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Germany: Catholics account for 28.5% of the German population. 13,856 priests in 10,208 parishes

In the 27 dioceses of the German Federal Republic, Catholics account for 28.5% of the German population (approximately 23,580 million). 13,856 priests, 3,296 deacons, 3.200 pastoral workers and 4,537 parish directors work in the 10,208 perishes. This is a preview of the 2016 statistics that the German Bishops Conference revealed today (the full survey will be ready in early August). For organisational reasons, the number of parishes has decreased since 2015 (537 less), and so has the number of priests (230 less). Attendance of Sunday Mass is slightly decreasing (10,2% versus 10,4% in 2015), while the number of christenings has grown (171,531 in 2016, 4,300 more than in 2015). A figure that shows “a lively desire to be anchored to this Church”, father Hans Langendörfer, secretary of the German Bishops Conference, commented. Marriages are decreasing (43,610 versus 44,298 in 2016), as are the other Sacraments. Father Langendörfer said he is “glad” that “nearly one third of the population of our country belongs to the Catholic Church” and “grateful” for the efforts made by those people who work in the community, in the associations, in social and charitable initiatives, and, without attracting attention, do a lot for the Church and for the world. An example of this is the 127.7 million euros that the German dioceses spent in 2016 to help the refugees in different ways. Last year, though, 162,093 people left the Catholic Church; 181,925 did, in 2015. “We must proactively take care of the people who go away to understand why they do and then critically look at the way we work, to redress it where needed”, father Langendörfer commented.

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