Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/5/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Church-owned businesses create unfair advantage over their competitors, critics say

Quickly running out of funds, the Italian government is desperate for extra revenue. High on its list are commercial properties owned by the Roman Catholic Church.

Opponents have long said that the current rules in Italy give church-owned businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, an unfair advantage over their competitors.

Opponents have long said that the current rules in Italy give church-owned businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, an unfair advantage over their competitors.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/5/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Italy, taxation, Catholic Church, tax-exempt businesses


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The government of Prime Minister Mario Monti announced on February 15 that it wants to revise rules on the tax-exempt status of church-owned commercial property. While the exemption also applies to other not-for-profit entities, such as trade unions, political parties and religious groups, the Catholic Church remains its largest beneficiary.

The proposal is an unpopular one, the sign of desperate times. "Such a move would have been unimaginable six months ago," Francesco Perfetti, a history professor at LUISS University in Rome says. "After all, no matter whether you are a believer or not, the church is an integral part of Italy's culture."

Began in 1992, the exemption has long sparked contentious debates. After the Euro crisis and Italy's staggering debt forced the government to introduce sweeping austerity measures, including a sharp rise in the pension age, the taxation issue became even more heated.

Opponents have long said that the current rules give church-owned businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, an unfair advantage over their competitors.

Church officials say that commercial church businesses must already pay taxes in full, and that the exemption is aimed at helping social institutions like schools and hospitals and not at giving the Catholic Church an unfair advantage. "We don't ask for preferential treatment but just to be treated as other not-for-profit entities," Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of Italy's bishop's conference says.

Some Italian church officials have timidly welcomed the government's announcement, saying it would help "clarify" the situation.

Monti took the unusual step of personally explaining the sense and scope of the new rules in a speech to a Parliament committee on Feb. 27. Italy remains one of the most overwhelmingly Catholic nations in the world.

Monti avoided any explicit reference in his statement to the church, and stressed that the government "holds in high esteem the not-for-profit sector's contribution to society."

A trained economist, Monti said the new norms would clarify which commercial properties qualify as not-for-profit in order to avoid possible sanctions from the European Union.

The Salesians, a large religious order, have not welcomed Monti's news. They say they would be forced to close many of the thousands of private schools they operate throughout Italy if forced to pay property tax on them. Other church-affiliated bodies have voiced similar concerns.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Europe

Top German publication pressures Chancellor Merkel to act after NEW U.S. spying allegations Watch

Image of Chancellor Merkel has made no public comment on the incident, although Washington's ambassador to Berlin was summoned to the Chancellery. Merkel's displeasure was made known to him 'in no uncertain terms.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was understandably upset after she learned the national Security Agency had her under surveillance for several years. This is the type of action the U.S. reserves for unfriendly nations, and not our strongest ally in NATO. Merkel ... continue reading


HITTING WALL: Nation of Greece prepares for economic meltdown Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nation of Greece, after years of scolding by the European Union over its fiscal irresponsibility is headed to an inevitable meltdown. Cash reserves are dwindling by the minute, sure to disintegrate the ruling coalition. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


The new 'Iron Curtain': Hungary plans massive border fence to keep migrants out Watch

Image of Border fence between United States and Mexico.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Critics are not happy with the Hungarian government's plan to construct a 13-foot high border fence to narrow down the influx of illegal migrants coming to their country. The planned border is being compared to the historically terrifying Auschwitz and Iron Curtain ... continue reading


Horrific terrorist attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait unleashed simultaneously Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Three different terrorist attacks occurred in three different areas, leaving a bloody line of death across three continents. The recent and horrific attacks reawaken the fear that ISIS' influence knows no boundaries. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The attacks took ... continue reading


Mystery surrounds disappearance of American woman on ancient Catholic pilgrimage in Spain Watch

Image of Denise Thiem mysteriously disappears during her Catholic Pilgrimage in Spain.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Denise Thiem, an American woman who quit her job to go around the world, disappeared while in a Catholic Pilgrimage in Astorga, Spain and has been missing for more than three months  Thiem's family is continuously searching for answers from the Spanish authorities ... continue reading


Riots and protests prompt the banning of the Uber taxi service in France Watch

Image of The taxi protests in Paris have shined yet another unflattering spotlight on the world's most popular tourist destination. Politicians on both sides of the spectrum condemned the violence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Denied their livelihood by the cyber-taxi service Uber, which pairs up paying passengers with unlicensed drivers, cab drivers overturned cars and blocked roads in Paris. The Uber service is already illegal in France, and the French government reiterated this ... continue reading


ZOMBIE PARANOIA: Gravesites suggest that fear of reanimated dead stretches back to ancient Greece Watch

Image of The head and feet of one skeleton were covered with a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Modern man enjoys movies and TV shows involving the recently reanimated dead - "zombies," but in antiquity, the fear of the deceased suddenly coming back to life to wreak havoc with the living was at one time a real one. Skeletons have been unearthed and found ... continue reading


Ukraine's fragile ceasefire nearing collapse as rebels pound government positions Watch

Image of Fighters in Russian military uniforms and equipped with Russian military gear, though lacking insignias, have been spotted in Ukraine since early last year, part of a destabilizing effort to overthrow the Kiev government.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The abundance of evidence that Russia is covertly and overtly assisting Ukrainian rebels in their fight against Kiev continues to grow, and now the commander of U.S. forces in Europe said that there is "clear and irrefutable evidence" that Russia is actively ... continue reading


Panicked Greeks withdraw $1 billion from banks in a single day Watch

Image of Expressing a mood of panic, and a resignation that no further help from Europe is forthcoming, Greeks withdrew over $1.1 billion dollars from their bank accounts last week.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Expressing a mood of panic, and a resignation that no further help from Europe is forthcoming, Greeks withdrew over $1.1 billion dollars from their bank accounts last week. This pushes the beleaguered European nation closer towards a default. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Doctors found euthanizing patients without knowledge -- or consent in Belgium Watch

Image of Belgium became the first nation in the world in 2014 to eliminate age limits for euthanasia, allowing terminally-ill children to end their lives.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the "forward-thinking" European nation of Belgium, it has been discovered that many doctors there - pun intended. - have been "jumping the gun." Raphael Cohen-Almagor, a professor of philosophy and ethics at the United Kingdom's Hull University, has ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 28:10-22
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:18-26
18 While he was speaking to them, suddenly one of the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 6th, 2015 Image

St. Maria Goretti
July 6: Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on October 16 1890; her ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter