Case of Church Property Restitutions

Church Property Restitutions – Weird Facts

What’s this case all about?

The Anticorruption Endowment (alternately “NFPK” and “Endowment”) has used its own independent findings to produce an analysis entitled Weird Facts about Church Property Restitutions (see below), summing up the most relevant circumstances of the “church restitutions” promoted by the government of PM Petr Nečas.The document is meant for public consumption and enables the reader to gain a comprehensive insight on the momentous transfer of assets called “Church Restitutions”.

The Endowment carefully monitored a heated public debate on legislation concerning the settling of property issues with churches and religious societies, which occupied not only the media space in the past year. The keen observer might have noticed some confusing and mutually conflicting apologetics of the restitution scheme by members of the former coalition government (Petr Nečas, Miroslav Kalousek, or Alena Hanáková). Moreover, the key draft legislation concerning the settlement of property issues was passed by a slim majority of 102 votes (with the help of Civic Democrat (ODS) MP Roman Pekárek, who had been sent to jail for six years, pending appeal).

The NFPK had reason enough to believe that the actual purpose of these “Church Restitutions” never was an “equitable correction of the State-Church relationships”, but rather a massive transfer of fiscal and natural assets on to private subjects. The present analysis also addresses issues such as Financial Compensation for Non-Existent Assets and the underlying issues, such as a 228-million-crown compensation for an unfinished house of prayer – Why State Doubles as Roman Catholic Church; a church annual report on 16 lines of text; Economic Management of Churches; How to Handle Financial Compensations, or Trinitarian Nature of the Land Register in the course of surrendering property.

Our analysis also examines the role of banks and their services. It points out some relationships nurtured by high church dignitary and entrepreneur Hynek Čech, whom the media associate with the abovementioned ex-MP, Roman Pekárek.

In conclusion we offer our tips on who actually will profit from the “Church Restitutions”, and suggest the possible role of political leaders in this business case. We also point out some alarming facts associated with church restitutions in Slovakia and Poland. Our analysis offers easy-to-survey facts about the position and funding of churches in several member states of the European Union.

Our analysis comes complete with the citation of a joint statement by top church officials in the Czech Republic and representatives of the NFPK.

Downloadable in Czech on this topic