Follow the money trail

Over the past nine years, the USCCB has received $534,788,660 in taxpayer money for refugee resettlement programs, leading some to question bishops' motives in opposing President Trump's beleaguered refugee policy

(image: Ververidis Vasilis / Shutterstock.com)

Is a conflict of interest behind some of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ strong criticisms of President Trump’s immigration policy, in particular his two temporary travel bans? That’s the question being raised by a number of experts in foreign policy and Catholic charitable work, including a former adviser to President Bush and a leading figure in conservative Catholic media.

These critics are pointing out that in Fiscal Year 2016, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) received more than $91 million in government funding for refugee resettlement. Over the past nine years, the USCCB has received a total of $534,788,660 in taxpayer dollars for refugee resettlement programs, reported Ann Corcoran, editor of Refugee Resettlement Watch.

In an appearance on Fox News earlier this month, Catholic personality Raymond Arroyo, managing editor of EWTN News, cautiously suggested that some of the USCCB’s response to Trump’s immigration policy may be related to a fear of losing these government contracts.

“They have a heart for people who are suffering. There are a lot of people who are looking for a homeland,” Arroyo said in response to a question about the Catholic and Lutheran Church’s statements condemning Trump’s travel bans.

“But these groups I think, sometimes their heart, and perhaps the financial motive gets in the way.”

Deal Hudson, editor of The Christian Review and a former adviser to President Bush, takes a dimmer view, saying the magnitude of government funding, to both the USCCB and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), severely muddies the waters.

“Just how dependent have both agencies become on taxpayer money to cover their annual overhead, apart from special programs and services?” Hudson asks. “What percentage of annual receipts does this federal money represent?”

Criticism from Catholic bishops, collectively and individually, has been extensive toward Trump’s two executive orders.

“We never hear the USCCB complain about much except for the decisions to cut funding from the troughs feeding its social programs,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “The USCCB cried the same sob-story over USAID and PEPFAR, despite the fact that they both work hand in glove for the spread of abortifacient contraception and condoms.” 

“The fact that Catholic Relief Services receives nearly two-thirds of its annual revenue from those agencies is most definitely linked to the lobbying efforts,” he continued. “So its concern over refugee resettlement is really no different.” 

Hudson summed up the concerns, concluding, “How can the Catholic Church be a free, prophetic voice when it has created a financial dependence on the federal government? Answer: It cannot!”

Full story at LifeSiteNews.

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  1. Faithful and True says:

    (Cha-Ching! I hear the sound of coins in the pockets of some …) Hard to ignore the facts as reported in this article. Three countries publicly disagreed with the recent US bombing of the Syrian airport after Assad used toxic chemical weapons on his own people: Iran, North Korea and Russia. The second most vocal group – Catholic Bishops’ Conferences! Really, protesting the bombing of an airport which makes it more difficult to use WMD?

  2. steering church ‘interference’ away from some areas of US policy just might have been the ulterior goal of the the federal funding scheme all along.

  3. Whatever happened to ‘truth in advertising’? At the very least, the USCCB should admit upfront this is the case– that they receive huge revenue streams for their pro illegal immigration political position over the rule of law is in full operation here. Catholics in the pews would at least know the full story.
    Since this is the actual case, the real (obvious) conclusions of their vocal support for breaking the law re illegal immigration would be a known fact: The USCCB is and has been funded with our tax dollars and is it no longer acts in the capacity of a private charity.
    Catholics should know what the USCCB is all about and the USCCB is less than truthful here.
    Sad. Repercussions are in order and should be expected.

  4. Bob Bugiada says:

    This is a racket, plain and simple, but couched in the words of compassion. There is an excellent book on the subject by James Simpson called “The Red-Green Axis.” It details the money trails of taxpayer dollars and corruption of all the Volunteer Agencies.

  5. See this Refugee Resettlement Fact Sheet to be better informed (2013 latest update available):
    https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/refugee-resettlement-fact-sheets/
    Read all eye-opening 26 Facts with discussion and links.
    Refugee Resettlement Industry is a lucrative business funded with our US taxpayers’ money–something to think about seriously as April 15th is upon us.

  6. Why don’t Mr Arroyo, Mr. Hudson and Mr. Hichborn do what Our Lord told all of us to do: feed the hungry, clothe the naked and welcome the stranger rather than engage in speculative calumny against our bishops.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is specious. And unChristian. The funds go to help the poor, not the bishops or the Church.

  8. Stephanie Hart says:

    I stopped giving to them years ago. The Islamic terrorist at Ohio State last year, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, was brought over to the US by Catholic Charities.

  9. Idaho Pete says:

    When you start accepting Federal dollars then they start dictating to you also these funds are the bishop’s compromising 30 pieces of silver because they fund their pet programs, and then we ask ourselves why do the bishops never use canon law against public scandalous pro-abort, pro same sex marriage “Catholic” politicians? They don’t because they sell out, to their, rightly or wrongly, programs to the very same politicians who fund these programs. It’s a big mistake for the Church to accept Caesar’s dollars.

  10. JG Campbell says:

    Tetzel and his ilk are alive 500 years after they provoked the Protestant reformation. What new evils are being released in the Church by love of money, the root of all evil?

  11. A number of comments on this string indicate a lack of knowledge about how social programs are managed in our country. Others raise serious and interesting questions. So, how does it work? An example. The government, by whatever process, decides that it needs programs to help resettle refugees. It doesn’t do it itself, for the most part. It puts our an RFP and agencies bid to do the work. Generally people agree that the locals know best how to serve local people. So, Catholic Charities in East Overshoe wins a grant to help with resettlement. Now, follow the money. The grant request had to include how much would be spend on salaries, administration, programming, etc. Then, it has to report to the government on a regular basis…

  12. The Bishops don’t get the money, the programs do. Each Catholic Charity in the country is just one more agency bidding on the work to be done. Could we give up the grant proposals? Of course! But then, who would do the work? Who would do it in Christian way? Faith Based Agencies provide most of the charity work in our country. Non Governmental Agencies (NGO’s) do the work at all levels in our country. I can tell you from experience that reporting on how the money is spent is not easy. The accounting is at CPA level. Lots of audits. It really isn’t a scam.

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