Church Tax, 05/27/2005

Editor MNH:  5/27/05

During the 18th and the beginning 19th century the German speaking states confiscated the accumulated wealth of the Catholic church. The monies were used to establish a secular education system. Painful as it was at the time, in retrospect it proved beneficial in as far as the German clergy never had to experience the virulent anti-clericalism turned murderous during the Spanish civil war (l936-l939). Subsequent to the secularization the German States instituted a church tax,  a small  percentage of the income tax. The monies from this tax paid the  salaries of  priests and ministers and supported their education. The Nazis kept this system and dutifully paid their church tax. including Adolf Hitler. The youngster, Joseph Ratzinger, benefited from this system. This system, still in place in the present German states, is  now  under onslaught. The Germans are quitting the Catholic and Protestant  churches in droves. One reason for quitting  the churches is opting out of the church tax. (8% of the income tax in Bavaria.) But another reason is the same reason why I, if living in Germany now, would quit the beloved Catholic church of  my childhood. When a German cardinal, and a German Protestant bishop on May 8 commemorated the defeat and destruction of Germany as liberation,  they were politically correct, but also lost touch with their flock.

   When I read the American Catholic publications in my angriest moments I wish that Germany had not held the line against Communism but had let itself and Spain become Soviet republics. Have these editors  forgotten that Pius XII who experienced the Communist danger first hand,  excommunicated the members of the Communist Party, but not the members of the Nazi party.  I recommend to the Catholic educators, editors and clergy to download  The Concordat between the Holy See and the German Reich.