DIASPORA COMMISSION OF THE GERMAN BISHOPS EXISTS FOR 100 YEARS
For 100 years, the Diaspora Commission of the German Bishops has been financially supporting economically disadvantaged diaspora dioceses – with 4.37 million euros in the coming year. Catholic priests in Germany donate one percent of their salary monthly for this assistance. The Priest's Aid was founded at the 24th General Assembly of the Bonifatius Association, today's Bonifatiuswerk, in 1923. The support benefits priests and deacons involved in pastoral work in Central, Eastern, and Northern Europe.
"The priests in Germany, with their support, are sending a powerful signal of solidarity. In most countries of Northern, Central, and Eastern Europe, Catholics are a numerical minority, and pastoral care is hindered by extensive distances. The German priests demonstrate with their assistance: You are not alone, you can count on us, and we are connected beyond shared prayer," says Monsignor Georg Austen, Managing Director of the Diaspora Commission.
The Diaspora Commission supports the dioceses in Northern Europe (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) with approximately 3.8 million euros: 2.45 million euros are allocated for the salaries of priests. One million euros support the construction and maintenance of priest residences. 350,000 euros are earmarked for the acquisition of vehicles that priests urgently need in their extensive parishes. In Central and Eastern Europe, the Diaspora Commission provides salary support for priests and deacons amounting to 570,000 euros.