Church support for 4 million people in Xtantos 2023 campaign

The Church in Spain launches on Monday the campaign Xtantos 2023 with the slogan "Por ellos, por ti, por tantos" (For them, for you, for so many), which encourages to mark the Church box in the income tax return. Behind each 'X' there is a story, represented this year by five people who found help in the Catholic Church: Ruth, Angela, Halyna, Jose and Father Ramon.

Francisco Otamendi-March 23, 2023-Reading time: 3 minutes

Presentation of the Xtantos 2023 campaign (Flickr / Conferencia Episcopal Española)

Ruth, Ángela, Halyna, José and Father Ramón represent close to four million people that the Church helps every year in Spain, through parishes and its various charitable and assistance centers. In moments of desperation and difficulty, they found the support they needed. At you can listen to a summary of their story.

In short, Ruth came out of the abuse thanks to the "push" she received from her friends in the parish. Angela, who stars in the main poster, has Down's syndrome and now feels independent since she lives in a Church apartment in Talavera de la Reina (Toledo). Halyna is Ukrainian and had to take her daughter and two grandchildren to escape the bombs, and the Church has provided them with a new life in Spain.

Jose went through prison, the Legion and ended up in construction, where an accident changed his life. In the parish they feed him and he has found a family and a place to live. Ramón is now a priest, but he lived in the world of drugs until he attempted suicide at the age of 17. The young priest who was in his parish gave him the strength to change.

Investment less than 1 %

The campaign will start next Monday, March 27th, a few days before taxpayers can file their income tax returns (the deadline opens on April 11th). The closing of the campaign will coincide with the end of the period established by the Tax Agency, June 30, as the last day to file the income tax return, explained at a press conference the director of the Secretariat for the Support of the Church of the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE), José María Albalad.

The CEE has worked on the media plan for the campaign with the agency Universal Media (IPG Mediabrands), developed with the support of TBWA, and contemplates an investment of 2,777,594 euros, which represents 0.87 % of the amount raised in the last year's campaignwhich amounted to more than 320 million euros. An amount that will allow "the Church to face the increase in social needs in a difficult economic context," as Fernando Giménez Barriocanal, Vice President for Economic Affairs of the EEC, emphasized. 

José María Albalad pointed out, to questions from journalists, that a good part of this amount is destined to the support of the clergy in the Spanish dioceses and to the welfare work of those millions of people most in need. The contribution that each diocese receives from the Tax Allocation represents around 22 % of the average total budget of the dioceses.

More solidarity than inflation

"Solidarity grows more than inflation," said José María Albalad, despite the fact that, according to official sources, the estimated annual CPI inflation in February 2023 was 6.1 %, in accordance with the leading indicator prepared by the INE. The newspaper Xtantos, published by the department of Albalad, with a circulation of almost one million copies, reports this topic in its headline: "Inflation resurrects the hunger queues".

A month ago, the EEC, in the presentation of the data for the 2022 Income Tax campaign, which corresponds to the 2021 fiscal year, the EEC noted a increase of more than 8.5 % of declarations in favor of the Church.

José María Albalad has stressed that "Marking the 'X' of the Church is a free decision that does not harm anyone and has no cost, because you are neither charged more nor refunded less. It is an exercise of fiscal democracy". In addition, he recalled that "you can simultaneously check the boxes of the Catholic Church and other social purposes".

The authorFrancisco Otamendi

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