Monday, June 08, 2009

Israel rescinds order to freeze Church funds in the Holy Land

» 06/08/2009 16:48

Israel’s Embassy to the Holy See releases statement saying that Church funds will not be frozen, that the current “situation remains unchanged.” Foreign Ministry blames the incident on a “misunderstanding.” Father Jaeger hopes talks between the Holy See and Israel will continue till an agreement is reached, including the tax status of the Church.

Rome (AsiaNews) – The order by Israel’s Finance Ministry to freeze funds held by some Church institutions has been rescinded. A press release by the Israel’s Vatican Embassy said that “the seizure of funds by the Ministry of Education destined for education institutions of the Catholic Church in Israel shall not be carried out. The [current] situation remains unchanged.”

On 20 May the Chief Tax Collector at Israel's Finance Ministry Yehezkel Abrahamoff informed Catholic Church institutions that his office was seizing their funds to pay for taxes he thought they owed the State.

The decision appeared to be an attempt to stop the Holy See and the State of Israel from reaching an agreement on, among other things, the tax status of the Church and its educational and charitable organisations in Israel.

See also:

"Church funds seized in the Holy Land. Custody delegate speaks out"

"Ministry for Finance seizes Church funds. Holy See-Israeli negotiations at stake"


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