Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Are debts to be forgiven?

"Debt is debt." — Diocese of Cleveland

The Old Testament tells us debts are forgiven at seven years. This is called the 'sabbatical year'. The fifth, and final, Book of Moses is Deuteronomy. The body of it is three discourses given by Moses in the eleventh month, of the fortieth year, in the desert. The first line of chapter fifteen says:
Septimo anno facies remissionem — Vulgate
In the seventh year thou shalt make a remission, — Douay Rheims Challoner
At the end of every seven years you must grant a remission.— Jerusalem Bible
At the end of every seven-year period you shall have a relaxation of debts, — New American Bible
At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.— New International Version
Now, we do not have the prophet Moses (or his brother, the priest Aaron) speaking from Ninth Street. The current management is exceptionally keen in collection of debt.

They are making a distinction with 1 January 1995 as a demarcation date. Uncollected debts prior the date are 'assessment arrearages', those after are 'past due assessments'. "However, the parishes are directed to accrue the assessments each year on their individual financial statements, and unpaid amounts are carried as parish liabilities."

What is a parish assessment? It is the cathedraticum. Canon Law allows for a cathedraticum, which is the bishop's tax on churches. Now, conventual churches are exempt. A conventual church is one associated with a monastery or convent. St. Louis, Missouri has a 3% tax. Perhaps, 5-6% is average. Cleveland has the highest on the continent at 11½% (with school), 16½% (without school).

Now, the French Revolution came about by several reasons. One long, involved one was taxes were paid (almost entirely) by peasants. There were royal taxes, such as the 'taille' which was an exceptional war levy, in 1439 it was permanent. There were, also, the banal taxes. Local lords had lawyers find ancient debts including the bans, the banal taxes of the manor or fief. Many had long, long been forgotten, because their rationale was gone. Some were to pay for the common use of a mill or something, some were of labor to be done. But the hired, learned, modern lawyer found some manuscript, somewhere, mentioning forgotten banal taxes. He did not look for their mitigation, or expiration.

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