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In 2023 decline in membership in the Catholic Church



The year 2023 was once again a year of shrinking membership for the Roman Catholic Church in Germany. Significantly more than half a million fewer sheep in our own ranks than in the previous year. Less than half of Germans still belong to one of the two “official churches”.

Resignation numbers somewhat toned down

The mass exodus from the Roman Catholic Church in Germany continued into 2023. On Thursday, the German Bishops’ Conference and the dioceses published the data they had collected on the status of the remaining sheep. The Vatican’s court reporting nevertheless showed its purple and scarlet side and initially highlighted an aspect that was apparently intended to create a positive impression. “24 percent of Germans are Catholic,” was the title of Vatican News, summing up the shrinkage that has occurred again within a year (Source).

Continued high exit numbers

At the end of 2023, the Roman Catholic Church had almost 592,000 fewer members than the year before. A decrease of 2.8 percent. By far the biggest cause of the decline in membership was people leaving the church. Almost 403,000 people decided to leave the Catholic Church in 2023. The other aspect emphasized by the Vatican media is the reduced number of people leaving the church compared to 2022. At that time, church statisticians still counted a good 522,000 conscious departures from former church members.

Fewer church employees

As of December 31, 2023, around 20.3 million people in Germany were members of the Roman Catholic Church. As the number of sheep fell, so did the number of priests, deacons and pastors. In 2022 the church still had 11,987 priests in Germany. At the end of 2023 the number was 11,702 priests. A total of 38 men were ordained priests in 2023.

Reforms urged

In view of this development, the chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, Georg Bätzing, was less concerned with “putting a good face on the evil game”. For him, the numbers showed that the church was in a “comprehensive crisis.” The statistics are alarming and an “indicator of reality”. Reforms are urgently needed, said Bätzing. These would not avert the “church crisis”, but they would avoid aggravation of the situation.

Catholics in the (relative) majority

At the end of 2023, less than half (46%) of the population in Germany were either in the Roman Catholic Church or in the Protestant Church under the umbrella organization of the EKD. This institution also complained about continued resignations of church members. In 2023, the EKD’s 20 regional churches only had around 18.6 million members, after a decline of around 590,000 within a year (Info).

This means that the members of one of the two “official churches” no longer have an absolute majority. In addition, there is a shift from the once Protestant domain to a Catholic predominance within the remaining members.

True believers should flee

Leaving the big churches suggested

For all members remaining in one of the two “official churches” who want to follow Jesus Christ with the best of their knowledge and conscience, it will soon be time to pack up their things and leave. The call to leave Babylon (Revelation 18:2-5) can no longer be ignored (Info).

According to the Gospel, the Roman Catholic Church had already left Christianity in the early 4th century, while the so-called Protestant churches have long since returned to their mother in Rome and are submissively helping her to fulfill her “warm and moist” desires for a global monopoly position. The former Protestantism is dead (Info).

Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
Revelation 18:10

Bible verses from King James Version

In 2023 decline in membership in the Catholic Church
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