The Diocese Of Cologne And Us
Reuter informs us that the Diocese of Cologne has assets of USD 3.8bn.
The article appears singularly bad. It does not tell us anything about the debts, so we can't know the value of the net assets.
I also cannot imagine the local churchmen would dream that they can finance themselves from the income of their assets, seen that they spend almost one third of this amount every year and the assets will very probably yield between 3 and 5 percent.
The Church in Germany is very rich. This is not bad in itself, and in itself would be not a problem, but an advantage.
The problem is that the Church in Germany relies on the Kirchensteuer to be able to afford an administrative apparatus – and some of the best paid parish priests in the planet – that they would never be able to maintain without it, and have decided a long time ago that the proceeds from the Kirchensteuer are far more important than being Catholics.
This is a vicious circle. The more paying but dissenting members you have, the more you must try to appease them if you want their money. But this makes you more like them, so that the new generations will not see any reason to pay. This creates the necessity – if the income is to be preserved – to keep the remaining, now more vocal “paying dissenters” happy. Let them smell more blood, then. This starts the next vicious round of anti-Catholicism from the very altar. And so it goes on and on.
The problem is not the net assets of the Diocese, which isn't anything shocking anyway. It is the descent into a pit of heresy that the Archdiocese has consented to for the sake of the Kirchensteuer money, which allows them to maintain a huge apparatus in terms of bureaucracy, and fat priests who can afford a mistress on the side.
This game won't go on for very long now. Give it fifteen years, and these people will have 3 or 5 percent attendance and a collapse in Kirchensteuer revenue, as the older people die and the younger get smart.
I have observed in the past that when the parents die, the children stop paying the Kirchensteuer. So you have the double or triple whammy there. This is going to end up very badly in one, or half, a generation.
The Kirchensteuer chicken are coming home to roost. When that happens, four billions in assets won't be able to pay for much.
But then you will start having a different kind of Church; a Church, perhaps, of people who believe in Christ.