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Cash-strapped Italy Eyes Vatican


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With so many countries in financial crisis. I wondered how long it would be before this started to happen:

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/business/europe/2011/08/31/315094/Sacrosanct-Catholic.htm

The facebook site the China Post refers to is here, if you are registered you can see it. It's all in Italian, so if you aren't registered with Facebook and don't speak Italian it doesn't matter.

http://www.facebook.com/VATICANOPAGATU#!/VATICANOPAGATU?sk=wall

It's also up for debate in America:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/21/cashstrapped-cities-look-_n_812400.html

We suffered in France when we were put forward to be taxed, now every faith could be called up for question on the tax issue with so many countries desperate for revenue.

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My Husband's favourite view on the way to work once a month from our house to Hexham along parallel to Hadrian's Wall passing Sycamore Gap now known as Kevin Costner's Tree, as it is where they shot a scene in the film. Costner, as Robin Hood, was supposed to be doing a journey from Dover to Nottingham. His archery may be good but his navigational skills are a bit odd as he takes a big detour.He and his friend Azeem take a pretty strange route from the South Coast to Nottingham with a photogenic detour to Northumberland – nearly 200 miles further north to a picturesque tree in a hollow next to a section of Hadrian’s Wall, the 1,800-year-old World Heritage Site:

49312=2422-Sycamore-Gap-Costner tree (37 Sorry :offtopic: Next post will be on topic.

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Mussolini and Hitler signed Concordats with the Vatican. Hitler got the first recognition for the Reich from another state ( Vatican)in exchange for millions of German Marks in tax revenue from Germany. However, since the abuses have come to light, the decline in membership/tax payers to the Vatican hs been notable.The church tax system in Germany is quite a cash cow for the RCC. For decades, the Catholic church in Germany has been accustomed to dizzying wealth underpinned by tax revenues: $61 billion in from 1998 to 2007, with $6.5 billion in the year 2007 alone.

Associated Press - Germans quit church during 2010 sex scandal- By JUERGEN BAETZ , 07.29.11, 11:25 AM EDT

BERLIN -- The number of people leaving the Roman Catholic Church in Germany jumped by nearly 50 percent in 2010 as an abuse scandal widened, new data showed Friday.Some 181,000 people quit their memberships last year, up from 124,000 in 2009, official numbers released by Germany's Roman Catholic Church showed. Deaths and people turning away from the church heavily outnumbered baptisms, which reached a record low, putting one of the world's wealthiest and most influential Catholic Churches further in decline. Over the past twenty years, the number of members of Germany's Roman Catholic Church has fallen from 28.3 million to 24.6 million or 30.2 percent of the country's population in 2010, the data showed.

The numbers are easily tracked because members pay a church tax unless they formally leave the congregation - the same reason the declining membership has led to increasing budget shortfalls for the church. Leaving the church in Germany starts with a visit to the local court or registry office where the applicant completes an official declaration of withdrawal before a court official. The court then sends notifications to the parish, the employer and the local registration office.Excommunication from the church ensues automatically and one's baptismal certificate is endorsed to that effect.The German Catholic church has meted out the penalty of excommunication to 1.1 million former members from 1998 to 2007.

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/07/29/general-eu-germany-church-abuse_8591574.html

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My Husband's favourite view on the way to work once a month from our house to Hexham along parallel to Hadrian's Wall passing Sycamore Gap now known as Kevin Costner's Tree' date=' as it is where they shot a scene in the film. Costner, as Robin Hood, was supposed to be doing a journey from Dover to Nottingham. His archery may be good but his navigational skills are a bit odd as he takes a big detour.He and his friend Azeem take a pretty strange route from the South Coast to Nottingham with a photogenic detour to Northumberland – nearly 200 miles further north to a picturesque tree in a hollow next to a section of Hadrian’s Wall, the 1,800-year-old World Heritage Site:

49312=2422-Sycamore-Gap-Costner tree (37 Sorry :offtopic: Next post will be on topic.[/quote'] I can so picture it. Beautiful.

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Mary actually found the old publication I was thinking of when I found these news items (and mentions it in the Great Triblulation Post):"Man's Salvation out of World Distress at Hand". Found the quote in chapter 14 paragraphs 8-14:

8 The symbolic “ten horns,” the member nations of the world peace and security organization, have a task to perform as the agents of Jehovah God. ..to destroy the world empire of false religion, symbolized by Babylon the Great. God’s angel to the apostle John: “The ten horns that you saw, and the wild beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her devastated and naked, and will eat up her fleshy parts and will completely burn her with fire.”—Revelation 17:16.

9 This signifies that what marriages of Religion and State, Church and State, have existed till then, will be dissolved. What national or State churches still exist will be disestablished. Tax exemption for religious organizations will be discontinued. Even Bible publishing and distributing societies of Christendom will be suppressed. Missionary work by the churches of Christendom will come to a halt. Army and congressional chaplains will be discharged. The celebration of Easter and Christmas and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Passover will be discontinued. The tremendous material wealth of the religious institutions, what may be left of it after the looters take what they want by force, will be expropriated by the political governments in their dire financial straits. For anyone, man or woman, to wear a distinctive religious garb identifying such a one as a member of a religious organization of Christendom, will expose one to assault or arrest as being hostile or a menace to the State. Amazing as it may yet seem to many, Christendom will be gone—forever!

10 Since that will be the case with Christendom, what is to be expected in the case of all the other long-established, deeply entrenched religious organizations outside of Christendom? All of Babylon the Great must disappear from the earth! It will be the foretold day of judgment of Jehovah God the Almighty, regarding which we read:...

12 “. In that day the earthling man will throw his worthless gods of silver and his valueless gods of gold that they had made for him to bow before to the shrewmice and to the bats, in order to enter into the holes in the rocks and into the clefts of the crags, because of the dreadfulness of Jehovah and from his splendid superiority, when he rises up for the earth to suffer shocks.”—Isaiah 2:10-22; compare Revelation 6:15-17.

13 On that day of Jehovah’s judgment , being faced with the deteriorating earth-wide conditions, men will lose faith in and turn away from religious things and will discard them as worthless, valueless. They will consider as being of no account the professional religionists. Being now disillusioned about such ones, men will turn exclusively to materialistic things. Abandoning religion of all worldly kinds, they will seek refuge, protection and preservation in nonspiritual, earthly organizations that they hope will shield them like mountains and crags. They will trust no longer in religious men whom they once regarded as having connections with the superhuman spirit realm. One of the mountainlike organizations in which they will take refuge is the United Nations, the “Eighth” World Power, for that symbolic “wild beast” with its “ten horns” will destroy Babylon the Great... So, to Jehovah God the Almighty goes the credit for liberating mankind from the reign of the religious “great harlot,” Babylon the Great. It will be a vindication of Him as not being the Author of the world empire of false Babylonish religion, not even of Christendom.

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The same questions of the Vatican's tax exemptions are now being asked of the Greek Orthodox Church:

http://greece.greekreporter.com/2011/07/16/should-church-pay-more-taxes-due-to-financial-crisis/

No wonder the Witnesses have had problems in this country where the 10,800 clergy/church staff are paid directly by the government as Civil Servants and think they have as much say as the politicians too:

http://greece.greekreporter.com/2011/01/18/greek-church-stung-by-austerity/

They say that the government isn't interested in looking to the Church at present to raise desperately needed revenue, but there is a growing pressure group among the people petitioning the government to change it's mind. The unstable unmixing clay and iron feet of that Daniel statue comes to mind, as well as the quote from the old "Man's Salvation" book Mary and I referred to above.

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Yes David. I agree.

Where the main fulfillment of the disharmony between the iron and clay of the Daniel statue goes on - Anglo-America, there have also been the popular arguments for taking tax exemption away from many churches. The governments may be reluctant at present to do this, but the petitioning is gaining momentum.Tax exemption was only allowed for as long as religious and charitable institutions stayed out of politics - as people can see they have interfered so much in the political process, the arguments are that they should be fully paid-up (by tax) members of the process. At least if they try this argument on us, we could truthfully say we don't do it, staying Neutral and supporting Jehovah & Jesus' Kingdom alone.

This USA reporter - though an ardent atheist whose arguments we mostly don't agree with, does make that valid point that if so many churches want to interfere with a countries' political process and finance political campaigns, then they should do their part and pay taxes to the government like everyone else:

http://www.examiner.com/political-issues-in-modesto/time-to-strip-tax-exempt-status-from-all-churches

Another similar USA reporter's comment that tax exemption was allowed so long as there was no electioneering from the pulpit, which has regularly been violated:

http://www.politicususa.com/en/you-come-for-our-unions-we-come-for-your-corporate-mega-churches

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Yes and ,if, despite the fact we don't interfere with politics, we are required to 'pay back to Caesar that which is Caesar's' and pay tax with the rest of the religious organisations, it's a good thing the organisation also dissolved branch offices to streamlined their administration printing facilities and slimmed down the numbers of Bethel personnel, so we will have less of a tax burden there too.

It's hardly surprising people are getting sickened of the tax-free wealth of religions in the USA when they see these Mega-churches owned by millionaire evangelists with their own houses and private airports with planes etc:

http://taxdollars.ocregister.com/2011/01/17/is-it-time-to-tax-churches/72396/

So prophecy indicates that the UN has to act on behalf of the governments to start the break up of Babylon the Great, including possibly the pressure to revoke tax exemptions the "Man's Salvation Book" seems to indicate as quoted previously. Things certainly seem to be shaping up for it to happen. The UN have held economic talks lately to see what can be done to help solve the financial crisis internationally. This issue could come up at another UN conference, if they become more aware of this 'people pressure' and feel ridding tax exemption policies on religion would work to ease various countries' financial burdens, and they also see that governments need an International platform to give them the courage to do it, rather than unilaterally trying to tackle powerful religions . We will have to wait and see.

Look what people are ordering on zazzle:

http://www.zazzle.co.uk/tax_the_church_bumper_sticker-128552556018038935

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There was a TV documentary over here about how the Vatican pay and treat their Palatine guard very poorly. As a contrast, it also took you behind the scenes at the Vatican to eye some of it's stored wealth. The Church was of course integral to the State since Roman Emperor Constantine the Great in the 4th Century. They therefore just took over most of the Palaces of the Roman Emperors. Many ancient buildings are still there, incorporated into more modern buildings and Churches. The amazing thing is they kept everything right back to the Romans by just storing it when it went out of fashion - thrones of Emperor's other furniture and gifts from International Royalty on through all the ages until today. Imagine the millions generated from just selling off all these historical artifacts. Christies and Sotheby's and Bonhams Auctions and their ilk would rub their hands in glee at the amazing stuff coming through auctions.::o

What sickened me was after earthquakes in Southern Italy a few years ago, seeing news reports of millions spent rebuilding the cathedrals and churches while the people were still just living in ruins and shanty towns around these edifices.:no::tsk:

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I remember talking with a Catholic person once about the vast wealth of the Church and what good could be done if just some of the treasures were sold and the money used to alleviate problems in the world. They insisted that these things could not be sold because they were gifts to the Church. I was young, I was inexperienced, I was annoyed, I was tactless - as I replied "Tell that to the thousands of Incas etc who were murdered for their gold!"

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I remember talking with a Catholic person once about the vast wealth of the Church and what good could be done if just some of the treasures were sold and the money used to alleviate problems in the world. They insisted that these things could not be sold because they were gifts to the Church. I was young, I was inexperienced, I was annoyed, I was tactless - as I replied "Tell that to the thousands of Incas etc who were murdered for their gold!"

so true !

gifts ?!?! :deadhorse:

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