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One of the document’s proposals to relieve the financial crisis is a “parish levy,” which would require Catholic families to make regular payments to bail out the diocese.

The per-person amount of the church levy was not specified in the document, but the report said the goal would be to raise more than $4 million a year.

The Irish Catholic Church traditionally has relied on donations from congregations rather than formal tithes or a government-collected church tax like the ones imposed in Denmark, Germany, Iceland and Sweden.

“The church tax in Germany is very successful,” said Michael Kelly, deputy editor of the Irish Catholic, the independent weekly newspaper that first reported about the internal church document.

“The German Catholic Church heavily subsidizes the Vatican,” he added.

However, the German Catholic Church has faced steady attrition over the past decade, in part from parishioners trying to get out of paying the church tax.

Irish Catholics are likely to rebel against such a tax, Mr. Kelly said.

“I don’t think there’s any appetite for it now,” he said. “It would be seen as a bridge too far.”

Lorcan Price, 25, a Catholic lawyer in Dublin, added: “People in this country are fairly resistant to anything like a tax.”

He noted that Ireland is “one of the few countries in the world” that doesn’t have a property tax.

However, he added, “If you believe in the church’s spirituality, you should really put your money where your mouth is.”

Mr. Quinn of the Iona think tank agreed.

“It won’t even get off the drawing board. The diocese is going to have to look to other ideas,” he said. “Of course [believers] should pay, but the question is: Should it be voluntary or a quasi-tax.”

With the Irish church’s reputation at a new low, Mass attendance in Dublin is estimated at just 20 percent of Catholics.

The Rev. Aquinas Duffy from Dublin’s St. Pius X Church said he sees how the recession has emptied collection plates.

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