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Italy presents new accord to end status of the church

The Italian government presented Wednesday a draft revision of its 55 -year-old concordat with the Vatican which will end the status of Roman Catholicism as Italy's state religion.

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In an address to the senate, Prime Minister Bettino Craxi said Italy and the Vatican expected to sign the new accord before Feb. 11.

But a joint commission will be given six months to agree on the revision of one controversial article that regulates tax status of church institutions. The entire concordat will then be sent to Parliament for ratification.

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