Sex scandal dents Catholic numbers

2011-07-29 22:13

Berlin - Nearly twice as many Germans left the Roman Catholic Church in 2010 as the year before, as the country faced a spate of cases of priests allegedly sexually abusing minors.

Official numbers released on Thursday by Germany's Roman Catholic Church show a jump of 46.5% in 2010 of the number of people quitting the church as compared with 2009.

Around 181 000 people quit their memberships, with the dioceses of Munich and Freising, Augsburg and Freiburg recording the highest loss of members.

Germans are not required to say why they want to strike their church membership, but many have blamed the reports of sexual and physical abuse of hundreds of children by clergy that surfaced last year.

The news comes ahead of a planned visit by German-born Pope Benedict XVI from 22 to 25 September.

Read more on:    pope benedict xvi  |  germany  |  religion

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