Church in Germany: Number of Catholics Declining

The Number of the Faithful of the Catholic Church in Germany has Once Again Dropped Significantly.

Newsroom (28/06/2022 9:25 PM, Gaudium Press) The German Bishops’ Conference and the 27 dioceses of the Catholic Church in Germany published on (June 27, 2022) the annual church statistics for the past year 2021. Catholics in Germany represent 26% of the total population (21,645,875 members). The statistics show that 359,338 people left the church this year, 137,948 more than the previous year (221,390 in 2020), a new all-time high.

Due to the pandemic, church attendance fell again in 2021 to 4.3% (2020: 5.9%). On the other hand, the number of people receiving the sacraments increased significantly in some cases: the number of church marriages was 20,140 (2020: 11,018); the number of Baptisms, 141,992 (2020: 104,610) and the number of First Communions, 156,574 (2021: 139,752). Burials also increased slightly to 240,040 (2020: 236,546). In 2021, 1,465 people joined the Catholic Church (2020: 1,578), 4,116 people were readmitted (2020: 4,358).

The president of the German Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing, was “deeply shaken” by these statistics:

“The 2021 figures show the deep crisis in which the Catholic Church in Germany finds itself. There is nothing good about it, and I am – despite the increased number of administration of sacraments – deeply shocked by the extremely high number of people leaving the church. And to these numbers we have to add the realization that not only are people leaving who have had little or no contact with their parish for a long period of time, but there is growing feedback that the people who are taking this step were very involved in the parishes.

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“The scandals within the church and for which we are largely responsible are reflected in the number of people leaving,” the Bishop of Limburg emphasized, and added that he confidently expects that “the number of the faithful will increase again once we have completely overcome the pandemic. The audience numbers of millions online have not yet been included in our statistics. Even if this cannot replace  experienced together, such media will continue to be important in the future.”

Compiled by Florence MacDonald

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