The diocese of Munster faces a record number of church departures in 2018, according to research by the diocesan newspaper "Kirche + Leben". Random checks of local courts and registry offices showed an increase in resignations of more than 50 percent, the newspaper reported.
In 2017, 1.87 million people (44 percent) in the Munster diocese were still Catholic. More than 8.000 people had left. In 2018, it could be over 12.000 his.
In Steinfurt, according to "Kirche + Leben," 496 Catholics (2017: 315) left the church last year. At the registry office in Cloppenburg, 138 people left the church, although in Cloppenburg there is no separation by denomination. Only the percentage of Catholics in the population suggests that three-quarters were Catholic (2017: 92).
At the district court in Bocholt, 440 people (2017: 300) left the Catholic Church; in Munster, the figure was 1.428 (2017: 1.035). In the district court of Kleve 483 Christians expressed their resignation, comparative figures are not available
Possible reason: abuse study
In total, according to calculations by "Kirche + Leben," this could mean that more than 12.000 Catholics have left the Catholic Church in the diocese of Munster. The high number of resignations could be related to the study on abuse in the Catholic Church published last September.
The study found evidence in church records from 1946 to 2014 of nationwide 3.677 victims of sexual assault and to around 1.670 accused priests, deacons and religious found.