Roman Catholicism in Austria

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Main Churches in Austria [1]
year population Catholics  % Lutherans [2]  %
1951 6,933,905 6,170,084 89.0 % 429,493 6.2%
1961 7,073,807 6,295,075 89.0 % 438,663 6.2%
1971 7,491,526 6,548,316 87.4 % 447,070 6,0%
1981 7,555,338 6,372,645 84.3 % 423,162 5,6%
1991 7,795,786 6,081,454 78.0 % 338,709 5.0%
2001 8,032,926 5,915,421 73.6 % 376,150 4.7%
2005 8,250,000 5,662,782 68.5 % - -
2008 8,350,000 5,579,493 66.8 % 328,346 3.9%
2009 8,376,761[3] 5,530,000[4] 66.0 % 325,314[5] 3.9%

The Catholic Church of Austria, part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, is under the leadership of the Pope, the curia in Rome, and the Conference of Austrian Bishops. The Austrian church is the largest Christian Confession of Austria, with, according to the 2001 census, 5.9 million people (approximately 73.6%). In 2001, the number of Sunday churchgoers was around 11.5 percent (as percentage of the total Austrian population that is 914,348 churchgoers out of a total population of 8,043,000). Since 2001, the number of Roman Catholics (and number of churchgoers) has fallen, primarily due to secularization. The latest figures (as per the end of 2008) available from the Austrian church itself, list 5.53 million members or 66 percent of the total Austrian population and a weekly church attendance of 698,527 [6] or 8 percent of the total Austrian population.

The Church's governing body in Austria is the Austrian Conference of Catholic Bishops, made up of the hierarchy of the two archbishops (Wienna, Salzburg), the bishops and the abbot of territorial abbey of Wettingen-Mehrerau. Nevertheless each bishop is independent in his own diocese, answerable only to the Pope. The current president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops is Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. Schönborn belongs to the Central European noble family of Schönborn.

Although Austria has no primate, the archbishop of Salzburg is titled Primus Germaniae (Primate of Germany).

Structure[edit]

Austrian dioceses since 1968

Call to Disobedience organization[edit]

Main article: Call to Disobedience

The organization Call to Disobedience (Aufruf zum Ungehorsam in German) is an Austrian movement mainly composed of dissident Catholic priests which started in 2006. The movement claims the support of the majority of Austrian Catholic priests and favors ordination of women, married and non-celibate priesthood, allowing Holy Communion to remarried divorcees and non-Catholics which disagrees with teachings of the Catholic Magisterium. The group also believes the way the Church is governed needs reform.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Statistik Austria: [1] ()
  2. ^ Statistical Data 2001 - 2008 in German
  3. ^ Austrian Population 4. Quarter 2009, retrieved 14 January 2010
  4. ^ [2] In german - 5.53 Millions Menschen sind katholisch retrieved 14 January 2010 provisional data
  5. ^ [3] Austrian Lutheran Church Website Statistics retrieved 11 February 2010
  6. ^ Kirchliche Statistik der Diözesen Österreichs (Katholiken, Pastoraldaten) für das Jahr 2008
  7. ^ The Catholic Tipping Point

External links[edit]