PopeWatch: Peter’s Tax

Facebook 0
LinkedIn 0
Reddit 0
StumbleUpon 0

Sandro Magister brings us this information on the financing of the Church in Italy:


Every year the Italian state allocates 8 per thousand of its tax revenue to the religious confessions that have entered an agreement to benefit from it.

Among these the Catholic Church gets the lion’s share. The state allocates around a billion euro to it each year. That is a lot, but it must be kept in mind that the Catholic Church in Germany, which is half the size of the Italian Church, receives five times as much from the state every year by virtue of the “Kirchensteuer,” the tax on religious affiliation in effect in that country.

In Italy, on the other hand, the allocation of the combined total of the 8 per thousand among the various religious denominations is decided every year by the taxpayers, who are free to indicate or not, with a signature, to whom they want the contribution to be given. And from 1985 until now, or in other words ever since this mechanism has been introduced, the signatures in favor of the Catholic Church have been in an overwhelming majority, reaching in the record year of 2005 nearly 90 percent of the signatories, or 89.82 percent to be exact.

2005 was the last year in which John Paul II was pope. And various commentators associated with his popularity the peak that was reached by the 8 per thousand.

Just as in 2013, the final year of Benedict XVI, it was easy to associate with the unpopularity of this other pope the drop to 80.91 percent of the signatures in favor of the Catholic Church.

But today, after five years of the pontificate of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, once again extremely popular, how do things stand?

After a timid upturn to 81.23 percent of signatures in 2014, the follow-up has been entirely on the decline:

– 81.09 percent in 2015;
– 79.94 percent in 2016;
– 79.36 percent in 2017, the last known figure and a negative record in the history of the 8 per thousand.

But take care. If instead of the percent of votes one looks at the absolute figures, meaning the number of signatures in favor of the Catholic Church, the tune changes.

One discovers, for example, that the all-time record in the number of signatures was reached during the pontificate not of John Paul II but of Benedict XVI: in 2011, with 15,604,034 signatures.

Not only that. In all the last six years of Benedict XVI, the signatures in favor of the Catholic Church were above 15 million, which had never happened in the pontificate of John Paul II.

And the same happened in the first two years of Pope Francis. Followed, however, by a clear and continuous drop:

– 14,437,694 in 2015;
– 13,944,967 in 2016;
– 13,762,498 in 2017.

Go here to read the rest.  Francis Effect?  In any event Caesar paying the Church is always a very bad business for the Church.  In our country the Church has come to rely increasingly on contracts with governments for services provided through charitable activities of the Church.  He who pays the Piper always ultimately calls the tune.

More to explorer

Get Woke and Go Broke

    Stories in the press today that the Boy Scouts of America organization is contemplating bankruptcy due to sex abuse lawsuits,

Santa Roosevelt

Death had to take him in his sleep, for if he was awake there’d have been a fight. Thomas R. Marshall, Vice

Makes Sense

News that I missed, courtesy of The Babylon Bee:   U.S.—Bible scholars revealed Thursday they’ve discovered the true identity of the swarm


  1. The Francis Effect is real, and it’s almost entirely negative. Thanks for bringing this to light. The truth about his disastrous papacy can’t be discussed enough.

  2. More money would get to the expanded (under Obama) millions of poor Americans and migrant criminals (sneaked in across the southern border) if trillions of confiscated taxpayers’ dollars were transferred to US Churches, which actually perform charitable works.

    Under the current, free-stuff-for-everybody rackets, less money actually gets to the poor than gets to blundercrats, community organizers, politicians, et al.

    It’s not only the high-overhead government: Bill and Hillary stole 90% of the Haiti Relief Funds they received.

  3. The taxpayers in America pay the piper, Taxation without representation is unconstitutional. These is no such thing as “federal money”. It is the taxpayers’ money. The government administers the taxpayers’ money. That is the government’s job fair and square.

  4. Taxation in a democracy is two bums and a working stiff voting on who pays for lunch.
    (with apologies to Ben F.).

  5. “In any event Caesar paying the Church is always a very bad business for the Church.”

    In many European countries, payments made by the state are a composition for Church lands and property nationalised by the State, Thus, although the Swedish Church was disestablished in 2000, the state continues to pay the salaries of ministers, maintain church buildings and fund the theological faculties of the universities.

    In the UK, a different approach was taken, with the teind being redeemed through a sinking fund, controlled by commissioners.

    In Scotland, the last of the teind was redeemed in 2004, but most of it had already been purchased by landowners.

    In England, the Third Commissioner answers questions in the Commons, just like a minister (the 1st Commissioner is the Prime Minister and the 2nd is the Chancellor of the Exchequer) and the Commissioners’ accounts are laid before Parliament.

  6. “In many European countries, payments made by the state are a composition for Church lands and property nationalised by the State,”

    Correct MPS. Caesar first steals from the Church and then transforms the Church into a dependent of Caesar.

  7. The USCCB is an appendage of the state.
    More precisely, an appendage of the DNC.
    The USCCB, bishops and employees, have no problem with this relationship.

Comments are closed.