Could Catholics End Up Bailing Out Italy?

As the new government of Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti is facing a debt of $2.5 trillion, the country’s center-left parties are asking the Catholic Church to start paying taxes on its bountiful properties that make profit. The church may oblige, sacrificing more than $1 billion annually.

“The Church is willing to review the agreements that extend to the paying of ICI (municipal property tax) on properties belonging to religious institutions,” U.K.’s Daily Mail quoted Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, leader of the Italian Bishops Conference, as saying.

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