The Archbishopric of Freiburg must pay 10.8 million euros to the German pension insurance. This puts an end to the financial affair that has been going on for years for the archdiocese. The Metropolitan of Freiburg admits mistakes.
The archdiocese of Freiburg has to pay 10.8 million euros to the German pension insurance because of incorrectly paid social security contributions. According to the Catholic archdiocese on Tuesday, the sum is composed of regular back payments of about 6 million euros as well as another 4.8 million euros in late payments.
Thus the affair, which became public about three years ago, ends halfway mildly for the archdiocese, which had in the meantime put aside a three-digit million euro amount for fear of a considerably more substantial additional payment. As early as October 2017, the archdiocese had admitted that it had not paid employees’ contributions to the statutory pension insurance correctly for many years – the checks on this matter have been going on until now. “The comparatively high provision that the archdiocese had included in its balance sheet in 2017 to cover potentially impending risks can now be largely released,” it was now said.
According to the diocese, the audits of the pension insurance company were primarily concerned with the question of whether all prescribed social security contributions and the associated wage tax had been correctly calculated and paid in the archdiocese. The public prosecutor’s office had also investigated in the meantime and then announced in October 2018 that it had not discovered any criminally relevant conduct such as fraud or embezzlement. Therefore, no preliminary investigation had been initiated.
Archbishop Stephan Burger said that mistakes had been made in his diocese and had been rightly criticized: “We have taken many measures to correct these mistakes and will also take care to avoid such mistakes in the future.