DIASPORA COMMISSION GRANTS FUNDING FOR 2023
Priests in the German dioceses contribute one percent of their salary to provide the necessary help for their brothers in the diaspora. Due to a lack of own resources and the absence of state support, the dioceses in these countries cannot adequately finance the necessary local expenses without these subsidies. In 2023 the "Diaspora Commission of German Bishops/Diaspora Aid of Priests" supports priests and deacons in Central, Eastern and Northern Europe with almost 5.2 million euros.
The Diaspora Commission supports the dioceses in Northern Europe with just under 4.4 million euros. These funds are allocated to salary subsidies, building projects and the purchase of vehicles.
For the salaries of the priests – including the necessary insurance policies – 2.5 million euros are needed. The construction and maintenance of flats for priests is being funded with just under 1.6 million euros. 350,000 euros are invested in vehicles that the priests urgently need in their parishes covering vast areas in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. In Central and Eastern Europe, the Diaspora Commission subsidizes the salaries of priests and deacons to the amount of more than 660,000 euros.
"With the support from Germany, the priests are making a clear statement of solidarity. Catholics in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe are a small minority in their countries. That makes this statement even more important: they are not alone and can count on our help. We are connected in prayers and solidarity. This is not a one-way ticket but a testimony of faith and a great example for a world church community." explains the Managing Director of the Diaspora Commission, Monsignore Georg Austen. The chairman of the allocation committee and the former Vicar General of the Archbishop of Paderborn, Prelate Alfons Hardt, thanks all the priests for their valuable support and the statement of solidarity across national borders.
Since 2014, the approved project grants such as salary subsidies as well as transport and building grants have been earmarked and managed by the Bonifatiuswerk of German Catholics. The authorized representative of the Diaspora Commission is the Archbishop of Paderborn. He performs this duty together with the Bishop of Fulda and the Bishop of Osnabrück. The management and administration of the Diaspora Commission cooperate with the Bonifatiuswerk so that ongoing project support is guaranteed. The funds available are decided by the allocation committee. This committee is composed of representatives of the bishops, the consortium of priest councils (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Priesterräte) and a representative of Renovabis.