But Catholic burials increased from 233,937 in 2019 to 236,546 in 2020.
If an individual is registered as a Catholic in Germany, 8-9% of their income tax goes to the Church. The only way they can stop paying the tax is to make an official declaration renouncing their membership. They are no longer allowed to receive the sacraments or a Catholic burial.
Only 5.9% of Germany’s Catholics attended Mass last year, compared to 9.1% in 2019.
The number of priests listed has decreased by 418 to 12,565. In 2019, there were 12,983 priests working in Germany.
The number of parishes is also decreasing. In 2018, there were 10,045 parishes. In 2019, there were 9,936. In 2020, there were 9,858, or 78 fewer than the year before.
The figures showed that there are 22,193,347 Catholics in Germany, 26.7% of the total population of 83 million. In 2019, the proportion was 27.2%
Only 1,578 people formally joined the Catholic Church in 2020, 1,390 of whom were Protestants. The number of people rejoining the Church after officially departing was 4,358, fewer than the 5,339 in 2019.
Bätzing, who succeeded Cardinal Reinhard Marx as president of the German bishops’ conference in March 2020, said: “Despite the depressing figures in these statistics, I would like to expressly thank all those who are committed and live their faith in church and society, especially those who work full-time in pastoral care: Priests, deacons, pastoral and parish assistants.”
“I would also like to emphasize this in view of the statistics: I am very grateful for those who put themselves at the service of the Church in these turbulent times. Even in small numbers, the new priests and pastoral workers will provide an indispensable mission in a constantly changing world.”