PRAGUE, Czech Republic, April 11 (UPI) -- At a bishops’ conference in Prague, the Czech Roman Catholic Church and the federal Labor Office agreed the church will hire the unemployed to repair real estate confiscated by the communist regime.
The Church was the first to respond to a Labor Office request, last year, seeking help to fight high unemployment in the Czech Republic. A declaration of cooperation was signed between the two organizations at the conference.
The Catholic Church in the Czech Republic currently employs about 5,000 people, and will hire many more, it said, to maintain and rebuild churches and other property slowly being returned to the Church after it was confiscated during Czechoslovakia’s communist regime. The real estate, including buildings, forests and fields, are valued at 75 billion koruna ($37.95 billion).
The Church did not cite the number of expected job openings.
Cardinal Dominik Duka said much of the returned property is in need of reconstruction and repair. The Labor Office said it expects hundreds of new jobs to be available and will help pay for training.