Navarra already has its complete list of registrations made by the bishops from 1931 to 1998 and total a total of 2,518 goods of all kinds, gardens, gardens, houses, churches, cathedrals, even ruins. The data have been provided by the property registrars at the request of the regional Parliament, which requested this from the government of the community. The document is confusing, because some records include more than one property, others mention a site but it is not specified that there is a built house and some annexes, for example.
Not all the offices of the property have delivered simple notes, in which these elements are detailed. In many cases, only one garden is mentioned in the town of Araiz or one in Baztan, but without specifying where. How to look for a needle in a haystack. From all this, we can infer that the huge list handled by the Government with data from all of Spain will be similar gibberish.
But some light throws all this, if Navarre can serve as a sample. Before 1998, the Church placed in its name, above all, rustic (49.8%) or urban (43.7%). But it is striking that 5% corresponds to places of worship, something illegal because in the Franco regime and part of democracy it was forbidden to inscribe temples. In spite of that, the bishops did it. Aznar wanted that, from 1998 they continued doing it but within the legality and extended the privilege of the Church: the bishops could already put in their name any property that never would have been registered without delivering a single paper. It was enough with his word.
That's how it was in national-Catholicism and that's how it has been until 2015, when that rule was repealed. It was already late for thousands of city councils and individuals who, by chance, in many cases, discovered as a plaza, a fountain, a cereal field, a pediment or a cemetery that they knew of public property had passed into the hands of the Church by art of birlibirloque. "And we do not know, perhaps forever, how many of the goods they appropriated have already been sold," says the spokesman for the Navarra citizen platform, a pioneer in the denunciation of this "plunder", Andrés Valentín.
San Juan de los Panetes, a monumental church in Zaragoza, has been one of the emblematic cases in the litigation between the diocese of Zaragoza and the neighbors on account of the unregistration. Because this temple belonged to the Ministry of Culture in 1933, when it was declared to be of cultural interest and despite this, a property registrar, in 1989, consented to place it in the name of the bishopric, something doubly illegal: it can not be registered that already is registered and in addition, the bishops could not use that pro-Franco privilege on the temples of cult until 1998 in which they were authorized by law. After many strips on the part of the Movement towards a Lay State (MHUEL) against the ecclesiastical hierarchy, the registration has been annulled and the monumental group is again under the name of the Ministry of Culture.
It is not the only case. In Catalonia, Joan Casajoana confirms that the small hermitage of Sant Jaume del Clot del Grau has been returned to the family that has owned it for centuries. "We have found papers from 1688 in which the Church requires the owners, under threat of excommunication, to make the hermitage complete with all its ornaments." Another 1808 document claims something similar, so that they can give mass, and this time He directs them as protectors of the temple, but directly as owners. " These small churches were very common in the workhouses of Catalonia centuries ago, explains Casajoana, who is dedicated to reviewing the unregistered, because he himself is one of those affected by a similar case to this of the Grau family.
Jorge García, from the Aragonese platform MHUEL, also integrated into the Recuperando Coodinadora, says that it is possible for the Church to return some of the most bleeding cases, those for which there is reliable documentation on the property, for example. The vice president, Carmen Calvo, has told us that they are holding bilateral meetings with the Church. We do not know what is being negotiated. He has not met with us, despite the fact that we have asked for it, "he says.
Race for the temples
In short, after 1998, the great race to get the cult temples began. Until 2007, when the information collected in Navarra was stopped, 79.6% of the registers that the bishops requested were hermitages, churches, cathedrals, atriums. So in Navarra as in the rest of Spain, where the full figures are still unknown. Between those dates, the count of the community shows the following figures: 1,560 civil goods and 938 temples. The civic associations that fight for the recovery of this immense patrimony They always say that one thing is to use a building for religious purposes and another thing is to get ownership of it. But although the bishops claim that the churches are theirs, thousands of properties that have nothing to do with religion have also been registered. Not with donations, that's another chapter.
"In Navarre we now have to know what was registered between 2007 and 2015. But we must remember that this is not a problem of this community, but at the state level and that it is a legal and patrimonial issue, which has nothing to do with religious motivations, "says Valentín. They suspect, in addition, that a good part of the unregistered rustic goods can be communal farms, therefore "inalienable, imprescriptible and unattachable", but they know that the road to reverse "the voracity of the real estate" of the Catholic hierarchy will be long and difficult. "That is why our request to the Government is that everything unregistered as of 1978 is declared, en bloc, null due to unconstitutionality." In addition, they request that the State provide them with the complete list from the origin until the repeal of the law in 2015. "And that they do so with simple notes, to know each property and its location," adds Valentín.
"The Recovering Coordinator [que agrupa a todas las plataformas del país] Requests, again, an interview with the Vice President of the Government. We already asked for it after their meeting in the Vatican and they kindly responded that our proposals would be taken into consideration. But what better way to do it than knowing them first-hand through a meeting, "the Navarrese spokesman suggests.