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Aus aktuellem Anlass: Zu den Folgen eines Kirchenaustritts nach den Landeskirchenaustrittsgesetzen

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The Supreme Administrative Court of Baden-Wuerttemberg, sitting as an appellate tribunal, had to rule on the legitimacy of secession actions from the church in 2010. The court considered the seceder's formulation that his secession applied to the church as a statutory body to constitute an illegitimate addition within the meaning of § 26 BWKiStG. The ,,modified secession“ attempted to be brought about by this formulation was held to be constitutionally impermissible. The court's reasoning, however, is misconceived. The court, in addition to being swayed by political considerations, did not differentiate between the church as an entity in state and in church law, and it did not draw the necessary conclusions for the status of members. A declaration of secession can mean no more than that the state no longer considers the person concerned to be a member of the church as a statutory body. The further question of whether the church, according to its own laws, has to consider that person its member is not for the state courts to answer. This is what the constitutionally guaranteed right of church autonomy means. Thus, the Supreme Administrative Court's fancied conflict between the seceder's rights under Art. 4 of the Basic Law and the church's rights under Art. 140 of the Basic Law and Art. 137 of the Weimar Constitution does not exist.
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Language: German

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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