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?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: