Archdiocese expects a minus of 27.5 million euros
“Of course, the large number of resignations also has a monetary impact on the Archdiocese of Cologne. The state grants are not sufficient to finance the operation of the day-care centers. The Archdiocese determines the sponsor’s share of 12 percent from church tax funds – that’s 46 million euros for 2022 alone .”
And this despite the fact that church tax revenue has been falling for years. The diocese expects an annual deficit of 27.5 million euros.
“In order for us as a diocese to remain able to act and continue to fulfill our tasks even if church tax stagnates or falls, we have to decide what we want to use our resources for,” said Vicar General Markus Hofmann at the end of 2021 with a view to the expected decline in available funding.
Reforms are needed to preserve them – and political will
In addition to a reorientation of financial planning, the diocese will also save resources with an administrative reform announced for the end of 2022. But: “Even with resources becoming scarcer, we as the Archdiocese of Cologne are sticking to the strategic goal of maintaining and solidly establishing the diversity of Catholic day care centers, the educational and school landscape,” says the diocese.
Sammy Wintersohl from the Evangelical Church Association sees another way of averting a future daycare center debacle in reducing the proportion of sponsors. “It would help a lot of communities,” he says. Ultimately, this is a question of political will. If you look at the reactions from the day care center in Zollstock, there shouldn’t be a lack of them.