Most of the Catholic dioceses in Bavaria want to keep their schools. The diocese of Eichstätt, which wants to give up the sponsorship of five schools for reasons of economy, is the exception, as a survey by the German Press Agency has shown. None of the six other dioceses want to take this step at the moment.
"Our schools have only been extensively renovated in recent years - from our point of view they are very special pastoral places," said the Archdiocese of Bamberg on request. "Investing in education in general is important in our diocese. That's why we have no plans to give up school sponsorships."
There are also no such plans in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising or in the dioceses of Regensburg and Würzburg.
Giving up Catholic schools is "extremely sad," said the diocese of Augsburg, where five new church schools have been founded in recent years. If a diocese sees itself forced to do so, it is "also due to the no longer adequate refinancing of church schools by the Free State of Bavaria," said a diocese spokesman. This could "only be compensated for by even greater financial support from a diocese, as in Augsburg".
The diocese of Passau pointed out that extensive renovation work is planned for the only school in the direct sponsorship of the diocese.
The diocese of Eichstätt, which now wants to give up five schools, has been dealing with a financial scandal surrounding speculative real estate investments for several years. The diocese had invested around 60 million US dollars (almost 57 million euros) in the USA in a questionable way. A significant portion of the money is unclear if it will ever come back. In times of massive church exits and declining income from church taxes, however, all Catholic dioceses now have to save.
The Bavarian bishops had just exchanged views on the situation in church schools at the spring plenary assembly of the Freising Bishops' Conference. According to this, there are around 300 Church and Caritas schools with around 90,000 students in the Free State.
In addition to church schools, which are financed directly by the dioceses, there are also others in the dioceses that are sponsored by religious orders or foundations, for example.
Communication from the Diocese of Eichstätt Communication from the Diocese of Passau