Now Pope Francis has called himself a “son of immigrants” and confirmed the point by issuing a blunt warning to any religious orders in Europe that spurn his recent call to open their doors to refugees because they want to make money off their properties instead. The pope, by the way, is from Argentina. And no, he is half immigrant, his father came from Italy, his mother was born in Buenos Aires.
Go ahead, the pope said, but be ready to pay taxes just like everybody else.
The pope also announced he is taking in two refugee families at the Vatican. They will remain “as long as the Lord wants.”
Pope Francis retorted “Some religious orders say ‘No, now that the convent is empty we are going to make a hotel and we can have guests, and support ourselves that way, or make money,’” the pontiff said.
“Well, if that is what you want to do, then pay taxes! A religious school is tax-exempt because it is religious, but if it is functioning as a hotel, then it should pay taxes just like its neighbor. Otherwise it is not fair business.”
Renting space to help with operating expenses is a common practice among religious orders in Europe. For example, in Rome, a pensione operated by an order of nuns just outside St. Peter’s Square offers a room, breakfast, and Mass at 7 a.m. each day for $90 a night. They also rent their rooftop to CBS during major papal events.
Source: Crux Now
The International Organization for Migration estimates that more than 350,000 migrants arrived at the European Union’s borders between January and August this year. Some believe those estimates are low: According to Eurostat, 662,000 people applied for asylum in the EU in 2014.
And the Vatican is taking in…Two.
Hopefully they will not have to bar the doors, the way Germany and half of Europe is doing.