This is not the first time I have noticed that some of the things which are happening in the Catholic Church curiously resemble what many of us experienced for decades in Anglicanism.
Although the American provinces of the Anglican Communion were numerically quite small (and are now even more exquisitely tiny), they did not seem to be in the least challenged dosh-wise. They used financial muscle to disseminate corruption and perversion wherever in the world they could.
Money! And philarguria!
Bishop Philip Egan, whom I have mentioned recently, has observed: "The pope might also be minded to discuss with the German bishops whether it is still appropriate to receive the Kirchensteuer, which last year netted $7.5 billion."
This is the system whereby those registered as Catholic divert 8-9% of their income tax to the Church.
No; I am not suggesting (and I'm sure Bishop Egan isn't) that, at a time when the Vatican finances are going through such a dodgy patch, there is any risk that any German pelf is finding its way to Rome, and, thereby, influencing Roman 'policy'.
But the German bishops are only human, and have their own souls to save, poor pert poppets. It is uncharitable to put temptation too conspicuously in their way.
Approximately 55 years ago there descended upon us a fundamentalist group from the USA apparently invited by our Archbishop at the time to institute a Planned Giving collection of 10% of each family's income to the Church. This was a covert action taken by the Hierarch without any prior notice given to our parishes - only an i vitation to attend a meeting in which this group would explain whny, when & how it would be taken-up. My husband attended with our PP who was utterly against it & was humiliated by the fact our Archbishop had invited American Protestants to carry out such devious work. I seem to remember him calling it a Judas action! To cut to the chase, these promoters were sent packing with roughly $2M which was their fee which, of course, came out of our Diocesan coffers.
Bishops seem to think that the Laity's donations can be spent whatever way they decide. IMO & that of our priests at that time, such avarice was & still is incorrect. We give what we can towards the upkeep of our priests & parish churches - not to Protestant fundamentalists from another country to threaten the loss of our spiritual souls if we don't provide huge amounts of dosh we cannot afford to keep unmarried (& often homosexual men)in great luxury. This is a false ideology & m ust be stamped out.
The Kirchensteuer is the product of a concordat between the Holy See and the German Republic. The question isn't whether the Holy See is entitled to have it collected and to receive whatever taxes, fees, percentages, etc. out of it that Church law requires, but whether the individuals who have been installed in the episcopacy within Germany are still in such full communion with the Holy See in as to entitle them to oversee, administer, and receive the tax paid pursuant to the Holy See's treaty.
At some point the German bishops may find just which side the Kirchensteuer's bread is buttered on.
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