- LIFE SITE NEWS - Feb 10, 2021 -
By Pete Baklinski -
'We gave them a sword in taking the money and I don’t see why they will not use it.'
February 10, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Some high-profile Catholics are raising concerns that the U.S. Catholic Church’s acceptance of COVID aid money from the federal government may result in the Church not only losing her freedom but having her unique moral voice silenced.
The concern comes in the wake of a recent hit piece by the Associated Press (AP) that accused the Catholic Church in the U.S. of “sitting on billions” in assets while collecting over $3 billion from the federal government’s COIVD relief program. Catholic investigative reporters along with U.S. dioceses are crying foul over the piece.
n a Feb. 4 investigative report, the AP accused “the Roman Catholic Church” in the U.S. of amassing “taxpayer aid” through the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program — brought in by the Trump administration as part of the CARES Act in March of 2020 — despite, according to the AP, having “billions” in assets. “That makes the Roman Catholic Church perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the paycheck program,” the report stated.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York: “First, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was designed to help employers continue to pay its [sic] employees when the economy went into lockdown in response to the coronavirus. The purpose was to keep employees employed during these difficult times. Religious institutions were invited and permitted to participate, as they employ large numbers of people across the country.”
“Here in the Archdiocese of New York, if you combine the number of fulltime employees in our parishes, schools, agencies, and central administration, there would be 6000 fulltime and 4000 part-time employees. Without assistance from the PPP, many of our employers would have had no choice but to lay-off their employees, reducing the church’s ability to assist people in need, and forcing our people to seek unemployment.”
Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development: “The Paycheck Protection Program was designed to protect the jobs of Americans from all walks of life, regardless of whether they work for for-profit or non-profit employers, faith-based or secular.”
“The Catholic Church is the largest non-governmental supplier of social services in the United States. Each year, our parishes, schools and ministries serve millions of people in need, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion. The novel coronavirus only intensified the needs of the people we serve and the demand for our ministries. The loans we applied for enabled our essential ministries to continue to function in a time of national emergency.”