Austrian priest publishes names of ex-Catholics

AP News
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Posted: Jan 26, 2012 9:07 AM
Austrian priest publishes names of ex-Catholics

The Vienna archdiocese has apologized for the publication of a list of people who have formally left the Roman Catholic church.

A statement says those affected have been asked "for forgiveness," noting making the names public "is not allowed by state or church rules."

The statement was issued Thursday after a priest in a village north of Vienna listed local church-leavers in the diocese newspaper. The archdiocese says the priest has since "apologized in the form of a Mass and has written those affected a letter" of apology.

The rash of sex abuse scandals hitting the Catholic church has led to an increased number of people formally renouncing their affiliation. That also frees them from paying a mandatory church tax.