Demographics, lack of community cohesion and lack of belief have brought about a mass demoliton of churches.
In 2001, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger told Peter Sewald: “The church will be reduced numerically. In a city like Magdeburg the percentage of Christians is only 8 percent of the total population, including – mind you – all Christian denominations. The statistical data show irrefutable tendencies”.
Since 2000, the Catholic church in Germany has desecrated, demolished and sold 540 churches and chapels. Of these, 80 were in Magdeburg. In the diocese of Essen, Bishop Franz Hengsbach saw the number of Catholics halved, so 57 churches were abandoned. In the diocese of Hildesheim, as many as 51 churches have been deconsecrated since 2008.
17 years have passed since that Ratzinger interview and the data has almost collapsed everywhere. From “irrefutable”, the numbers seem to have become irredeemable.