Luxembourg: Agreement Alters Relationship Between Church and State

Luxembourg Agreement

After an amicable meeting in mid-January, the government and several faith groups in Luxembourg officially signed an agreement on January 26 that reorganizes the relationship between church and state. During their meeting, both sides agreed on a new funding plan that would cut certain state subsidies from the Catholic Church, but for the first time, offer some of them to the country’s Muslim population.

According to the agreement, the Catholic seminary in Weimershof would be converted into an interfaith learning center while properties owned by the Catholic Church would be turned over to the state. In addition, Catholic religious education in public schools would be replaced with an ethics and morals course, including courses on world religions.

After the meeting, Archbishop Jean Hollerich said even though the agreement would pinch the Catholic Church financially, it would not damage the institution. The government on the other hand, spoke of a historic record.

The coalition had earlier said that it would work towards separating the roles of church and state. While a query on church financing was expected to be tabled at the upcoming referendum on constitutional reform, that need seems to have been done away with after Luxembourg’s parliament gave the green signal for this agreement.

Photo Credits: Luxemberger Wort

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