US Catholic Media Distorts German State-tax Situation
Editor: While a lot of Americans now understand that the German Church-tax is a system which essentially compels German Catholics to pay their Church tithes from their income tax at 8% thanks to the Catholic media, that’s where their understanding pretty much ends.
This coverage in the American Catholic media on the German news is generally unsatisfactory. Whether James Akin is trying to cover for Cardinal Schonborn, or what not. In the current furor over the German Church-tax, predictably, Catholic media has sided exclusively with the German Bishops, while ignoring the actual condition of the German Catholic World, which has sunk very low indeed. It’s almost as if they don’t want American Catholics to draw obvious parallels between the corrupt bureaucracies which dominate both churches.
It’s therefore tragic that we have to go to the usually unreliable American secular press to get a clearer picture of what’s going on. This was the case with ‘International Business Times’, which described the Bishops’ Decree as, “Pay up or Die Without Absolution”, which is what it is if you bother to read the Decree, which Father Boyle admits he has not. We were the first, and only American news commenter, to report on this issue and we did so by simply translating the story from the German District of the SSPX, which describing the deplorable situation in very clinical terms indeed.
We also noted that the German Bishops had made no mention of refusing the Sacraments to the numerous dissidents employed in Catholic Counseling Services recommending abortion services, for example, in parishes or on University Faculties simply teaming with non-conformist intellectuals who are capable of doing everything but teaching the Catholic Faith.
To read articles by James Akin or Father John Boyle, you would think that the German Bishops are simply tightening up the reigns and drawing Catholics to greater fidelity. Actually, most Germans leaving the Church aren’t concerned in the slightest about whether or not they are excommunicated, but there are many Catholics who are faithful to the Church’s teachings, so faithful in fact, that they have no desire to be a material contributor to Diocesan programs and efforts which they can’t in good conscience support.
While Father Boyle does acknowledge that opting out of the Catholic Church as a “body of legal right”, can be dealt with as a case by case basis, not all German Bishops are concerned by the moral reservations of many faithful Catholics.
This was the case with a German canonist, Doctor Harmut Zapp who recently won a legal case against the Diocese of Freiburg headed by the head of the German Bishops’ Conference Archbishop Zollitsch (One of German’s most dissident and disobedient Old Liberal Bishops). The ruling was inaccurately reported by First Things as a victory for the Archdiocese. This was not the case as the German Court ruled in favor of the good Catholic Doctor Zapp, whom First Things described as a “tax dodger” or a man of low integrity.
While these sorts of inaccuracies aren’t necessarily the result of bad will, they are frequent and persistent enough where it becomes easier to accuse those harboring them persistently without recantation or apologies, of being a very bad set of characters indeed.
Let’s not assume, as the Catholic media USA does, that the German Bishops aren’t the problematic, often encouraging heresy and disobedience to Rome, while continuing projects harmful to their flocks and harboring enemies of the Church at the expense of the laity who support it with their blood, sweat and tears. Germans work hard, but they also want to see their money spent well.
There was one ray of light, however, on Father Boyle’s blog, where a commenter brought up the point we’ve been trying to make that faithful Catholics shouldn’t be forced under threat of excommunication to support anti-Catholic policies and individuals. As noted above this situation has obvious parallels in how the USCCB has been working with CCHD and CHS to promote programs and individuals not only working contrary to Catholic belief, but often hostile to it. While our own situation in the USA has improved slightly, let’s hope that with the help of faithful Catholics everywhere, a stop can be put to this horrible misappropriation of spiritual and financial capital.