The Catholic News Agency reported that the statistics issued by the German bishops' conference on July 14 showed that 221,390 people exited the Catholic Church last year (2020). The figure was almost 19% lower than that of 2019, when a record 272,771 people departed. But it was higher than the 2018 figure of 216,078.
Bishop Georg Bätzing, President of the German Bishops' Conference, said that while the Church had made strenuous efforts throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, it was nevertheless experiencing "a profound shock."
He said, "Many have lost confidence and want to send a signal by leaving the Church."
Following is the data released by the conference -
The new statistics showed that there were 104,610 baptisms in 2020, compared to 159,043 in 2019.
There were 139,752 First Communions, significantly fewer than the 166,481 the year before.
There were 75,387 confirmations, a notable decrease from 123,253 in 2019.
Just over 11,000 Catholic weddings took place in 2020, a major drop from the 38,537 recorded the year before.
Catholic burials increased from 233,937 in 2019 to 236,546 in 2020.
Only 5.9% of Germany's Catholics attended Mass last year, compared to 9.1% in 2019.
The number of priests listed has decreased by 418 to 12,565. In 2019, there were 12,983 priests working in Germany.
The number of parishes is also decreasing. In 2018, there were 10,045 parishes. In 2019, there were 9,936. In 2020, there were 9,858, or 78 fewer than the year before.
The figures showed that there are 22,193,347 Catholics in Germany, 26.7% of the total population of 83 million. In 2019, the proportion was 27.2%.
Only 1,578 people formally joined the Catholic Church in 2020, 1,390 of whom were Protestants. After officially departing, the number of people rejoining the Church was 4,358, fewer than the 5,339 in 2019.