Monday, March 2, 2015

Boycotting diocesan pledge drives and the German Church Tax

Reinhard Cardinal Marx, the head of the German Bishops' Conference, has already indicated that the Catholic Church in Germany will withdraw from Roman control if Synod 2015 does not favor Holy Communion for unrepentant sinners. They will pull what Henry VIII did in England in 1534, a total withdrawal from the spiritual jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff.

In many dioceses in other parts of the world (especially the USA), Lent is the beginning of the annual diocesan fundraiser for the central administration, where funds are appropriated at the discretion of the bishop.

The two scenarios are indeed different. While the American church relies strictly on donations of the faithful, the German church is funded by the German Government through the Church Tax. So instead of passing the hat during the offertory, German taxpayers are required to pay the tax in order to receive the sacraments. (Such a system has been around since the Holy Roman Empire.) If you are a tax evader, your soul is in eternal jeopardy.

Similar issues concur with both: funding heterodoxy. The German taxes don't only go to the upkeep of the medieval cathedrals. They go to the six-figure salaries of the bishops! The Archdiocese of Cologne has a Billion euro operating budget!

On the other hand, in the USA, many dioceses have a fundraising campaign, with most of the money going to social justice causes that have nothing to do with the Church. For example in the Archdiocese of Boston, the money goes to the six-figure salaries of lay employees at the "pastoral center" and heresy. Many dioceses run similar campaigns for activities that have nothing to do with Catholicism. 

So instead of committing the sin of simony, please do not donate to a diocesan pledge drive, especially if the Bishop does not say the Tridentine Mass. Instead, donate to your parish only and another Catholic charity that is orthodox.   

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