CT: Catholic Church may create country’s first church bank

The Czech Roman Catholic Church may in future create the country’s first church-owned bank, Czech Television reported on Sunday. Church officials are preparing for a situation under which it will cease to receive state contributions in a decade’s time, the station said.

The České Budějovice bishopric has acquired almost 10 percent of the shares in the Artesa credit union and is now considering whether to become the majority owner. If it does so, it will seek to convert Artesa into the country’s first church bank.

Dioceses are at present investing money in securities, while the Catholic Church has bought two small hospitals in Prague.

In line with a restitution law, church groups have been regaining control of some properties seized under communism. They are also receiving repayments of over CZK 60 billion over a 30-year period for properties that are not being returned.

Author: Ian Willoughby