Saturday, September 29, 2012

Church-tax: Archdiocese of Freiburg Loses Against Loyal Catholic

Attorneys:  "Just because of an unsuccessful complaint by the Archdiocese of Freiburg there will begin a discussion within the Church now more than ever with a five year postponement."

Freiburg (  Freiburg lawyers of canon lawyer Harmut Zapp have published a press clarification about the judgment of the Federal Court's instruction about leaving the Church,  in which they make it clear that, contrary to some media reports of the Archdiocese of Freiburg with its legal opinions, where Helmut Zapp is explained to have left the "Roman Catholic Church, as a corporate body of public law" has not left the Roman Catholic Church, has lost. recently documented the explanation in text [with our translation]:

The Federal Administrative Court has, with its judgement of 26.09.2012 (-6 C 7.12), has finally rejected the complaint of the Archdiocese of Freiburg against Harmut Zapp declared leaving of the Church to the registry office in July of 2007.  The Archdiocese of Freiburg is thereon completely subject whereupon Hartmut Zapp with his declared exit from the "Roman Catholic Church as a body of public right" does not constitute leaving the Roman Catholic Church.

Much more it was certified that Hartmut Zapp with his declaration is effectively, "without any ifs and buts"  is outside of the Catholic Church.  Hartmut Zapp has indicated with his declaration of exit.  It went to him-- against the media reportage --  that he was  at no point,  throwing aside his duties as a member of the Roman Catholic Church corresponding to its internal norms.

The Federal Administrative Court had further clarified in substantiating its ruling that the consequences of declaring exit of Hartmut Zapp only bears upon the State's area.   Among other things, the state may no longer levy Church-tax on Hartmut Zapp.  That is only the consequence of the declaration of leaving the Church in the secular area among  others, albeit it is also in the public consciousness probably the most important.

Against that there remains according to the Federal Administrative Court finally the question of the Roman Catholic Church itself, as it addresses the exit of Hartmut Zapp within the Church.  The Federal Administrative Court can and may not address the specifications of the basic law on articles creeping over from Weimar's Reich Constitution.  If Hartmut Zapp respective of internal Church norms therefore  is or not a member of the Roman Catholic Church, the Church must itself decide on these norms.  Which importance in connection with the German Bishop Conference's recently published "General Decree on Leaving the Church", remain foreseeably to be clarified by internal Church processes. 

Hartmut Zapp wants exactly these internal Church conflicts already in 2007 to be adjoined with his declaration of leaving the Church.  Just because of the most recent unsuccessful complaint of the Archdiocese of Freiburg, there begins an internal Church discussion now more than ever after a five year postponement.

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