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Thread: Italy may start taxing the Vatican. Why shouldn't churches pay tax?

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Italy may start taxing the Vatican. Why shouldn't churches pay tax?

    Italy to End Tax Breaks on Church Enterprises, Monti Says - Businessweek

    As I read this article today, I was thinking that the wealth hoarded at the Vatican could probably feed all of the starving children in the world. Italy's Prime Minister would like to start taxing the Catholic Church, and why not? Perhaps just the taxes from the Vatican's holdings could pay for all of Greece's debts and solve Europe's economy problems. What do you all think? I am curious about the Russian perspective on this because in America, many people (religious people) are opposed to taxing churches - even though churches regularly force themselves into our politics.

    America's constitution clearly separates church from state, because America's founding fathers understood the dangers of letting religion interfere - and indeed dominate - policy making. After all, for them the Spanish Inquisition was a fairly recent historical memory.

    But these days it seems that many Americans have not read their history, do not know about witch burnings and mass killings of so-called "heathens." They want to make Christianity our nation's "official" religion - and once one religion is given supremacy, what will happen to the others? They do not seem to understand, either, that separation of church and state works in their favor as well for as our First Amendment clearly states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    And yet, all of our press - television, news, films, etc - must pay taxes. So why should Churches be any different?

    Do churches in Russia pay taxes like everyone else, or do they also have a special "loophole"...? Can we discuss this?
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Почтенный гражданин Dmitry Khomichuk's Avatar
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    I thought the Vatican is independent state with theocracy. In Belarus churches doesn't pay tax. And they can buy wine without taxes. So many people think that church makes money on it when importing wine without taxes. But I don't know a lot about it. Last time I was at the church, when I was 10 years old.

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    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    In the article, which you posted the link to, the talk is about commercially used property but not about religious activity. If we would consider the possibility to tax the religious activity as well I think it would look strange enough since all the money which come to church are the "charity" by those who give money. Something like to tax homeless for those money they are given on a street. Well the amount of money got by church and a homeless is extremely different but does it make sense?

    On the other hand would not taxing church automatically make this church an official religion in the state?

    As far as I concerned in Russia church doesn't pay taxes. As for church going to politics what I see is rather politics going to church. During last years all the Russian party leaders along with the president and the prime minister were visiting church quite frequently as a place to show up their "loyalty". Their visits were covered by TV more than political meetings.
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post

    And yet, all of our press - television, news, films, etc - must pay taxes. So why should Churches be any different?

    Do churches in Russia pay taxes like everyone else, or do they also have a special "loophole"...? Can we discuss this?
    Hahaha, you are going to *discuss something?* Is this comedy hour?

    The Italian PM, Monti, is a Bilderberger/IMF banker. Why not end the payouts and bailouts to bankers? All THAT money could be spent on your poor and homeless. Instead, you say to attack the Christian Church. Ok, go ahead but don't try to fool ppl.

    You Commies might trick most people but not everyone.

  5. #5
    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Pavelov, how am I a "commie".....?

    And what is with the claims of "attacking"? I just don't see why churches should not be taxed like every other business which has something to sell. Some businesses sell furniture, others sell magazines, churches sell religion.

    And in America, especially, the churches are very active trying to take over our government and force us all to conform to their beliefs! George W Bush was trained and installed by the christian organizations in America. That is why he was so pro-Israel and wanted to make war all the time. He believed "God" was talking to him!! He even said this! Our christians believe that they should "help the apocalypse along" - is this something you would support?!

    If we must get into name calling, I could as easily label people who support church involvement in politics as "fascists."

    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    You are a true Marxist. Blatant lies and smokescreens.

    You avoid my main points and post lies.

    Christianity has been around for over a thousand years and true Christians have not attempted to influence politics as long as Governments don't intervene.

    I am no Christian but your assertion that they are trying to 'take over Governments' is pure fantasy. Both Jewish and Islamic religions and related organizations have much more control and influence in politics.

    Politicians who claim to be Christian (yet support wars and ant-Christian principles) are poseurs and attendance to Church or Christian functions are akin to a photo op.

    Your post is absurd.

    Religions should be kept separate from the State but the State interferes way too much as it is.

    Might as well tax them. Italy will be broke anyway.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavelov View Post
    Christianity has been around for thousands of years and true Christians have not attempted to influence politics as long as Governments stay don't intervene.
    Seriously??? Learn your history. Christian Church affects state policy all the time. Anyway, there are no true Christians (whatever they are) among people in power.

    I believe in separation of Church and State (if only to protect myself). But 100% separation is impossible, since no church can exist in a vacuum - it's located within a certain state's territory and church goers are citizens of the state.

    I doubt it's possible to tax Vatican directly - it's an independent state, isn't it? Why should it pay anything to Italy? But state churches probably can be taxed for using land and such...
    Deborski likes this.

  8. #8
    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Christianity has been around for over a thousand years and true Christians have not attempted to influence politics as long as Governments don't intervene.

    Pavelov
    , your response is what is absurd, here!

    You have not studied any history....? You never heard of "Divine Right"...? Christianity has ALWAYS influenced governments, since it was originally established by Emperor Constantine as the official religion of Rome in the 3rd century! Two thousand years of darkness and horrors followed. You are clearly in denial here!

    I am not against the rights of people to worship as they will. Let them have their churches! Let them pray! Just don't force OTHERS to pray or go to church if they do not CHOOSE to! How is there anything wrong with this picture? Church and state MUST remain separate, or history will just repeat itself all over again. Are you blind as well as ignorant of history...? Do you not see what happens in countries where religion mingles in government affairs?

    Yet, in your view, since I am not in favor of forcing people to pray to a god they don't believe in... that makes me a Marxist. WOW. Your ignorance is truly astounding! It boggles my mind. I notice too, that all you can do is resort to name calling since you have no facts to support the nonsense you speak. Enjoy your name calling, then. May it bring you great happiness....



    gRomoZeka
    - I may have been wrong about the Vatican being taxed. The article stated "property of the catholic church" but I am not sure if that includes the Vatican's holdings or not.

    I'm not about punishing churches... I don't think taxing them is any kind of punishment. I just don't see why religions should not be taxed, when every other organization and business is...
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Just got this update on the story from the BBC:

    BBC News - Italy plans to tax Vatican on commercial properties

    Looks like the Vatican WILL in fact lose it's tax-exempt status according to this report.

    Excerpt
    Prime Minister Mario Monti has announced the Vatican must pay taxes on non-religious property, from which it previously enjoyed an exemption.

    The annual cost could be up to 720m euros ($945m; £598m) according to municipal government bodies.

    Italy's Catholic Church has 110,000 properties, worth about 9bn euros.

    It includes shopping centres and a range of residential property.
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    It includes shopping centres and a range of residential property.
    Thanks for the update!
    I had no idea that Vatican owns so much commercial property in Italy. But I think it's fair if they'll have to pay for it, like other people do. Especially since it's obvious that they can afford it. It will be a nice addition to the Italy's budget.

  11. #11
    Hanna
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    Italians are just desperate for more money in the state coffers, I think!
    And they are looking high and low - suddenly realised that they had this untapped source of potential income. I don't think this will be acceptable to people in Italy though.

    One of the reasons Catholicism can be such a formidable power is that they have resources. Without the financial power they would be a lot less influential. I am not a Catholic but I think the Catholic church does a lot of good work around the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post

    Pavelov
    , your response is what is absurd, here!
    He's like an agent provocateur, really. Hard he's even for real. Some of his comments are so ignorant, uneducated and laden with prejudice. Yet he is so sure of himself.
    What can you say..?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    I don't think this will be acceptable to people in Italy though.
    It's too early to know for sure, but the article says: "The government reintroduced a tax paid by anyone who owns land or property in Italy - which the Church does not pay. But a growing wave of Italians are opposed to what they see as special privileges in the face of a tightening economy."
    I think the Catholic church does a lot of good work around the world.
    Well, it can do some good work for Italians too. They seem to be in a tight place. And it's not like they demand money for nothing.

  13. #13
    Hanna
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    Well, I am neither a Catholic, nor an Italian so this hasn't got a lot to do with me although it's an interesting question..
    This is between the Italians and the Catholic Church.
    I suppose the Church can relocate if they don't like it - Set up a new tax exempt Holy See in the West Indies or something !

    The Catholic Church owns property around the world actually - for example they have plenty of property in the UK.
    Most of the time there is a monastery or a school or something on that property, but in some cases I think it's just pure investment. Not sure what their tax status is in other countries.

    I spent a couple of days once at a monastery in connection with a school that a friend of mine attended for many years. We stayed in the guest quarters and I was pretty impressed - we stayed for free and were offered excellent food and good wine, also free. The monastery had an impressive art collection and the atmosphere was really nice - the monks were cool and very intellectual, not at all as I had expected. I definitely got the feeling that these were no "poor friars".

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    Anyway, the Catholic church IS very influential, I don't think the Prime-Minister will manage to squeeze anything out of them. Even if it means that Italians basically lend 20% of their land for free.

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    I agree that the Catholic church is very influential. I do not believe that taxing them will cut short their services. They have vast holdings and investments which generate an income Bill Gates would be in awe of.

    Here is an article from Ireland, by the way. They have some interesting perspectives on this issue.

    Vatican grapples with new taxes and tales of death - The Irish Times - Sat, Feb 18, 2012

    Excerpt:

    It’s worth pointing out here that the Italian hold on the so-called “universal” church is stronger than ever. Remarkably, Italy still boasts by far the largest body of elector cardinals (those aged under 80), with 30 of the 125 electors being Italians.

    If cardinals were appointed on a proportional representational basis, it would mean that Italy had a Catholic population of just under 300 million, rather than 50 million.
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

  16. #16
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    Pavelov, how am I a "commie".....?
    Deborski, let's see here.... Are you a cAAAmmunist? ROFL!!!


  17. #17
    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Deborski, let's see here.... Are you a cAAAmmunist? ROFL!!!
    1. Hmmm well I read news from such un-American sites as the BBC, Al Jazeera and Russia Today
    2. I support labor unions, and we all know they're communists lol
    3. I have attacked (verbally anyway!) US foreign policy as of late and do not support our wars...


    OMG...... Comrade Hanna! I must find my copy of the Communist Manifesto in Russian and struggle through to the end! Let us salute Dedushka Lenin!! Long live the Motherland!

    *Goose-stepping off into the sunset*
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

  18. #18
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    You three are such
    The Decline and Fall of Christianity: Political and Legal Indicators

    Christopher Hitchens on the decline of Christianity in the United States - MSNBC Hardball - YouTube

    Christianity on the decline, according to new survey - Telegraph

    Pew Forum: Many Americans Uneasy with Mix of Religion and Politics

    Just because the 'Religious Right' make photo ops in Churches, doesn't mean that the actual religion or religious organizations have the same influence as before. Moreso, it is money, banking, military and global imperialist aspirations that dictate political policy on a much greater scale than religion. The politicians just pretend they aspire to a 'greater good' but really, are poseurs and not practicing any 'christian-centric' principles. I really don't think any of it preaches wars.

    There are laws that are based on certain religious principles (mostly Christian) but outside pressure and opposition are always breaking down these same ideals. Regardless of whether one is religious, agnostic or athiest, the Christian influences are definitely dwindling if you take a long look at history and time lines. Other religions (the other two main ones) as I previously mentioned, have more influence in comparison.

    Your points are absurd yet again.
    Last edited by Lampada; February 19th, 2012 at 04:15 PM. Reason: belittling, name-calling, disrespect

  19. #19
    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Pavelov, if you are incapable of having this discussion without calling people names, I am afraid I will just have to ignore you,.
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    Pavelov, if you are incapable of having this discussion without calling people names, I am afraid I will just have to ignore you,.
    Haha. The comedy continues. I was insulted and ridiculed when I prosposed a different perspective. Yet, I am the one who has posts edited?!? I can see what is happening here. It's gang up style with mod in cahoots. I will leave laughing.

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