I read the article on the Catholic Church’s stance of dodging liability with sex abuse crimes laws (”As lawmakers consider sexual abuse bill, Catholic Church once pushed for the same provisions it now opposes,” Feb. 23). I have one question and a bunch of comments on this subject. How does an entity that contributes no revenues into government tax coffers at every level even think they have a voice in laws made by systems that they don’t support?
My wife and I own a small home, and we pay nearly $4,000 per year in property tax. If we don’t pay, our house goes into foreclosure. The Catholic Church has monstrous patches of prime real estate all over the Baltimore area alone that would probably fall into the thousands of acres. It pays no taxes on these vast land expanses, which either were donated to them or they took them over from the original inhabitants, the Native Americans. The Catholic Church has gotten implicit or indirect contributions from non-Catholics everywhere who pay taxes and thus carry their “divinely exempt” carcasses on their backs. This has been happening for centuries and it has to stop.
If the Catholic Church wants to fight the law, any law, let them put their money where their collective mouths are. I would be curious to see what the bill would be if all the church’s real estate became eligible for taxation. I’m sure it would be a windfall for the ages. The Catholic Church is a global business that must abide by the laws or pay the consequences.
The church has no right to resist any legislation involving its interests or anybody else’s. If the Catholic Church begins to pay its fair share of taxes, my stance would soften. Then maybe all property owners in Maryland (and everywhere else) could get some much needed relief.
— George Hammerbacher, Baltimore
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