Number of Catholics leaving Church in Austria declines in 2006

.- According to a “new and encouraging” report by the Archdiocese of Vienna, the number of Catholics that leaving the Church sharply declined in 2006, in marked contrast with the high numbers if citizens formally abandoning their Catholic faith in previous years.

According to the Associated Press, 36,645 people formally left the Church in 2006, down from 44,609 in 2005.  In 2004, 45,000 Austrians officially renounced their Catholic faith.

Most of those who left said the main reason for their decision was the sexual scandal that exploded when homosexual and pornographic material was discovered at the St. Poelten Seminary, located 80 kilometers west of Vienna.

Others said leaving the Church was their way of rejecting the obligation to pay the annual tax for the Church, which amounts to around $325.  In order to avoid paying the tax, they must register with the government as having officially renounced the Catholic faith.

The report also indicated that since 1995, some 500,000 Austrians have formally left the Church.  Nevertheless, Msgr. Wilfried Kreuth, who works in the Diocese of St. Poelten, said the decline in the number of those who left the Church in 2006 is “new and encouraging.”  Likewise, some 4,600 people who expressed their desire to leave the Church in recent years returned to the faith last year.

The spokesman for the Archdiocese of Vienna, Erich Leitenberger, said that 4 out of every 10 Austrians attend Mass at least once a month, while 33% attend Mass during Christmas, Holy Week and on other religious feast days.  “Nobody can suppress the three basic questions: ‘Where do I come from? Where am I going? What is the meaning of life?”, said Leitenberger.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

A Look at India from Rome
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods

Liturgical Calendar

August 1, 2014

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:54-58


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 26: 1-9
Gospel:: Mt 13: 54-58

Saint of the Day

St. Alphonsus Liguori »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:47-53


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: