German Government to take over religious institutions, to the point where they relied so much on government assistance that Church officicials started kicking out their members for not complying with them.


by M. J. Joachim
The phrase, “Separation of Church from State” took on new meaning for me these past couple of days, particularly with recent announcements pertaining to Catholics living in Germany.  Truly the Church and Government make strange bedfellows to say the least, none of which appears to be in the interest of following Christ and His Church.

Socialism has its perks, especially for religious institutions apparently. It seems churches (of various denominations including Catholic, Protestant and Jew) get government kickbacks or subsidies, because citizens are charged a mandatory “church tax” in their structured tax bill annually. In other words, people declare their religion of preference and a tax is applied and withheld from their earnings. Religious institutions receive most of their income for salaries, building maintenance, education etc. from their portion of this tax (which is roughly estimated upwards of 4 – 5 billion euro annually).

Enter the realm of bad policy, politics gone corrupt, power gone ballistic and …

Nevermind all that!!! Let’s start talking about the oppression of the people…

Opting out of aligning yourself with the Catholic Church in Germany now carries stiff penalties!!!They want your money and if they can’t have it, you don’t get to be Catholic anymore!!!

Say what???!!!

Your privileges to believe and practice the Catholic faith in Germany are revoked, because you opt out of declaring your religion of preference and paying a church tax to the government???

That’s right, good people, and the German Courts upheld the ruling of the bishops when it was challenged there.

Pay no tax, be no Catholic…
At least not one recognized by the German Catholic Church!!!

It’s a nice gig, if you can get it, and it takes away the Church’s burden of relying on charitable contributions from its members. It makes it much easier to plan annual expenses, and since things like sacraments and Christian burials are already allotted for, the Church doesn’t need to request any stipends from individuals to cover their costs of such things….probably the reason German bishops declared Catholics who don’t pay the tax can’t receive sacraments, become god-parents or receive Christian burials.

The only problem is that from a citizen standpoint, the tax is voluntary, which means German citizens can opt out of the program, cease to declare their religion preference and choose to put their coffers in the basket during services (or not), if they want to.

Oh, but the Church isn’t standing on solid Catholic teaching and principle here. No, they’re too busy making deals with the government!!! 

They’re going after the people, instilling fear about what happens if you don’t pay. Let’s face it, faith (and the religious institutions it aligns with) are extremely personal for most people. People don’t want to give up how they practice their faith (in institutions which by their very nature are supposed to help them practice it better), and they certainly don’t want to give up their rights to the very things Christ Himself instituted….things like sacraments, evangelization through community participation and involvement and Christian burial…

I’m sorry, but that last one is just mean!!! It’s not even mean to the person who died. That one is mean to the people grieving, the ones who know their loved one was a good Christian person, who believed in the Catholic faith and was punished unfairly when the Church held hands with government.

Suddenly being Catholic in Germany isn’t about following Christ and His teachings anymore. It’s about skipping the spiritual journey to pay your fair share in taxes that support the religious institution you choose to affiliate yourself with…it’s about being told what you can and can’t do, because the powers that be determine who is entitled to what, and they can cut you off in a heartbeat if you disagree with their decisions.

Americans have an election coming up in November. It didn’t even take 30 years for German Government to take over religious institutions, to the point where they relied so much on government assistance that Church officials started kicking out their members for not complying with them. Will we vote to protect our religious freedom, or will we slide on that slippery slope and wonder what happened just a few short years from now?

I am unbelievably saddened and praying Pope Benedict intervenes to stand up for faithful Catholics everywhere!
M. J.