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How rich is the Catholic Church in Germany?

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posted on Oct, 18 2013 @ 04:56 PM

The €31-million bill for Franz-Tebartz Van-Elst's residence, including €15,000 on a bath tub and €350,000 on built-in-wardrobes, has put the finances of the Catholic Church, much of which comes from taxpayers and state subsidies, into the spotlight.

Carsten Frerk, an outspoken critic of the Catholic Church in Germany, estimated its wealth at around €430 billion with about €140 billion of that in capital, the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper reported. Frerk researched the church's ledgers for a year for a book published in October 2010. But only a small part of the church's finances are public and many of their records remain secret.

The opaqueness of the church's finances was no surprise to Frerk. "For the big churches, transparency is very damaging to their business plan. Nobody wants to donate to a rich organization," he said.

But some details of the church's vast holdings and investments are publicly known.

Bild newspaper reported on Thursday the church was Germany's second-biggest employer after the state, running everything from schools and kindergartens to Tellux, the TV company which makes the Tatort crime drama. It also makes money from its breweries and selling mineral water called Adelholzener. The church also owns ten banks, countless insurance businesses and 30 housing associations, Bild reported.

€5 billion collected in taxes
read more here

I am real glad that in the US there is a separation of church and state. The 5 billion is collected through taxes a system that dates back to medieval tithes. The whole system kind of blows my mind as an American and makes me wonder if it has contributed to the rise of reported atheism in the country because 10% tithes go to the church you identify with. I am not sure if they can get out of paying if they do not belong to a church or not but it is something to consider.

The church finances have become an issue because of the Bishop of Limburg has come under scrutiny for spending large sums of money on his headquarters some say it is on par with the Pope. There were some other questionable things as well.

Read the article here.

Catholics incensed as German bishop of Limburg builds palace fit for a pope

Honestly he sounds like a bad apple maybe full of himself but because of him the church finances are now being examined which I read that their banks have been a popular destination for some unsavory types wanting to conceal their transactions. I think those banks are immune to many laws that can track certain things(reminds me of how Panama was).

I read the Bishop was due to see the Pope and not many thought he has a future with the church after.

Edit to add

I am not attacking the church just this Bishop like I said I think he is a bad apple. I like the new Pope.
edit on 18-10-2013 by Grimpachi because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 18 2013 @ 05:02 PM
There was a poll on this site I believe, a long time ago, about the richest entity on the planet and we came to the agreement that it was indeed the Catholic Church.

Excluding nations, although it beats some of those, among corporations or individuals the Church is by far the wealthiest in the world. And that's just the assets we know about. Who knows what they have locked in their vaults.

posted on Oct, 18 2013 @ 05:05 PM
Stupid is not the one who asks but the one who gives.

I couldn`t help thinking if this bishop does the lavish spending on purpose so everyone could see how church spend the money people pay.

We also have taxpayed church, but you can opt out if you resign from the church.

posted on Oct, 18 2013 @ 05:46 PM
Doesn't matter where, religion is the poison that's slowly killing mankind.
2nd line

posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 01:50 AM
I reckon it proves how ignorant and fearful most people are. I’m sure not many would like to hear and see the church’s outrages and secretive side. but even if they somehow know about it, they would not give it too much attention for the church likely being their or their friend’s employer.

posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 02:07 AM
reply to post by Grimpachi

. I am not sure if they can get out of paying if they do not belong to a church or not but it is something to consider.

I recently started working in Germany and it is a tax that you can choose not to pay. Since I follow no religion, I do not have to pay it. My boss however (not a religious man himself) does pay it (and it quite a bit of money) but it's more of a community thing.


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