An old chestnut: taxing churches/religions
- 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:
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capital assets were answered with: "these items are not for publication."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
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!
H. E. (Ernie) Schreiber
EUNACOM Secular Journal: http://eunacom.net
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