"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Czech Government Agrees To Turn Over Seized Churches

A Catholic Church in Praque
(Source: Praque.net)
WARSAW, Poland (The Church Report)-- A prominent Czech church leader has welcomed an agreement that would allow churches to reclaim land and buildings seized under communist rule, but forfeit state subsidies in return.

A draft settlement was finalized in Prague on Aug. 25 that allows religious groups to retrieve assets that were confiscated after the 1948 communist takeover, while obtaining financial compensation for others.

"The ball is now in the government's court to prepare the necessary legislation," said Joel Ruml, chairman of the Czech Ecumenical Council, and a member of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren.

Ruml said the restitutions -- expected to begin in January 2013 -- would particularly affect the Czech Republic's predominant Roman Catholic Church, which lost the most under communist rule.

However, he said all denominations would have to prepare for the gradual end of state support in a country where clergy salaries have been paid by the state since the 18th century.


"Although we've dreamed for years of becoming free from the state, this will pose a great challenge," said Ruml, whose council represents 11 Christian denominations, including Catholics as associate members. "Many church members are used to state support, and will need to be shown how this new situation offers opportunities for stabilizing our position and opening society to our work."

Separately, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Sunday (Aug. 28) that his government will return properties that were seized from recognized minority religious groups in 1936. Some Catholics and most Protestants are not on the government's official list of minority religions. (RNS)

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