The Associated Press is reporting today that Austrian Catholics are ramping up a campaing for reform in the church, partly as a consequence of the ongoing sex abuse scandal.
The Austrians, as do Germans, have a unique bit of leverage. When they leave the church, they stop paying a controversial, government-administered church tax. Tens of thousands of Austrian Catholics are leaving each year, with the number predicted to grow significantly this year, and many are citing their wish not to support a church that harmed children and that is led by what they perceive as an out-of-touch hierarchy.
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