Billion Dollar Bailout for Catholic Churches
Despite the incredible wealth of the the Catholic Church and dozens of Catholic Dioceses hiding behind bankruptcies due to child abuse claims and hundreds of lawsuits alleging that the Church covered up priest abuse, somehow, the Church received billions of dollars from the federal government in coronavirus aid. I guess politics and lobbying paid off again for the Catholic Church, which has been hiding behind statutes of limitations across the country in order to avoid suits related to its predator priests. While the victims of priest sexual abuse continue to suffer and receive no renumeration, the Church reaps the finanial rewards of a taxpayer funded bailout.
Ignoring the separation of church and state, the federal government granted the Catholic Church and other faith based entities, a special loophole in order to provide the Church with at least $1.4 billion in coronavirus aid and likely signifcantly more. Churches are not supposed to be able to receive money from the U.S. Small Business Administration. However, the federal government permitted this under the recent stimulus package.
The law that created the Paycheck Protection Program let nonprofits participate, but only applies to businesses with fewer than 500 employees, including all subsidiaries. However, lobbying by the church helped religious organizations obtain an exception.
Certainly, the Catholic Church isn’t the only business that lobbied and took advantage of this program. But – the Church doesn’t pay taxes – and is responsible for thousands upon thousands of victims of clergy abuse. It was reported that the Church may have gotten up to $3.5 billion in total.
About 40 dioceses received loans amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. Many of these same dioceses have closed compensation funds for victims or declared bankruptcy. Many more still are hiding behind state statutes of limitations in order to avoid liability.
It is time for the government to begin helping the victims of clergy abuse and not just helping the perpetrators of the abuse.