Catholic ownwership of property

A co-worker mentioned that the Catholic Church is the biggest owner of property. I have heard this before, but it sounds like a typical urban legend. This issue has probably come up here before but I was hoping for some references to refute this if it is not true.

Thank you.

Mark

In the US, the federal government is the largest property owner. If your co-worker made the statement, ask him to prove it.

Saludos de nuevo (hi again):
i dont know in the rest of the world, but here in Mexico the goberment owns all the churches (buildings) so and also i think the queen of England is the largest landlord in the world or so i heard

hope this helps

Of course, even if it were true, the next question is “what is the point?” I mean, if you look at my parish, over the course of the existence of the parish, the church has been everything from a tiny little wooden structure (no longer standing) to this beautiful basilica with Italian marble altar rails, stained glass, and lots of “stuff” to look at, all beautiful, and all donated throughout the years by various parishioners (or paid for through dedicated collections).

Now, look at the Catholic Church, which has been around way longer than my own individual parish. Multiply my parish’s experience by however many Catholic parishes there are in the whole world and take into account the centuries in which people have been giving things of beauty to express their love for their Faith.

Now, divide the putative value of everything possessed by the Catholic Church by the number of Catholics who have ever lived. How impressive do you suppose that figure would be?

[quote=miguel delgado]Saludos de nuevo (hi again):
i dont know in the rest of the world, but here in Mexico the goberment owns all the churches (buildings) so and also i think the queen of England is the largest landlord in the world or so i heard

hope this helps
[/quote]

Wow…I didn’t know that. So none of the Catholic churches in Mexico are owned by the Church? Does the government exert any control over the churches? For example, if the Church has a certain position on an issue at odds with the government has the government ever tried to use their ownership of a church to try to change the Church’s position?

The situation in Mexico was the result of a wave of anti-clericalism. The church was suppressed by their government at one time (at least once) and the government “nationalized” the church property. This happened in a number of other countries over the years as well.

Rent *The fugitve *starring Henry Fonda. It presents a heart-wrenching portrayal of what it was like to be a Catholic under those conditions.

Similarly the church was suppressed in France (and later wherever the French Republic under Napoleon planted the flag). Today all of the Cathedrals in France (except the newest one) are owned by the government, they are part of the national heritage.

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