>The Diocese of Innsbruck is having its own scandals, and while I have not been following all that closely (I know that a priest has been suspended), I found this interesting: ORF reports today that, according to a diocese spokesman, 1,348 people had officially left the church since the beginning of 2010, as of March 21. Austria, like Germany, has the Church Tax, where they hit you up for mandatory tithing*. So this is going to be quite a bit less money in their coffers.
*I have never had much of a problem with that office, although there are stories long circulating, especially regarding new residents from abroad. The problem, as I see it, involved people who did not wish to pay a church tax, but who were not yet comfortable in saying outright that they didn’t wish to be part of any church. As soon as I did so, in writing, the bills stopped coming. It was interesting to see how much of a leap that was — I felt a little guilty and hesitant —as if maybe I was going to pay for this decision later. But it had no consequences (on the contrary, I still do professional work there) and was in fact liberating of various levels.