Catholic Church in Austria

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Catholic Church in Austria
German: Katholische Kirche in Österreich
Wien - Stephansdom (3).JPG
TypeNational polity
GovernanceEpiscopal Conference of Austria
PopePope Francis
ChairmanFranz Lackner
Primas GermaniaeFranz Lackner
Apostolic NuncioPedro López Quintana
LanguageGerman, Latin
Members4,733,174 (52.0 %) (2022)
Official websiteEpiscopal Conference of Austria
Innsbruck Cathedral

The Catholic Church in Austria is part of the worldwide Catholic Church in full communion with the Pope in Rome. The Church's governing body in Austria is the Austrian Conference of Catholic Bishops, made up of the hierarchy of the two archbishops (Vienna and 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. The Austrian church is the largest Christian Confession of Austria, with 4.73 million members (52.0 % of the total Austrian population) in 2022.[1]

For more than 50 years, however, the proportion of Catholics has decreased, primarily due to secularization and migration (from 89% in 1961 to 52% in 2022). The number of Sunday churchgoers in 2021 was around 3.1 percent (as percentage of the total Austrian population that is 281,131 churchgoers out of a total population of 8,978,929).

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


Main Churches in Austria [2][1][3]
year population Catholics % Protestants %
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% 388,709 5.0%
2001 8,032,926 5,915,421 73.6% 376,150 4.7%
2011 8,408,121 5,403,722 64.3% 319,752 3.8%
2021 8,979,894 4,827,683 53.8% 270,585 3.0%
2022 9,100,000 4,733,174 52.0% - -

Ecclesiastical structure[edit]

Austrian dioceses since 1968

List of Catholic organisations in Austria[edit]


71% of Austrian Catholics support same-sex marriage and 26% oppose it.[4]


Call to Disobedience organization[edit]

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[citation needed] 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.[5]

Notable people[edit]

Linz Cathedral

See also[edit]


External links[edit]