Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Usually I am an unabashed apologist for the Catholic Church, ready to make excuses for a very human institution—although some conduct by some members is inexcusable and past conduct certainly deserves reproach—however I am very saddened and disheartened to hear the outcome of their latest stance and statute, licensed by a court of law, which essentially ruled that members of the Church that choose not to pay the eight percent customary tax to support the Church cannot remain in good standing.

Excom- munication is such an ugly word and the suit, prosecuted at the behest of the Pope no less in response to many leaving the fold specifically in Germany, was careful to avoid such language but the new policy dictates basically that: one that shirks his monetary dues can be denied a proper burial unless he or she repents and other equally grave ministering, like the right to wed in the eyes of the Church or become god-parents. This decision with all its lawyerly vouchsafing is just a notch below, in my opinion, the selling of Indulgences (get out of jail free cards) that caused the Reformation. Charitable branches of the Church do a lot of good through their works, but parishioners have no say what percentage of their donations go to overhead and administrative costs and should have every right to opt out of giving for whatever reason without fear of being begrudged. For the sake of full-disclosure, I do own an Indulgence and I am exempt from the church-tax because I pay no German tax as an American but remain a voting-member in my parish—however, the ruling is disturbing and I worry for what the Church is in danger of becoming.