20 November 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • » 09/10/2004, 00.00

    israel - vatican

    Archdiocese of Cologne appeals to the Israeli High Court of Justice against the Israeli government

    Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – The Archdiocese of Cologne, owner of various religious and social operations in Israel, has asked the Israel High Court of Justice to order the Israeli Government to declare its position on the question of tax exemptions for religious activities, as foreseen by the accord between the Holy See and Israel.  A representative of the Archdiocese in Jerusalem lodged its appeal several days ago, in which it asks the Court to order the Israeli Government to express itself on two points: a) if it considers itself bound by the Fundamental Agreement signed with the Holy See (30 December 1993); and, b) if it is true that, by these accord, fiscal authorities are forbidden to demand the payment of back taxes.  The High Court accepted the appeal and ordered the Government to reply within 30 days of September 3rd.

    This appeal is the first of its kind, and is the culmination of a series of attempts made by the German diocese to obtain an answer from government authorities.  Up to now, when various tax collectors have pursued ecclesiastical entities, they have declared themselves to be unaware of Vatican-Israel accords.  The Foreign Ministry and other government departments have been refusing to commit themselves on the question.

    Since 1993, there has been only one occasion in which obligations undertaken by the Israeli Government toward the Catholic Church were officially acknowledged: this was in a letter released by a top official of the Finance Ministry.  This unprecedented acknowledgement has never been repeated since, despite the avalanche of letters and protests addressed to the Government by both top officials of the Catholic Church and by small convents and institutes run by nuns.

    This question is being tracked with the utmost attention and concern by the Church at all levels, including the so-called "French hospital" of Jerusalem where the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul care for terminal patients.  This hospital is a singular and much acclaimed institution in Israel.  Yet, in these very days, the sisters are being targeted by tax officials who are demanding the settlement of new and exorbitant taxes, contrary to the obligations undertaken by the state in signing the Fundamental Agreement with the Vatican.

    The hope in Church circles is that the powerful and influential German Archdiocese can win its case: such a victory would be a boon to poorer and needier institutions such as the Sisters of Charity hospital.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    29/10/2004 ISRAEL – VATICAN
    Two days of Israel - Holy See negotiations give a partial outcome
    Israel continues to deny guarantee for Church's access to civil courts. The payment of taxes, contrary to UN indications, risks reducing the Church's presence in the Holy Land.

    17/09/2004 VATICAN - ISRAEL - DOSSIER
    Fr. Jaeger: some issues with the government difficult but resolvable

    17/09/2004 VATICAN - ISRAEL - DOSSIER
    Minister Poraz: some improvements, but problems persist with the Holy See

    17/09/2004 Vatican - Israel - Dossier
    Holy See - Israel: 10 years later, the problems still to be resolved

    10/09/2004 Israel-Vatican
    Holy See – Israel : "positive" meetings, but with a few obstacles
    Monsignor Sambi "Remarkable progress but difficulties persist".  Negotiations adjourned to October

    Editor's choices

    Mass for a deceased underground priest. Card. Zen asks for God ‘s grace to save the Church in China and the Holy See from the 'precipice'

    Li Yuan

    Fr. Wei Heping, 41, died in mysterious circumstances, his body dumped in a river in Taiyuan (Shanxi). For the police claim he committed suicide. Family members are not allowed to even see the autopsy report. For Card. Zen the Holy See (which "is not necessarily the Pope") seeks a compromise at all costs with the Chinese government, risking "to sell out the faithful Church". Justice and Peace publish a booklet about Fr. Wei, not to forget.

    Pope: No more war, its only fruit is death, 'our self-destruction'

    Marking the Feast of All Souls, Francis celebrated Mass at the American Cemetery in Nettuno. "When so many times in history men think of a war, they are convinced of bringing a new world, they are convinced of making a 'spring'. It ends in a winter, ugly, cruel, with the reign of terror and death."


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®