Funding agreement

Churches and state sign on the dotted line

Photo: Gerry Huberty

(CS/ml) Luxembourg's faith groups and the government on Monday officially signed an agreement reorganising the relationship between church and state, after an accord was struck last week.

The country's churches and the government last week had agreed on a new funding plan, severely cutting state subsidies for the Catholic church, but for the first time extending funding to the Muslim community.

The agreement also foresees that the Catholic seminary in Weimershof will be turned into an interfaith learning centre, while the Catholic church's properties will be turned over the a public fund.

Catholic religious education at schools meanwhile is set to be replaced with a so-called ethics and morals course, including units on world religions.

Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich last week commented that the agreement would hurt the Catholic church financially but that it would not be damaged.

The coalition partners on the other hand spoke of an historic accord.

Photo: Gerry Huberty

The coalition had announced early on that it would aim to drive forward the separation of church and state.

A question on church funding was set to feature in the June 6 consultative referendum on constitutional reform. However, with parliament giving the green light to sign the agreement reached in talks with the churches, this question has been abolished.

Government extends state funding to Muslim Shura