New book sheds light on real story of Church and money


June 19, 2019

By Marta Petrosillo – Katholiek Nieuwsblad

“The Vatican is rich!” “All these assets they have … why don’t they sell them to give the money to the poor?” These are just two of the statements that we frequently hear when talking about the wealth of the Holy See or in general of the whole Church. But is it really so? This is what Mimmo Muolo, Vatican correspondent for Avvenire – the newspaper of the Italian Bishops’ conference – tries to find out in his new book The Church’s Money: Fabulous richness and evangelical poverty.

The book dispels many stereotypes and sheds light on the many inaccuracies that, more or less in good faith, go around when people talk about the Church and money. Katholiek Nieuwsblad spoke with Muolo to understand where all the confusion comes from and what the truth actually is about the wealth of the Church.

Katholiek Nieuwsblad: When did you get the idea to write this book?

Muolo: It was last September, at a time when the Church was attacked on many fronts concerning its assets. For example, the eternal question was raised again why the Church in Italy is not obliged to pay taxes on its properties. At that time people were also discussing the fact that, by welcoming migrants, the Church benefited from the €35 [around $40] offered by the Italian state for each migrant. I noticed a lot of confusion going around in the media and online, and also the spread of fake news absolutely not corresponding to reality.

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