A total of 412 real estate properties were registered by the Catholic Church in the Canary Islands between 1998 and 2015, 228 in the province of Las Palmas and 184 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. In a report on the application of the Mortgage Law, the Spanish Episcopal Conference explains that it has reviewed the ownership of 532 properties in the Islands, of which it has been able to verify the correct registration of 412, while there are 17 duplicate files and 32 in which information is missing to identify them exactly. He acquired the rest of the assets through other types of means, 51 of them were registered before 1998 and another 20 were acquired by the ecclesial institution through other methods. This group includes, for example, 48 rustic properties in Puerto del Rosario, capital of Fuerteventura, which were donated to the Diocese of the Canary Islands in 1971according to their scriptures.
Practically all of the assets with problems of duplication or lack of data correspond to the area of the Bishopric of Tenerife, many of them being land, parcels, dwellings, parish houses or chapels in the municipalities of La Orotava, Los Realejos, San Cristóbal de La Laguna and Santa Cruz de Tenerifeand fundamentally. There are also churches and parishes, hermitages and annexes and various buildings.
A report from the Episcopal Conference admits that there are a thousand of these assets at the national level whose ownership is not known or correspond to a third party and, therefore, the way is opened for their regularization. Yesterday a meeting took place between the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the President of the Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Juan José Omella.
The Government had sent to Congress a list of unregistered assets (registered for the first time) by the Catholic Church between 1998 and 2015 and the Episcopal Conference has made, according to both parties, an “exhaustive” study of it with consultations to the various diocese. The goods have been catalogued, they have been divided by diocese and the registration processes of each one of the goods have been verified. From this study carried out by the Church, it has been concluded that there is a set of goods that it considers to belong to a third party or that it does not know its ownership of it.
In the case of the Canary Islandsin the period 1998-2015, from the application of the Mortgage Law, there were 412 assets that were registered in the name of the Church by the two bishoprics. The review was carried out on 532 properties and 17 were found to have duplicate or even triplicate registration, as is the case of the Capilla de la Cruz in the municipality of Los Realejos, which is registered in three different registers. Several temples stand out in this registry duplicity, among them Nuestra Señora del Rosario and Santo Domingo de Guzmán, in La Orotava; up to four temples in Los Realejos and two in San Juan de la Rambla.
In the case of properties with erroneous data or that cannot be identified, above all there are lots of plots, land and houses that the institution has scattered in various municipalities of Tenerife, mainly in La Laguna, where the Church has many properties. There are even four properties in which the municipality is in doubt and the affected properties have not been located.
After this meeting, the Government will inform the local entities and the registries of this information so that they can initiate the regularization processes that, where appropriate, may correspond.