Catholic Church in Austria

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Main Churches in Austria [1][2][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 % 338,709 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%
2015 8,699,730 5,211,422 59.9% 304,259 3.5%

The Catholic Church of Austria, part of the worldwide Catholic Church, is under the leadership of the Pope. The Austrian church is the largest Christian Confession of Austria, with, according to the 2011 census, 5.4 million people (approximately 64.3%). Since 2011, the number of Roman Catholics has fallen, primarily due to secularization. The latest figures (as per the end of 2015) available from the Austrian church itself, list 5.21 million members or 59.9 percent of the total Austrian population.[2] The number of Sunday churchgoers was around 7.3 percent (as percentage of the total Austrian population that is 623,195 churchgoers out of a total population of 8,584,926 in 2014).

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. 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).


Austrian dioceses since 1968

Catholic Organizations in Austria[edit]

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.[4]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]