No Tax No Blessing

A church in central Germany

A recent decree by Germany's Catholic bishops states that people who opt out of a church tax should not be given sacraments, including weddings, baptisms and funerals

The road to heaven is paved with more than good intentions for Germany’s 24 million Catholics

More than 200,000 German people per year choose to not pay their religious tax anymore. The Catholic church didn't know what to do with them until last week when they decided, in agreement with the pope, that those who do not pay their duty to the Church should be denied all services from the church, they cannot be married in a church anymore nor buried.

The verdict was based on German corporate law, said Reuters, upholding a system in which registered Catholics pay taxes to the state and the state then distributes them to the religious communities of Catholics, Protestants and Jews.

The Roman Catholic decree was issued last week, stating that those who did not pay the surcharge, up to 9 percent of their income tax, they would not be able to receive the sacraments. According to the Associated Press, that amounts to $72 a month for a single person with a monthly salary of $4,500.


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