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Gay Priests and Inheritance

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:24 pm
by editor
I just read the following quote from a Reuters article in Yahoo News:
The issue of homosexuality and the Church has dominated the aftermath of the pope's visit to the United States last week. (Original article: ... 0066.html#
According to the article, the Vatican fired one of their priests, Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, after he announced he is gay, and has a partner. Apparently Charamsa has been vocal lately, stirring up a fuss, and had planned a large demonstration of some kind which would have disrupted one of the Pope's conferences.

According to Reuters' author,
"The Church teaches that homosexuality is not a sin but homosexual activity is, and priests, whether heterosexual or gay, take vows of celibacy."
In my opinion, this is the most important quote of the article. It makes a distinction which I want Lawful Path readers to grasp:

Catholic Priests' Vow of Celibacy is all about Property

The Catholic Church (hereinafter, "Church") is dynasty minded, having survived and flourished for many centuries. It could not have survived so long if it had not accumulated vast wealth and property over the years.

It is in no small measure due to the Church's wealth, along with its understanding of nations' laws, that enabled it to secure the status of the Holy See as an independent sovereign nation, with a (non-voting) seat in the United Nations.

The Vatican lies within an eighty-acre walled compound, which encloses the nation of the Holy See. This nation, although it lies within, and is completely surrounded by the separate nation of Italy, has its own laws, courts, and all the other trappings of sovereignty.

Many nations around the world establish embassies within other countries. Embassy grounds are considered to be an island of "foreign soil" within the host nation. Ambassadors, other officials, and their employees, are commonly granted diplomatic immunity from the host nation's laws. The Holy See has many such embassies in various nations, including one in Washington, D.C. This is not unusual.

What is different about the Church is that in addition to its embassies, the Church owns millions of parcels of real property all over the world. I did a quick search for "catholic churches worldwide", and came up with a Wiki article which told me that in 2013 the Catholic Church claimed membership of 1.254 billion. That's people, not properties. I could find no listing of the number of churches, let alone other property such as businesses, etc., owned by the Church.

The average person would be amazed at the vast holdings of the Church, which extends to businesses of every kind. Not many people are aware, for example, that the Church's decree that good Catholics should eat fish on Fridays was due to the Church's vast ownership of fisheries. It was all about the money.

This is where I come to my point: There is probably no way for anyone outside the Vatican to compile a true count of what the Church owns. This is because of the way in which the Church holds ownership.


The Church's embassies are exempt from the host-country's laws, but this is not true of the Church's other property holdings, such as the average Catholic chapel.

Nation's governments have a monopoly of force within their respective jurisdictions, and one of their primary concerns is making sure they always keep that monopoly. So these governments pass laws which limit the accumulation of wealth, and the means of consolidating wealth over a long period of time.

This is the real reason for inheritance taxes. They strip families of a portion of their wealth, and at the same time require a full accounting so the government can keep an eye on how much of a threat they may likely become.

Corporations are allowed to exist for only a specified number of years, before they must either re-incorporate or dissolve. This requires a full accounting of assets, and payment of various taxes.

Trusts are limited as to how long they can exist before the assets are distributed to beneficiaries.

With regard to all its vast property holdings, the Church is treated like any other person. So how does it maintain its dynasty over the millennia?

Personal Ownership

The united States of America made up of fifty States. Each State is divided into Counties, and each County is divided into political districts.

The Church maintains its own division of districts within every nation. Over each district it appoints one of its priests, and gives him the title of "Diocese", which in Greek means "administration". All the Church property within a given district is titled in the name of this priest. Not the Church, but the man. When this man takes his office, he presumably signs papers to the effect that in the event of his death his only heir shall be his successor Diocese.

Let's examine how this works: Many States within the U.S.A. have some kind of community property law. In Michigan, for example, an unmarried man may own property in his own right. As soon as he marries, his wife becomes entitled to one-third of his land and property, by statute. He cannot lawfully sell his land without his wife's signature. When he dies, his wife is entitled to her one-third interest, no matter what his Last Will and Testament may say. This statutory interest is called dower, and it has been extended even to include commonlaw marriage (the couple are considered married if they have co-habitated for an extended period of years).

Think about this, and it should become apparent as to the real reason why Catholic priests are not allowed to marry.

Homosexuality in the Church

Everyone knows that homosexuality has been rampant in the Catholic priesthood forever. You can't blame them really-- it is the only option they've been given. In recent years we've seen countless stories about priests who have sexually abused young choirboys, only to be protected by the Church as much as possible. Homosexuality is an institution within the Church, if not publicly, then certainly quietly behind-the-scenes.

The real and primary reason the Church demands celibacy, and forbids marriage of its priests, is to insure that each priest's only heir is the Church. As long as homosexual unions could never be sanctioned by law, the Church looked the other way. Now that the U.S.A. has begun to allow legally sanctioned gay marriage, the Church must take notice.

We live in interesting times.

Re: Gay Priests and Inheritance

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:23 pm
by notmartha
Hmm...been thinking on this and it seems like there should be another way to go about it...

I don't see where canon law prohibits pre nuptial agreements. If marriage was annulled, all property could revert back to husband.

And Catholics believe that marriage ends at the death of a spouse, so the moment a husband dies, there is no wife. A will can give everything to assigns.

What about a perpetual or dynasty trust?

I was always under the impression that the Church claimed all lands in a 1400's Papal Bull. Isn't all their property on this (Holy See) plane of jurisdiction, out of THIS STATE?

I see what you mean though, about the Catch-22, now that ss marriages are sanctioned.

Re: Gay Priests and Inheritance

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:15 pm
by editor
The only reason I'm even aware of this issue is because of work I've done in the oil and gas industry.

I've worked for clients who have wanted to lease church property for drilling rights. It was my job to discover exactly how the land was titled, contact the appropriate persons, negotiate and obtain an oil and gas lease.

Ultimately, it's always been the local Diocese who holds title, and from whom I must obtain a signature.

I'm not saying there aren't other ways the Church can hold ownership, just that this is the way they do it. At least in my experience.

Re: Gay Priests and Inheritance

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:47 pm
by notmartha
editor wrote:I'm not saying there aren't other ways the Church can hold ownership, just that this is the way they do it. At least in my experience.
I have no doubt you know what you are talking about when it comes to property titles/deeds. It is just a curiosity to me why they would do it that way when there would seem to be other options.