Settlement Between State and Churches: General Agreement
Prague: All representatives of the joint Government and Church Commission present declared that a general agreement exists on all points of the partial property remedy in the relationships between the state and churches and religious associations. The only point remaining is the engineering of a transitional period during which the state’s financial support of churches is to gradually decrease so as to allow a complete take-over of natural assets and their utilization for the self-financing of churches. Now, economic experts of the joint commission are to calculate an optimal transitional period.
The next meeting of the joint Commission is scheduled for August 25, 2011. Both parties have expressed hope that after the evaluation of all possibilities discussed, a concerted solution will be found. The head of the Commission, the Minister of Culture Jiří Besser appreciated the unanimous voice of the different churches and religious associations during the negotiations and thanked the Federation of Jewish Communities and the Catholic orders and congregations who were willing to give up a significant portion of their rightful claims to make a solution possible.
The Commission has also stated that the procedure proposed contributes significantly to the solution of the difficult situation of many villages and towns, giving them an opportunity of further development. The settlement will also enable the citizen of the Czech Republic to support church activities only where they are needed by the society, according to their own free decision.