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An old chestnut: taxing churches/religions

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  • Ernie Schreiber
    I have suggested many times before that religion is a business and should be taxed except for those activities that are obviously charitable (soup kitchens,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 13, 2010
      I have suggested many times before that religion is a business and should be
      taxed except for those activities that are obviously charitable (soup
      kitchens, food depots, care for the elderly, etc). I have now come across
      an article in "der Spiegel" entitled: "Financial Affairs of the Catholic
      Church." I will provide a link here, but the article is only in German and,
      unless you have Babylon translation software, you probably won't be able to
      read it. I am short of time at the moment and can't engage in a translation
      effort; perhaps later. Here is the link:

      http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/gesellschaft/0,1518,700360,00.html

      Here are the salient points: The lead-in reads: Real estate, stock
      holdings, secret accounts: the Catholic church juggles its gigantic wealth.
      Some business ventures are highly questionable or even criminal, as is shown
      in the conviction of a functionary of the church.

      In the bishopric Limburg, the manager of the finance department embezzled
      about five million Euros. He was given a six year jail sentence. The judge
      found that this embezzlement was surprisingly simple; in the Limburg
      bishopric thirty illegal accounts of one clergyman were discovered. This is
      quite common in many bishoprics. Question concerning the administration of
      capital assets were answered with: "these items are not for publication."

      The Catholic church claims to be poor, but in reality they are hiding their
      wealth. It is estimated that the total wealth of the Catholic church is 50
      billion Euros, mostly invested in real estate, church-banks, academies,
      breweries, wineries, news-media and clinics.

      In Limburg there is now a fight about a new bishop's residence that is to be
      built for several million Euros financed by bishopric funds, while there are
      to be savings through reduction in the number of parishes, masses, and
      clergy.

      My own thoughts to all this: so how does the church differ from any ordinary
      run-of-the-mill business venture? The bosses line their pockets, the
      customers and staff get short shrift. Halleluiah!

      Regards,
      H. E. (Ernie) Schreiber
      EUNACOM Secular Journal: http://eunacom.net
      Discussion List Server at: <eunacom@yahoogroups.com>


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