Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

Religious bodies acquire legal rights in accordance with the general regulations of the civil code.

Religious bodies remain corporations with public rights in so far as they have been so up to the present. Equal rights shall be granted to other religious bodies upon application, if their constitution and the number of their members offer a guarantee of permanence. Where several such religious bodies holding public rights combine to form one union this union becomes a corporation of a similar class.

Religious bodies forming corporations with public rights are entitled to levy taxes on the basis of the civil tax-rolls, in accordance with the provisions of state law.

Associations adopting as their work the common encouragement of a worldphilosophy shall be placed upon an equal footing with religious bodies.

So far as the execution of these provisions may require further regulation, this is the duty of states legislatures.

138. State connections with religious bodies, depending upon law, agreement or special legal titles, are dissolved by state legislation. The principles for such action shall be laid down by the Federal Government.

Ownership and other rights of religious bodies and unions to their institutions, foundations and other property devoted to purposes of public worship, education or charity, are guaranteed.

139. Sundays and holidays recognized by the state shall remain under legal protection as days of rest from work and for the promotion of spiritual purposes.

140. The members of the armed forces shall be allowed the necessary free time for the performance of their religious duties.

141. Religious bodies shall have the right of entry for religious purposes into the army, hospitals, prisons, or other public institutions, so far as is necessary for the arrangement of public worship or the execution of pastoral offices, but every form of compulsion must be avoided.

Source: British and Foreign State Papers ( 1919) ( London, 1922), CXII, 1085-1087. German text in G. Anschfitz (ed.), Die Verfassung des Deutschen Reichs vom 11. August 1919 ( Berlin, 1933), pp. xii-xxxxviii.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

D. R. Borg, The Old Prussian Church and the Weimar Republic ( Hanover, N.H., 1984).

H. Cazelles, Église et état en Allemagne de Weimar aux premières années du Ille Reich ( Paris, 1936), pp. 36-109.

A. L. Drummond, German Protestantism since Luther ( London, 1951), pp. 258-278.

E. Eyck, A History of the Weimar Republic ( Cambridge, Mass., 1962), I, 1-79.

H. H. Kramm, "Organization and Constitution of the German Protestant Churches", Church Quarterly Review, Vol. CXXXCIII ( April 1944), pp. 87-98.

K. S. Latourette, Christianity in a Revolutionary Age ( New York, 1958- 1962), IV, 247- 257.

-341-

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