The Catholics get their day in court

Discussion in 'Four Corners' started by I Bleed Maroon, May 1, 2018.

  1. Parra

    Parra Coach

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    It's not a claim if you don't pay tax. What is there to claim against? If you mean they can account for it (in fact the accounting standard says you must) then this is the same as every institution that keeps accounts - your local council for example.

    You won't pay tax on profits in a not-for-profit organisation. Does this make sense to you? So no dividend will be paid to any outside shareholder. Of course you need to run "at a profit" as a not-for-profit or you will cease trading. It is what you do with that outcome, how you reinvest that applies.

    What about all the other taxes though? GST , payroll tax, income tax generated by employees (this even applies to priests salaries), levy's associated with energy usage, fuel tax.

    Businesses have ways of minimising tax on profit - not-for-profits have more suitable ways and the obligation to tax earnings is not there.
     
  2. Bandwagon

    Bandwagon Moderator Staff Member

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    Churches do not pay Payroll tax ( at least not in NSW )

    Churches and their Clergy have broad based exemptions on FBT.

    They pay no rates, no land tax, no stamp duties and are not subject to capital gains tax.

    And despite having massive commercial interests, they do not pay income or company tax on their commercial operations.

    It's interesting that an organisation can be "not for profit", and thus pay no tax, yet can some how manage to accumulate tens of billions of dollars in assets.

    How exactly does that work?
     
  3. Mr Spock!

    Mr Spock! Coach

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    Eg Brian Houston accumulated properties for himself and his family, makes shitloads through books and speaking yet his taxable income was next to nothing.
    According to Hillsong their revenue for 2015 was $112 000 000. Tax free!
     
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  4. Parra

    Parra Coach

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    Ask any large government department.

    How could the church, or any not-for-profit organisation fulfil it's purpose without assets?

    Hospitals, schools, government departments, the military, charities all have assets. Being efficient and effective with these assets allows them to serve their purpose. To do things less efficiently or effectively is not being true to their purpose.

    This is the test - not the size of the organisation, but are they fulfilling their mission.
     
  5. Bandwagon

    Bandwagon Moderator Staff Member

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    Their mission?

    Is to spread their religion. First and Foremost.

    That aside, why do they need commercial assets from which they do not perform their "mission"

    Why do they need to engage in business' that are not their "mission"?

    Why do they need to invest to create wealth, only to utilise much of that wealth for further wealth creation?

    What is the "mission" you think they are fulfilling?

    Exactly what mission requires for example, the Catholic Church to hold over 30 Billion in assets in this country alone?
     
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  6. The Charlatan

    The Charlatan Coach

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    Paedophilia?
     
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  7. Bandwagon

    Bandwagon Moderator Staff Member

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    Apparently it's an expensive mission to pursue
     
  8. The Charlatan

    The Charlatan Coach

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    Especially so when you cant silence the victims anymore...
     
  9. Parra

    Parra Coach

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    Evangelising and spreading the religion is probably part of the mission of the church - it is not something I've seen actively pursued by Australian Catholics. In fact, regular church attendance has dropped. It's not like the church is out there recruiting new members. The role of the mass and religious vocations is not pushed even in catholic primary schools.

    How much of that 30b in assets is land associated with churches, schools and associated land and buildings? There is no real commercial value in land zoned for special uses - worship, education or health for example. You can't build a shopping centre, blocks of flats or a factory on these sites.

    The church, like the government, holds on to and accumulates assets. They are in this for the long haul. There would be no point liquidating what they can today to solve a short term problem. The poor will always be there, the downtrodden, people who need help and ministering for whatever reason. For the same reason govts don't do a sell off, despite people asking for it - and just because a govt holds billiions in assets doesn't make it rich, or in surplus, or able to do everything it needs to all of the time.

    There are probably things the church should do less of , or get out of, and certainly good things it can do more of. Things change over time.
     
  10. Bandwagon

    Bandwagon Moderator Staff Member

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    Again I put it to you that "not for profit" is exactly that, it's not building up a portfolio of commercial assets. It most certainly isn't reinvesting assets for the purpose of further financial gain.

    As for comparisons with the government, well, I find that rather strange. Given the government it's self is most definitely "not for profit" ( you can confirm this by checking out net debt if you wish ) , and secondly because we are discussing this in terms of taxation, which is rather a moot point when it comes to government given any tax they might pay they essentially pay to themselves.
     
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  11. Parra

    Parra Coach

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    It is interesting how the term no-for-profit is interpreted. Particularly for any institution that relies on donations (or taxes) to fund it's operations. Of course stakeholders want to see sound financial management, use of assets, return on assets and an effective way of measuring this. One of the problems for charities is that if they are run effectively, are managed in the sense of an infinite game, they will attract less donations. They are seen as not as needy as others. This also applies to govt depts. If they are run effectively they will not receive the budget increases or attention that the poorly run behemoth departments do. We do this over and over - reward and overfund failure and punish and demotivate great performance in the public sector and across the NFP sector. In my view the NFP sector should be renamed.
     
  12. SpaceMonkey

    SpaceMonkey Coach

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    Re the whole evangelism thing, thatโ€™s why the catholic education system is so important to the church- itโ€™s not just about education but about continually bringing new generations into the catholic fold.
     
  13. Bandwagon

    Bandwagon Moderator Staff Member

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    I would suggest there is a gulf of difference between a well run organisation that carries a minor annual surplus to ensure ongoing operation, and an organisation that is has built wealth to the extent the catholic church has.
     
  14. Parra

    Parra Coach

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    You'd have to give them a couple of thousand years of operations to find out.

    Anything the church does that is not directly linked to it's core functions should be treated the same as any other entity. The issue for me is then not taxation, it is whether the church should be involved in that activity at all.

    And this changes over time. For example, should the church still be involved in health care at all? Was there an historic need that was fulfilled that is no longer relevant?
     
  15. Surely

    Surely Moderator Staff Member

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    BankruptciesEdit
    PortlandEdit
    Citing monetary concerns arising from impending trials on sex abuse claims, the Archdiocese of Portland (Oregon) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 6, 2004, hours before two abuse trials were set to begin, becoming the first Roman Catholic diocese to file for bankruptcy. If granted, bankruptcy would mean pending and future lawsuits would be settled in federal bankruptcy court. The archdiocese had settled more than a hundred previous claims for a sum of over $53 million. The filing seeks to protect parish assets, school money and trust funds from abuse victims; the archdiocese's contention is that parish assets are not the archdiocese's assets. Plaintiffs in the cases against the archdiocese have argued that the Catholic Church is a single entity, and that the Vaticanshould be liable for any damages awarded in judgment of pending sexual abuse cases.

    TucsonEdit
    The Diocese of Tucson filed for bankruptcy in September 2004. The diocese reached an agreement with its victims, which the bankruptcy judge approved June 11, 2005, specifying terms that included allowing the diocese reorganization to continue in return for a $22.2 million settlement.[24]

    SpokaneEdit
    In December 2004, the Diocese of Spokane, Washington agreed to pay at least $48 million as compensation to those abused by priests as part of its bankruptcy filing. This payout has to be agreed upon by victims and another judge.[25]

    DavenportEdit
    On October 10, 2006, the Diocese of Davenport filed for Chapter 11 protection.[26] The decision to file for bankruptcy was driven by many claims which focused on Bishop Lawrence Soens, who had been accused of fondling as many as 15 students during his tenure as priest and principal at Regina Catholic High School in Iowa City during the 1960s. Soens denies the allegations. A judge discharged one suit in October 2006.[27]

    San DiegoEdit
    On February 27, 2007, the Diocese of San Diego filed for Chapter 11 protection, hours before the first of about 150 lawsuits was due to be heard. San Diego became the largest diocese to postpone its legal problems in this way.[28]

    FairbanksEdit
    On March 7, 2008, the Diocese of Fairbanksfiled for bankruptcy after 130 civil suits filed by Alaska natives who claim to be abused by priests, and other church employees, beginning in the 1950s.[29]

    WilmingtonEdit
    On October 18, 2009, the Diocese of Wilmington filed for bankruptcy as the first of some eight lawsuits (of more than 100 potential) was scheduled to go to trial the next day.[30][31][32]

    MilwaukeeEdit
    On January 4, 2011, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee announced that it would be filing for bankruptcy. The church was facing more than 23 lawsuits, and attempts to reach a mediated settlement with victims failed in December 2010. This came two days before the bishop was scheduled to be deposed about these cases, and after the church had refused to release the names or personnel records of the priests accused. The opposing attorney said that the bankruptcy filing was an attempt to delay turning over church records on the cases.

    The Milwaukee archdiocese has already paid out over $29 million to settle 200 cases over the last 20 years. They said that these additional cases would cause hefty legal fees that the archdiocese could not afford. The archdiocese has assets of about $98.4 million, but $90 million of that is restricted for specific uses.[33]

    Ecclesiastical Province of Saint Paul and MinneapolisEdit
    • The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization on January 17, 2015.[34][35][36][37]
    • The Diocese of Duluth filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on December 7, 2015.[38]
    • On March 3, 2017, the Diocese of Ulm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following numerous lawsuits surrounding sex abuse by Catholic clergy in the area.[39] New Ulm follows the Duluth Diocese and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, thus making Minnesota the first state in the United States of America to have three Roman Catholic dioceses file for bankruptcy protection
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlements_and_bankruptcies_in_Catholic_sex_abuse_cases
     
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  16. butchmcdick

    butchmcdick Guest

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    George Pell: Catholics asked in newspaper to chip in for Cardinal's legal costs
    By Liv Casben
    Updated yesterday at 3:28pm

    [​IMG]PHOTO: George Pell has pleaded not guilty to the historical sexual offence charges against him. (AAP: James Ross)
    Supporters of Cardinal George Pell are being asked to contribute to his legal fund through a series of advertisements.

    Some of the ads have appeared in the Catholic Weekly, the news journal published by the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.

    In an article published on the Weekly's website it also said: "When Cardinal Pell took leave from his role as Prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy to voluntarily return to Australia nearly 12 months ago to fight the charges, many supporters wanted to contribute to his legal costs."

    Cardinal Pell is fighting against historical sexual offence charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

    Media reports estimate that each court day is costing Cardinal Pell tens of thousands of dollars.

    A date for the first trial is expected to be set next week.

    There has been a mixed response from some in the legal fraternity to the advertisements.

    NSW-based lawyer Peter Kelso, who has represented hundreds of clergy abuse victims, said the Cardinal was entitled to raise money.

    "The Catholic Weekly is the only place that can run advertisements like this," he said.

    But Ingrid Irwin, a lawyer from Victoria who has previously represented some of the accusers against Cardinal Pell, described the advertisements as "hugely unfair".

    The donations are being managed by the Victorian firm Ferdinand Zito and Associates.

    A spokesperson for the firm has told the ABC that they cannot comment because of legal professional privilege.

    Katrina Lee from Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney referred the ABC to a previous statement, which said: "An independent fund was established where people could contribute to his costs. The Archdiocese of Sydney did not establish the fund nor is it managing the fund."

    It has also previously said it is not responsible for Cardinal Pell's legal bills.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-09/catholics-asked-to-chip-in-for-george-pell-legal-costs/9741980

    Pony up merkins
     
  17. Surely

    Surely Moderator Staff Member

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    Any leftover funds they can use for hookers, keeps them away from the kids.
     
  18. Parra

    Parra Coach

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    There's no way I'd be contributing to this.

    I can't understand this viewpoint - "But Ingrid Irwin, a lawyer from Victoria who has previously represented some of the accusers against Cardinal Pell, described the advertisements as "hugely unfair" "
     
  19. Canard

    Canard Coach

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    f**king fish eaters begging for money.

    Maybe Mark Zuckerberg should also put up a GoFundme page.
     

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