ZAGREB, February 11, 2019 – By refusing a review of the treaties signed with the Holy See, the Croatian government has missed the opportunity to raise again the issue of the financing of the Catholic Church, the nongovernmental organisation GONG said on Monday, asking that the Church’s financial reports be made available to the public, an obligation honoured by other non-profit organisations.
“There are no precise data on the financing of the Church with money from the state budget. According to figures provided by the government, the Church receives around 600 million kuna annually from the state budget while data at local level are not available. When money the Church receives from believers and allocations from abroad are added to this, the total amount is much higher, but it is not specified anywhere,” GONG said in a statement.
The Finance Ministry keeps a register of annual financial reports of non-profit organisations such as GONG. On the other hand, religious communities do not have to make annual financial plans or keep business books and store them in line with regulations defined by law, nor are they subject to audits, the NGO says.
“All of that are obligations of non-profit organisations that should also apply to the Catholic Church and all other religious communities in Croatia,” GONG said.
It noted that the Bishop of Dubrovnik, Mate Uzinić, who publishes financial reports for his diocese, bears proof that there are Church members who support transparency.
More news on the Catholic Church in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.