The Church took an economic cut from the registrations that it incorrectly carried out within the framework of the law approved by José María Aznar in 1998 by disposing of some of those real estate: it sold at least 122 homes and farms that it improperly put in its name and seven places dedicated to worship. Now it will have to compensate its legitimate owners in the event of a claim, according to what government sources assure elDiario.es.
The Government identifies 34,961 assets registered by the Church thanks to the Aznar law and activates the process for their claim
Of the 965 real estate that the Episcopal Conference acknowledges having improperly registered, 208 are no longer in its hands. Most are farms that it has sold and that now have public or private ownership, although it has not identified most of the new owners in the framework of the negotiation that it has had with the Government. The same happens in the case of the houses: of the 37 that he put in his name without corresponding, he sold 22, gave three, one was expropriated and eleven changed hands without giving details.
In the case of the 28 places intended for worship that were incorrectly registered, seven were sold, six were transferred and three were expropriated, but it is unknown how ownership changed to twelve of them. More clear was the fate of the cemeteries: he donated thirteen of the fifteen that he put in his name to public administrations while one was expropriated.
757 third-party assets in the name of the Church
The Church also recognizes that 757 real estate assets that it put in its name correspond to other owners, even though it does not appear in the corresponding records. In 238 of them they have a title other than registration, while only that document exists in the remaining 519.
“The analysis carried out by the Church of said list, within the framework of the aforementioned Commission, has revealed a set of assets that the Church considers to belong to a third party or does not have ownership over it,” the joint statement from the agreement, which has been solemnized during a visit by Pedro Sánchez to the headquarters of the bishops, where the president of the Episcopal Conference, Juan José Omella, has given him a book with the conclusions of the examination he has made of the unregistered assets between 1998 and 2015.
That meeting marks the first great pact reached by the Government and the Episcopal Conference in the framework of the negotiations launched by the Socialists with the Church regarding the list of unregistered assets, which came to light last February, as had been required by Congress, and the new tax treatment. Sánchez’s intention is that the Church pay the IBI for real estate that is not intended for worship, although there is not yet a specific date.
The Government assures that it will keep both commissions open and, in the case of registrations, it has 73 places on the table about which it has doubts regarding their legitimate ownership. Moncloa’s idea, furthermore, is that from now on individuals who consider they have rights over the assets that appear on the list can resort to the commission to claim them without having to go to court.
In addition, the thousand properties that the Church has already assumed do not belong to it will be sent to the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) so that the municipalities are in charge of identifying the legitimate owners so that they can recover them years later. that the Church put them in his name. In the event that they have passed to another owner, they may claim compensation, according to government sources.
“The forecast is that the Government informs the local entities and the registries of this information and they can, in this way, initiate the regularization processes that, where appropriate, may correspond. For these purposes, the Church expresses its commitment to collaborate in order to facilitate such processes,” both institutions affirm in the statement.