Rorate Caeli

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While mosques, Muslim "cultural centers", and Muslim "social services organizations" expand with the help of oil revenues throughout Europe, this is what really concerns the European Commission (International Herald Tribune):

BRUSSELS, Belgium: The European Commission has asked the Italian government to explain a tax break for Catholic Church clinics or hostels that may break EU rules on state subsidies by giving an unfair advantage over rivals, officials said Tuesday.

In 2005, then Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi extended a property tax exemption for the Church to cover buildings where it runs businesses such as private health clinics or convents that host pilgrims.

EU regulators said they had received complaints about the tax breaks from people it would not name and had written to Italy to ask for more information on how they work.

"Once a body has economic activities attached to it, then there can be a distortion of competition and it wouldn't be the first time we look at advantages given to the Church in various member states," EU spokesman Jonathan Todd said.