The Catholic Church raised $ 1.4 billion in coronavirus loans –

The Catholic Church raised $ 1.4 billion in coronavirus loans

The Catholic Church raised at least $ 1.4 billion in taxpayer-backed loans aimed at helping small businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report.

Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools, and other entities made extensive use of a loophole in the Federal Salary Protection Program to obtain at least 3,500 forgivable loans as the pandemic sank in worship services throughout the country, found an Associated Press review.

About $ 200 million went to approximately 40 dioceses that have paid hundreds of millions of dollars to victims of sexual abuse in recent years, including the Archdiocese of New York, which raised at least $ 28 million for its executive offices, while its iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral received at least $ 1 million, according to Friday’s report.

So-called PPP loans were generally limited to companies and nonprofits with less than 500 employees. But Catholic officials helped pressure the Trump administration to exempt religious groups from that rule, which would have disqualified many dioceses, the AP reported.

Data released this week indicates that Catholic institutions may have accumulated up to $ 3.5 billion in forgivable loans that helped them retain at least 407,900 jobs, placing the church among the program’s biggest beneficiaries, the news service found.

But the number is likely to be even higher: The Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference estimated that some 9,000 church entities obtained money from the PPP, nearly triple the AP found in federal data, which did not identify applicants who obtained loans for less. of $ 150,000.

“These loans are an essential lifeline to help faith-based organizations stay afloat and continue serving those in need during this crisis,” Chieko Noguchi, spokeswoman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the AP.


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