Bishops and Government agree to "intensify" the review of Church registrations


Although the negotiation of the Church-State Agreements has not officially begun, the Episcopal Conference (CEE) wants to send the message that this week a new stage has begun in relations with the Government. After the visit of the President of the Spanish Bishops, Juan José Omella, to Pope Francis, in which a possible revision of the Concordat was discussed, the Cardinal of Barcelona requested, and obtained, an audience with the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños.

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It was a meeting of just over an hour, which was preceded by another, yesterday, between Cardinal Osoro and Minister Escrivá to deal with the opening of humanitarian corridors. At the meeting, according to CEE sources, it was agreed to "intensify the work" to the review of the 35,000 assets registered in the name of the Catholic Church between 1998 and 2015 thanks to the Aznar law, and which have been questioned by a multitude of civic and heritage institutions throughout the country.

During the meeting, held "in a climate of cordiality" according to the note issued by the Episcopal Conference, both institutions showed their intention to continue advancing "in the coming weeks" both on this issue and on two other commissions already open: the one referring to the Obra Pía and the somewhat more thorny issue of a new taxation model for the Church that does not exempt it from paying IBI.

That the meeting was not formal is shown by the fact that the points on which the two institutions collide have not been ignored, such as the educational reform, an aspect in which Omella "has expressed concern about the implementation of the law of Education and its development in the scope of the Autonomous Communities".

Regarding clerical pederasty, states the note from the Episcopal Conference, both interlocutors "have pointed out the importance of this issue", and Cardinal Omella "has explained to Minister Félix Bolaños the path that the Spanish Church is already following in communion with the Holy Campus".

At the same time, the note points out, the issue of social protection for the most vulnerable groups, especially in housing, has been addressed, and the importance of the various forms of social protection has been pointed out.

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