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Prime Minister left church out of irritation

Out of anger at the Vatican, Lower Saxony's Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) left the Catholic Church more than 30 years ago.

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Prime Minister left church out of irritation

Out of anger at the Vatican, Lower Saxony's Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) left the Catholic Church more than 30 years ago. "I left the church in the 1980s because the papal ban on the pill didn't suit me - I wanted modern family planning," the 63-year-old told the magazine "Bunte" according to a pre-announcement on Monday.

However, he still feels the influence of the Christian faith today, added Weil. "I was raised Catholic, you always keep that to yourself."

A new state parliament will be elected in Lower Saxony in four weeks. Weil is standing for the SPD for the third time as a top candidate in a state election and wants to defend his office.

His fiercest rival is CDU state leader and Deputy Prime Minister Bernd Althusmann. In the most recent election polls, however, his CDU was a few percentage points behind Weil's SPD.

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