Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Prelate discusses restrictions on Church in Tunisia

Catholic World News - January 15, 2014

In interview with the Fides news agency, Tunisia’s sole prelate discussed the challenges the Church faces in the officially Muslim state.

In 1964, amid government threats to close every Catholic church, the Holy See and the Tunisian government signed an agreement subjecting the Church to severe restrictions.

“We cannot in fact carry out the apostolate of the word” because of the 1964 agreement, said Archbishop Ilario Antoniazzi, an Italian-born Jerusalem priest who was ordained Archbishop of Tunis in 2013. “Among other things, in 1964, of the more than 100 churches that until then the Catholic community of Tunisia owned [the majority] were expropriated by the State. Currently we have only five churches and eight Catholic schools.”

“We cannot even buy or lease buildings or receive donations,” he continued. “Let me give an example: if a religious congregation decides to close a convent in Tunisia it cannot sell it to the archbishopric but is nationalized.”

“But this does not prevent us from living in harmony with the Tunisian people,” he added. “Our Church community is composed mainly of foreigners, most of whom are students and workers from sub-Saharan Africa. It is a pastoral challenge because we have calculated that every year we lose about a quarter of the faithful, who go back to their countries of origin because they have completed their studies or because their job contract has expired. This loss is compensated by a quarter of newcomers. In practice, our community renews itself completely in a matter of four years.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our September expenses ($14,637 to go):
$35,000.00 $20,362.73
42% 58%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jan. 15, 2014 9:21 AM ET USA

    This about says it all. Nothing could better demonstrate the wretched fate awaiting any nation insouciant enough to permit domination by this religion dreamed up by Mohammed, the False Prophet.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Our Spiritual Destiny and the Horror of War September 19
The Islamic roots of terrorism must be addressed September 19
Each of us is destined to marry Jesus Christ September 18
From simple husband to ascetical priest September 18
St. Augustine's warning to pastors September 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Cardinals criticize Kasper proposal, escalating debate on remarriage/Communion CWN - September 18