Catholic dioceses got billions in virus aid, making them perhaps country’s biggest recipient, report

Just the News:

Catholic dioceses in the U.S. have received at least $3 billion in federal coronavirus relief money, despite having over $10 billion in cash, according to an analysis by the Associated Press released Thursday

The money came through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, created last spring to help businesses hit hard by the pandemic.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte alone received more than $8 million. Financial records show that last spring the diocese’s headquarters was sitting on roughly $100 million cash and short-term investments on hand, according to the wire service.

The 112 dioceses that shared their financial statements with the Associated Press, along with the churches and schools they oversee, collected at least $1.5 billion in taxpayer-backed aid. 

Most dioceses examined in the report said they had enough cash on hand to cover at least six months of operating costs, even without any new dollars coming in.

Overall, the nation’s nearly 200 dioceses, where bishops and cardinals govern, and other Catholic institutions received at least $3 billion. That amount collectively makes them perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the program. 

At the start of the program, federal officials made clear that the bailout fund was intended for businesses and institutions without the cash cushion they would need to get them through the pandemic.

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