Non-church tax payer and church wedding back home

49 posts in this topic

 

Now, I misread something already this morning but...

'twas meant to be a joke. That's just how long it sometimes seems to have been.

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We're both catholic and got married in a catholic church in Ireland a couple of years ago, and the tax issue never came up (my husband pays church tax here, I dont). I think that because there is no church tax system in Ireland, it shouldnt matter.

We did, however, have to do a pre-marriage preparation course. We did this with the English-speaking parish here in Munich, and the tax was also not an issue.

 

Best of luck!

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I live in Germany and I don't pay church tax. I am Catholic (I should :) ) but I do not pray neither I go to Church.

If in the future I and my girlfriend would like to get married in church (she is Catholic too, she goes to Church every week and so on) I should have not problem, right? Ah, we would get married in Italy, not in Germany.

 

What happens next? Just go to Rathaus and say "we are married now" and change tax class?

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If the Catholic priest won't maarry you, tell him you'll try the Protestant church down the road. That'll change his tune.

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I know this seems absurd but to be honest I think this rule is fair enough. Lots of people complain about the church taxes but via my scout group I have seen a fair bit of that money being used to help underprivileged kids have things they normally couldn't have/do.

Not only that: the churches in Germany build and run hospitals; really top-notch, state-of-the-art hospitals sucha s the Caritas Krankenhaus Bad Mergentheim and the Diakonisches Krankenhaus Schwaebisch Hall which are the main hospitals for the towns they serve. They also run colleges and universities -- for instance, the Katholische Fachhochschule fuer Sozialarbeit and Sozialpaedagokik in Freiburg, where I got my own diploma many years ago, and which is now the Catholic University of Applied Sciences.

 

Note from the website:

 

 

Zum Wintersemester 2012/13 sollen die Studienbeiträge an der Evangelischen Hochschule Freiburg und der Katholischen Hochschule Freiburg von 500 € auf 280 € abgesenkt werden.

I've never paid church tax (don't belong to a church) but I appreciate that it serves a good purpose; and not just for Boy Scout groups.

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Not only that: the churches in Germany build and run hospitals; really top-notch, state-of-the-art hospitals sucha s the Caritas Krankenhaus Bad Mergentheim and the Diakonisches Krankenhaus Schwaebisch Hall which are the main hospitals for the towns they serve. They also run colleges and universities -- for instance, the Katholische Fachhochschule fuer Sozialarbeit and Sozialpaedagokik in Freiburg, where I got my own diploma many years ago, and which is now the Catholic University of Applied Sciences.

 

Are these free hospitals or do people still have to pay?

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Oh, they're not free at all -- the usual insurances pay for treatment. But they are run by the churches.

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Oh, they're not free at all -- the usual insurances pay for treatment. But they are run by the churches.

 

Yer I was being sarcastic.

We hear about all the good work the church does in running these hospitals and their home carers service yet most times it is not mentioned that these are well run profit making businesses.

Health insurance companies are often pilloried for the money they make or their services yet the church is praised for doing the same thing from sick people.

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We are also in the same situation. Recently engaged, neither of us paying church tax here but we would like to have a church wedding in Ireland. My Dad asked at my old parish back home but since we live here we will need to go to our local priest with the various certs (baptism, confirmation and letters of freedom) and request the "Pre Nuptial Enquiry Form" from him. I am hoping this won't be a big problem.

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My cousin quit the church in Germany and when she told her local parish priest back in Ireland, he showed a huge amount of understanding and assisted her with all of her affairs to the best of his ability. As far as I know she rejoined the church temporarily and then quit again. Oh this damn tax...it really is against all the teachings of the church and everything they stand for: 'you can't be a catholic if you can't pay'. If you're homeless and die in the freezing winter, you'll go to hell because you didn't pay the stupid tax. I left it and can't rejoin as long as that attitude persists. It doesn't make any sense.

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Hi everyone,

 

I'm currently facing a similar situation. My boyfriend and I are both Catholic (I'm from Venezuela, he's from Spain), but when he started working in Germany, he decided to get out of the church to avoid paying the tax. We're getting married in September in Spain, and as his mother went to request his Baptism certificate (in Spain), the priest told him that he couldn't give it to her and that his son "has a secret", so he didn't actually tell her the reason... We immediately assumed that it was because of the whole "church tax issue". I have been reading that actually since 2012, a law was approved that if you get out of Catholic church in Germany, you cannot receive any of the Sacraments. I guess we should have investigated more before he decided to save himself some money. I would like to know if anyone else has overcome this kind of situation, is it easy to go back to church so we can have our religious wedding? (I mean, just registering back, or does he have to get baptized again, etc?)

 

Thanks for your help!

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a law was approved that if you get out of Catholic church in Germany, you cannot receive any of the Sacraments.

 

The law simply says that if you don't pay for a gym membership, the gym doesn't have to let you use their treadmills. Same for Churches.

 

If you want to get married in a church, if need be you can purchase an all-inclusive church membership for that year, and then cancel it the following year. Or find a church that charges a service-based, à-la-carte fee. From what I've seen, there are many business models to choose from.

 

 

his mother went to request his Baptism certificate (in Spain), the priest told him that he couldn't give it to her and that his son "has a secret"

 

 

I don't think that the church can refuse to issue a certificate about something that took place in the past. What they may refuse to do is provide any services in the future to someone who has not been paying their membership fee (makes sense, if you ask me).

 

However, in any case: from a theological point of view, baptism is permanent, and cannot be undone under any circumstances.

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qmtl is right, the church is a private club. Either you are in or not.

 

The thing he is not 100% accurate is that despite baptism being or not a permanent thing, you can ask to leave the church.

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The thing he is not 100% accurate is that despite baptism being or not a permanent thing, you can ask to leave the church.

 

Yes, you can leave the church, but that has no bearing on the validity of your baptism. If you ever decide to go back, they will not repeat the baptism. Even if you join another church, they will not baptize you again (if both churches are Trinitarian).

 

It's like Hotel California: you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

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... as his mother went to request his Baptism certificate (in Spain), the priest told him that he couldn't give it to her and that his son "has a secret", so he didn't actually tell her the reason ...

 

When someone registers his/her presence in Germany and states "no religion", I'd be amazed if the authorities can determine which church where in Spain to advise of this fact and even more amazed if they would take the trouble to do so given that neither the Gestapo nor the Stasi exist here any more.

If the "secret" the priest referred to is indeed your BF's tax-saving lie, he must have informed the priest himself or, if such things still occur in Spain in the 21st century, maybe your BF has been excommunicated?

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I'd be amazed if the authorities can determine which church where in Spain to advise of this fact

 

It probably works the other way around. The Spanish priest was proactive, and checked his tax status in Germany.

 

Spaniards living in Germany can easily avoid paying the church tax without incurring any effective "penalty" since, unlike German Catholics, they go back home for important church services like weddings, baptismals, etc, and have little interest in receiving these services here. So threatening to deprive them of church services in Germany unless they pay their church tax won't work.

 

The Catholic Church obviously doesn't like losing millions of Euros in potential Church-tax income because Catholic immigrants to Germany can easily bypass the German Catholic Church by using the services of another Catholic Church, usually the one in their home country. If you're any world-wide business, you don't want to be undercut by your own franchises.

 

So perhaps they asked their affiliated churches in other countries, like Spain, to first check one's current tax status whenever they are dealing with someone from their "flock" who has emigrated to Germany or Austria, where Catholics are expected to pay Church Tax. Given how many Spaniards have moved to Germany of late because of the financial crisis, it would make perfect sense for the Vatican to do so, since this has the potential of netting them thousands of additional paying members, like rosalbarincon's husband-to-be.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if they have even put in place some kind of scheme that rewards Spanish priests whenever they get a Spaniard to sign up for Church Tax in Germany. Perfect way to keep them motivated, like the GEZ / TV license inspectors.

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I'm currently facing a similar situation. My boyfriend and I are both Catholic (I'm from Venezuela, he's from Spain), but when he started working in Germany, he decided to get out of the church to avoid paying the tax.

 

Did he actually get out of the church (stopped paying tax) or just declared him non-religious from the very beginning? If the former than it works like this: you get out of Catholic church in Germany, they send documents to Spanish Catholic church and they exclude you from Catholic church in Spain. At least this is how it works for Polish citizens who do the same: they are excluded from the church in Poland, too.

 

Non-Catholics don't have such trouble.

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