Catholic editor: Maybe it’s time for Bishops to stop taking federal money

I never thought I would see the day when not only would the fact become widely discussed—the fact that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops migration program is almost completely funded by the federal tax payer, but that any Catholic would tell them to stop taking it!

Phil Lawler, editor of Catholic World News: Bishops should stop “cooperating” and “coexisting” with the federal government. (They won’t of course because it’s all about the money!)

In this story from Breitbart  (hat tip: Joanne) yesterday, Catholic World News editor actually suggests that the Bishops’ moral/religious positions may be perverted as a result of taking millions from the US Treasury and so they should consider withdrawing as the largest refugee resettlement contractor in the US.  Unbelievable!

First Breitbart reporter Dr. Susan Berry sets the stage with most that regular readers here already know:

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is funneling $4 million over the next two years to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Office of Refugee Resettlement to provide legal representation for 2,600 unaccompanied illegal minors.

“I think it’s a recognition that many of these children have valid protection claims and they need legal representation,” Kevin Appleby of the USCCB told MSNBC. “It is a result of advocacy and raising awareness about why these children are coming and why they’re fleeing.”

As Breitbart News reported Wednesday, a grant in a similar amount will be provided to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants also to pay for legal services for unaccompanied illegal minors.

The U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) states that it is “the largest resettlement agency in the United States.”

According to the MRS’s most recent annual report, “Upwards of 90,000” young illegal immigrants were projected to arrive between October 1, 2013, and September 30, 2014.

Additionally, MRS showed a total budget of approximately $71 million, of which nearly $66 million – or about 93% – has come from federal grants and contracts.  [It is actually worse than 93%, see summary from the 2012 Annual Report below***—ed].

Because the USCCB accepts federal contracts and funding, it may be subject to federal laws and, especially in the case of President Barack Obama, executive orders, that may conflict with Catholic teaching and from which there is no exemption.

Read about the Obama Executive Order we told you about here in July.  Then this:

Nevertheless, the bishops show no inclination to address whether they should be “coexisting” and “cooperating” with the federal government in the first place.

Phil Lawler, editor of Catholic World News (CWN), seemed to think the bishops’ call to “oppose” the executive order was unrealistic.


Lawler suggested instead that the bishops simply stop taking federal contracts.

“President Obama doesn’t want help from the Catholic Church. Say it’s a deal; don’t give him any.”

The bishops, however, have a history of “coexisting” and “cooperating” with the government.

*** From the US Conference of Catholic Bishops 2012 Annual report for Migration and Refugee Services (be sure to check out the report and see all the things the Bishops lobbied on that year).

Page 13:


Federal Grants/Contracts           $65,911,344  (taxpayer money)

CRS Collection                            $ 1,369,807

Refugee Travel Loan Fees            $ 3,622,886   (this is taxpayer $ too, feds loaned it and USCCB collects and keeps some)

Investment Income and                 $65,719
Private Grants/Donations

Other                                              $5,481

Total Revenue                               $70,975,237


So, that’s about 98% of their funds for 2012 that came from you!  That is not what I call Christian charity!

All of our coverage of the ‘Unaccompanied minors’ issue is here.  I think the Bishops actually helped light the fire for the kids to head north when they traveled to Central America in 2013, resulting in lobbyist Appleby writing this report.

Here is what I said in July just as the border surge was getting fully underway about that report:

With their trip to Central America and the follow-up report one wonders if the Bishops were prescient in predicting 60,000 invaders or were they helping to make it happen?


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