//
you're reading...
Italy

Catholic Church should share the pain too

If there is one positive thing that has emerged from the economic and debt crisis in Italy is a wide-ranging public debate about who should pay for it.

Nothwithstanding the efforts to repress an intelligent exchange of ideas by the private and state TV – controlled by billionaire media magnate premier Silvio Berlusconi –  anyone reading the newspapers or surfing the web will have seen powerful vested business interests being fingered as needing to bear a greater burden. So has the Church.

The state subsidizes the Catholic Church by as much as Euros 3 billion (£2.6 billion) a year . Bishops claim it uses this money to do good charitable works. Only some of it.

Millions are handed over to corporations like Saatchi and Saatchi for slick advertising campaigns.

And one major pillar of state subsidy – exemptions from tax on about 100,000 properties, classed as non-commercial, including over 8,000 schools, 26,000 ecclesiastical structures and more than 4,000 hospitals and clinics – is widely abused. For example, a commercial enterprise will be built around a chapel just to qualify for the tax break.

The anti-clerical Radical party has said it is time the Church shared in the sacrifices being made by its catholic congregations, and called time on this state largesse to the clergy. Tens of thousands have indicated support via a Facebook campaign, and now the main opposition party, the Democrats, appears supportive too.

But the catholic lobby is extremely powerful with well placed advocates within the state, political and business elite. So don’t hold your breath on this one.

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or @revoltingeurope

Discussion

One thought on “Catholic Church should share the pain too

  1. great article. keep it up

    Posted by sarah154 | September 8, 2011, 7:54 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Twitter Updates

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

DATA

Anti-social Europe in numbers

WAGES SLIDE

Key facts and figures on wages across the EU

Wealth Inequality in Europe

Get the key facts and figures

RADICAL VOICES

A different take on European issues

Italy’s Healthcare Crisis

Health services are ‘close to collapse’ in Rome, Turin and Naples after years of cuts and privatisation.

550 days, 29 Workers, Zero Job Losses

How a few determined Italian women stopped their factory closing and protected their livelihoods

Filthy Rich

France's Bernard Arnault of the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) empire is worth $41 billion. Check out Europe's rich list

SANTA DRAGHI’S COMING

Private banks receive half-trillion-euro gift from ECB

POPULAR FIGHTBACK

Workers and citizens stand up for themselves

FLORENCE’S BUS LUMACA

Workers are on a go-slow over privatisation

Popular resistance delivers results

Lessons from the victory against Madrid privatisation plan

FRENCH FACTORY OCCUPATION

Hundreds of workers occupied the factory of ArcelorMittal in Florange in the north of France

RSS Fight discrimination in Europe – Amnesty Int’l

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

in Italy the home is a very dangerous place to be

LABOUR RIGHTS

Follow Revolting Europe on WordPress.com

Subjects

EUROPE NEEDS A CITIZENS’ REVOLUTION

Read the statement by Lafontaine and Melenchon

The Troika in Portugal – Three Years On

A success story?

THE EURO

The Dossier

FRANCE

GERMANY

GREECE

ITALY

PORTUGAL

SPAIN