(July 14, 2020) — AP News has reported that the U.S. Roman Catholic Church used an unprecedented exemption from federal rules to collect at least $1.4 billion in U.S. taxpayer-backed coronavirus aid. Many millions went to dioceses that have paid large settlements or sought bankruptcy protection from clergy sex abuse cover-ups.
The Catholic Church paid some $4 Billion to settle Pedophilia Lawsuits
Roman Catholic priests, whether they are child predators or decent men trying to do what’s best for Christianity and the world, take a ‘vow of poverty.’ Then they live like virtual kings. All their living expenses are paid; they receive free access to automobiles and public transportation; and upon retirement, they live on a generous church pension, even if they were predatory pedophiles.
AP News said that the church collected somewhere between $1.4 billion and $3.5 billion in corona virus aid.
$28 Million for NYC Catholic Executive Officers
In New York City alone, the Roman Catholic Church took $28,000,000 in U.S. Government monies, just to finance its top executive officers. They never, apparently, took any ‘vow of poverty.’ The church’s well-known landmark, St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue, was approved for at least $1 million in a potentially forgivable loan.
An organization of Catholic financial officers, the Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference, surveyed members and reported that some 9,000 Catholic entities received potentially forgivable loans.
Many, if not most, Americans, by contrast, received little or no corona virus stimulus bailout funds.
AP: Catholic Church lobbied for Taxpayer Funds, received $1.4B
The AP reported that the church’s “take” may have exceeded $3.5 billion. That total makes the church, which has more than a billion followers, one of the biggest benefactors of the U.S. government’s pandemic relief efforts.
Faith-based organizations and churches that promote religious beliefs aren’t usually eligible for money from the U.S. Small Business Administration. But as the economy plunged into a death spiral and jobless rates soared, Congress let faith groups and other nonprofits access the Paycheck Protection Program. That was a $659 billion fund created to keep Main Street open and Americans employed.
By aggressively promoting the payroll program to its dioceses (a bit like Wal-Mart promoting welfare insurance to its poorly-paid employees) and marshaling resources to help affiliates learn its changing rules, Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools, and other ministries have, so far, secured at least 3,500 forgivable loans, the AP found.
In California, diocese officials working in a new, $70 million complex in Orange County received four loans worth at least $3 million.
Dirty Diocese gets $2 Million
In Wheeling-Charleston, WV, humansarefree.com reported that a loan of at least $2 million went to a diocese where a 2019 church investigation revealed that then-Bishop Michael Bransfield embezzled funds and attempted sexual advances on young priests.
The AP noted that simply being eligible for low-interest loans was a new opportunity. However, the church could not have been approved for so many loans – which the government forgives if they are used for wages, rent, and utilities – without another “lucky” break.
Religious groups recently persuaded the Trump administration to free them from a rule that typically disqualifies an applicant with more than 500 workers.
Without that special attention, many Catholic dioceses would have been ineligible because – between their head offices, parishes, and other affiliates – their employees easily exceed the 500-person cap.
Favoritism worth Billions to Church
“The government grants special dispensation, and that creates a kind of structural favoritism,” said Micah Schwartzman, a University of Virginia law professor specializing in constitutional issues and religion who has studied the Paycheck Protection Program. “That favoritism was worth billions of dollars.”
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by Matthews & Associates