The archdiocese of Barcelona and the rest of the Catalan dioceses have pointed out this Wednesday that the errors detected by the bishoprics in the list of properties registered by the church, prepared by the government, it is not a list of goods to be returned by the Church.
The Catalan dioceses have assured that the 'Report on unregistered assets by article 206 of the Mortgage Law from 1998 to 2015', prepared by the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE), "is a report with incidents and errors identified in the list issued in February 2021 by the Spanish Government".
Last Monday, the Government and the Episcopal Conference closed an agreement on the registration of goods by the Church in which the Church admits that there are a thousand of these assets throughout Spain whose ownership is not known or correspond to a third party and, therefore, the way is opened for its regularization. The agreement was made public after a meeting held by the head of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, and the president of the Episcopal ConferenceCardinal Juan José Omella.
Some interpretations pointed to assets improperly registered by the Church, but the Catalan dioceses have issued statements explaining that "in February 2021, the Spanish Government sent a list of assets registered by the Church to the Spanish Episcopal Conference within the framework of the Mortgage Law from 1998 to 2015, and in the context of the work of the commission created between the Government and the Catholic Church to study this matter".
"Once the list of assets was verified, the Spanish Episcopal Conference - they explain - made public this Monday, January 24, a report containing a list with the incidents that have been detected throughout Spain, and that, therefore, should not be part of the original list of the Spanish Government". "That is why we want to emphasize that it is not a list of goods to be returned by the Church, as has been published in different media, but rather a report with the incidents and errors identified in the list issued in February 2021 by the Spanish Government", they have pointed out.
In the list of registrations of the Church, the Catalan dioceses have detected 294 errors, which is 6.9% of the 4,278 inscriptions in the Property Registry due to immatriculation between 1998 and 2015.
In the case of the Archdiocese of Barcelona, 'only' two goods have been detected that, despite being correctly registered, duplicates appear in the list prepared by the Executive: the Parochial House and entrance patio to the Temple of Santa Ana and its Gothic Cloister, and the Basilica of the Virgen de la Merced and San Miguel Arcángel. In the period 1998-2015, 55 real estate properties were registered in the Archdiocese of Barcelona, 25 of them in the city of Barcelona.
According to the Archbishopric, whose head is Cardinal Juan José Omella, who is also president of the CEE, the temples were not registered before because until 1998 the registration in the Property Registries of the temples destined for Catholic worship was prohibited, although not of the other confessions.