VIENNA (AP) — Austria's Roman Catholic church has learned its lesson. Mass is OK. Mass texting is not.
A diocese in the southern city of Graz says it has been found guilty of contravening Austria's telecommunications law by sending mass texts to the cellphones of followers asking them to pay overdue membership fees.
Members of recognized religions in Austria must pay so-called "church taxes" or opt out of membership. For a Catholic, non-payment would mean no right to church sacraments.
Diocese official Hertha Ferk was quoted by the Der Standard newspaper on Tuesday as saying the diocese has agreed to pay a fine that is under 10,000 euros ($13,475).
A court took up the case after complaints from some of the 17,000 church members in arrears who received the text last year.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to email@example.com. Please provide detailed information.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.