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Church Fund

The Church Fund was established pursuant to Article 8 of the 20th March 1950 Act on the Seizure by the State of the Property in Mortmain, on the Guarantee of Arable Farms to Pastors and on the Establishment of the Church Fund as a form of compensation to churches for the property expropriated from them by the state. In Communist Poland, the most sizeable amounts were expended for the sponsorship of the so-called “patriot priests movement” and non-catholic religious denominations. The Church Fund in that time was deprived of its financial autonomy and independent decision-making in favour of the Office for Religious Affaires. The profitability of the seized property was hardy assessable due to the insufficient data at the state’s disposal.

Since 1990 the Church Fund is a separate budgetary heading in part 43 of the state budget administered by the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration. In accordance with the principle of equal rights for churches and other religious denominations as worded in Article 25 para. 1 of the Constitution provides financial support for all religious denominations of established legal status in Poland. According to the new regulations, the Church Fund has financial assistance on the following aims:

- social security and healthcare contributions of the clergy as provided for in relevant insurance regulations
- supporting charitable as well as educational activity of the Church and also his initiatives in the area of counteracting social pathologies
- renovation and conservation of sacred buildings of historical value, the subsidies are granted exclusively to the renovation and conservation of sacred facilities of historical value In practice subsidies for last two aims are currently insignificant.

D 28 September 2012    AMichał Zawiślak APiotr Stanisz

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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