"In its decree, the bishops' conference said the tax was designed to compensate for state seizures of church property. The decree said the right to a "civil law withdrawal" ensured "no one is led to church membership against their will."
"Conscious dissociation from the church by public act is a grave offense against the church community," the decree said.
"Whoever declares their withdrawal for whatever reason before the responsible civil authority always violates their duty to preserve a link with the church, as well as their duty to make a financial contribution so the church can fulfill its tasks."
[link to www.catholicnews.com
My first reaction was wtf?! but I can see the point,
the Church exists within a world that requires money to accomplish anything, it doesn't fall down from the skies, or appear with magic.
If you are a member, then you have duties to fulfill.
I'd like to think State and Church would be better off being kept separate, but since this isn't the case in Germany, the Church has to act to ensure her continuity.
State seizures of Church property?
What is going on with that?