Church in Germany Openly Simoniacal.

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Simony is usually defined “a deliberate intention of buying or selling for a temporal price such things as are spiritual of annexed untospirituals”. While this definition only speaks of purchase and sale, any exchange of spiritual for temporal things is simoniacal. Nor is the giving of the temporal as the price of the spiritual required for the existence of simony; according to a proposition condemned by Innocent XI (Denzinger-Bannwart, no. 1195) it suffices that the determining motive of the action of one party be the obtaining of compensation from the other.

The various temporal advantages which may be offered for a spiritual favour are, after Gregory the Great, usually divided in three classes. These are: (1) the munus a manu (material advantage), which comprises money, all movable and immovable property, and all rightsappreciable in pecuniary value; (2) the munus a lingua (oral advantage) which includes oral commendation, public expressions of approval,moral support in high places; (3) the munus ab obsequio (homage) which consists in subserviency, the rendering of undue services, etc.

The spiritual object includes whatever is conducive to the eternal welfare of the soul, i.e. all supernatural things: sanctifying grace, thesacramentssacramentals, etc.

I am very curious to know what strange excuses will the Archbishop Muellers of the world invent to exclude the german Church is simoniacal at her very core; and publicly, shamelessly so.

We are informed the German Bishops’ Conference has now intervened and reiterated that in their eyes, you aren’t a Catholic (and therefore cannot have access to the sacrament in normal circumstances) unless you pay them exactly what they want.

Mind, this is not a generic appeal to the fact that a Catholic has a duty to contribute to the expenses of the Church. This is the open, astonishing arrogant demand of exactly how much they want from everyone (that will be 7% of the income tax, thank you very much) , and that (coherently) if they do not get it there will be no sacraments.

The German Bishop say, with astonishing hypocrisy, that he who refuses to pay the Kirchensteuer refuses to give his contribution to the Church maintenance; but this is, to put it very gently, poppycock. It is very much to be assumed that those who want to get out of the Kirchensteuer system but continue to be part of the Church will give generously;  they merely demand the right of every Catholic to choose to whom and how much to give, rather than being imposed a mafioso-type payment from his own religious authorities who say to him “it is so and so much, or else…” and then squander the money in all sort of un-Catholic initiative, exaggerate payments to the clergy, and so on. Besides being openly simoniacal, the system of social pressure to get money, and exactly how much from each, can only be defined as mafioso.

So the situation that might be created is that a good, churchgoing, generously giving Catholic ( I remind you that a Catholic, and the more so a priest, has the duty to assume that everyone is contributing in adequate measure according to his means) might be told by his priest “no sacraments until you pay to us the money I want from you”. Whether the man is, say, a generous giver to the Dominicans, or to the Verona Fathers, or Aid to the Church in Need (Kirche in Not in Germany), is fully irrelevant: No Kirchensteuer? Es tut mir leid, but no Confession…

This, without considering that a priest should be ready to, say, hear the confession of the faithful at every day of the day or night, without asking him whether he has paid the membership quote for the year.

Really, what a disgusting bunch. Much different from the few enlightened, intelligent and, well, Catholic ones like Bishop Huonder.

The avidity of the German (and Vatican, mind; a part of the money ends up there, which is why the Vatican does everything it can to allow this situation to continue) clergy is in contrast with the fact that the only local Churches on the planet insisting in defending a system of forced “taxation” if one wants to call himself “Catholic” are, not coincidentally, at the head of the “movement” for the communion to scandalous adulterers, the “understanding” for sodomitic “unions” showing “commitment”, the “deaconesses”, and the like. They are so prostituted to their own client base, that they have all but altogether forgotten why they are there to deal in the same as an organisation trying not to lose clients. So they try two very old methods: the carrot with the dissenting, and the stick with the devout. Congratulations.

I have often written about the scandalous state of the Church in Germany (Switzerland and Austria are pretty much on the same line; as far as I know, they are the only countries on the entire planet to have the Kirchensteuer; there might be some other like Liechtenstein, but you get my drift) and the fact that their astonishing ability to disregard their job description is due to their great fear of losing the huge  amount of money deriving from the Kirchensteuer, a rich trough not snubbed at all by the Vatican snouts.

To give you an idea, in Italy  every taxpayer can choose if 7 pro mille (not percent) of his income tax goes to the Church, to other religious organisations  or to lay charitable organisations. Very many (also among the non churchgoers, and even many atheists) choose the Church, and even if the amount is around one tenth of the German one (it is more complicated than that of course, but you get the point) it is fair to say Italy has a rather well-organised and well-funded system, and the Church cannot complain about the lack of money, though there is certainly no room for the luxury and waste of the German clergy. Of course, this is also because of the donations (not taxes) freely given by the Italians; but this is just as it should be. 

Now, even with a “guaranteed income” of around one tenth than the German one, the Church in Italy runs an infinity of places with a social function, from free time associations to (very important) places where children can play and gather in absolute security. Having lived in both countries, I can assure you the role played by the Church in Italy in these matter is vastly more important than the one played by the Church in Germany, a country where the infrastructure for children and youth is – other than in Italy – stunning without any need for the Kirchensteuer.

Most important, though, is another consideration: that in Italy no priest would ever dream, in his most drunken state, to consider one who has not given his seven pro mille to the Church a non-Catholic. He wouldn’t, firstly because he knows he doesn’t have any right (moral or, less importantly, legal) to a certain, definite, fixed amount from a sheep; and secondly because he would – even in his most drunken state –  immediately understand that one might want to give the money somewhere else merely because, say, he thinks that bishops waste too much money. What any of this is to do with the person being a Catholic would be a mystery to him – even in his most sober state – as it is to me.

This is what is in the press at the moment (German reader will read the consequences the Sueddeutsche Zeitung clearly draws from the Bishops’ statement: non-Catholic, ergo no sacraments…; makes sense). It would even appear there is even a plan to have the German priest have a talk with the man who wants to get out, in order  to make clear to him they will exclude him from the sacraments. One is reminded of those obnoxious people when you want to cancel your subscription to the gym.

I want to hope that someone with a brain in his head (instead of his wallet) within the German Church will “clarify” and de facto modify the Bishops’ position; but I doubt they will, then to admit one can refuse to pay the Kirchensteuer and remain a Catholic would be, long-term, a death-blow to the Kirchensteuer, and the trough is very big indeed.

In the meantime, there are rumours Benno Elbs will be appointed as the new Bishop of Graz, Austria. The man is described from the Standard as a “liberal churchman”, who is “the people’s ideal candidate”. In Austria, this means something, and if confirmed is no good news.

The German-speaking “shepherds” certainly think this will help to keep the customer satisfied.


Posted on September 20, 2012, in Catholicism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Truly shocking. No Catholic, however, will be turned away by the SSPX. I suggest that any who want to receive the sacraments, but not pay the Church tax, do so at an SSPX chapel.

    • Exactly my feeling, misericordia; though I think many priests will certainly have a… priestly attitude rather than use the mafia methods of their bishops.


  2. This is awful. It’s this kind of thing that cause some to go off and start their own ‘church’.
    I’d love to hear their account before the Judgement Seat of why they failed in their ministry… “Oh but God, they didn’t pay their tithe!”

  3. The worst part are actually not the German bishops about all that, because this system has been in place since 1919 and even before. The worst part is that Rome has in previous years challenged the system and there are court cases pending where people opted out of the church taxation system while at the same time explicitly expressing their will to remain a member of the church (Hartmut Zapp case). So there were signs that the Kirchensteuer-fortress was crumbling. Fat hope! Now this “new” agreement has received the formal blessing of Rome which is a big disappointment. Money talks…..


    • wk1999, I doubt Rome has given his formal approval.

      From what understand, they have “acknowledged” that the system is in place. The system is law in German, so to acknowledge it is there is something embarrassingly cowardly, but still not an explicit statement that the system is (also) right.

      I have read about the Helmut Zapp case, and you might have read on my blog there is another case in Switzerland, but up to now better success. But again, it being perfectly legal to get out of the system, there will be more and more good catholic who decide to do it, and help the Church in a much better way by donating to people and causes they like and trust.


  4. But (and I could be mistaken) Aquinas wrote, (in ST, “On Oblations and First Fruits”): “Reply to Objection 3. Those who do not make the oblations they are bound to make may be punished by being deprived of the sacraments, not by the priest himself to whom the oblations should be made, lest he seem to exact, something for bestowing the sacraments, but by someone superior to him.”

    Also, either there or in the next 2 questions, Aquinas wrote that every tithe is a an instance of giving “first fruits”. Therefore it seems that every tithe which is not given can be punished by the denial of sacraments.

    • Aeneas,

      Thomas did not have the Kirchensteuer, and for good reasons. Please read my messages again, the answers are there. Thomas certainly would not disagree with a person who makes more oblations, nor would he consider that a faithful could be ordered by his priest to pay to the euro and cent what the priest himself says.


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