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Somewhere along the way, the U.S. bishops got this crazy notion in their heads that the billions of dollars they squirrel away belong to them — like it's their personal slush fund.
They have completely lost touch with the truth that they are simply custodians of all that worldly wealth — the administrators, the stewards, of it.
They don't get to spend it however they want, even though they do.
What we should say for clarity is they can and do spend it however they want, but not without incurring grave sin for which they will be held accountable at their personal judgments.
The money they have is given to them and accrues wealth for the world of the Church — the main mission, of course, being the salvation of souls. And yes, prudential judgments need to be made at various points on how best to utilize the great fortune they collectively control.
That said, what is never licit or moral is to use the money to cover up crimes, abuse victims, water down the Faith and so forth.
Yet this seems to be the focal point — the North Star, the guiding principle in determining how they spend money.
Likewise, while they are not required legally to do so, one would think they are under a moral obligation to give a usual-and-clear account to the people of God of how their money is being spent in service of the mission of the Church.
Don't hold your breath for that one.
For example, is there a normal, average, pew-sitting Catholic who has the slightest idea how many hundreds of millions of dollars have been paid to the bishops' attorneys and law firms trying to screw over sex abuse victims and keep them from receiving some measure of justice? No!
As the dollar figure bandied about approaches $5 billion in costs to the Church (let that sink in: $5 billion — that's with a B for billion dollars!) what percentage of that has gone to attorneys?
Does it strike anyone that there is something a little bit shady and a lot immoral about paying enormous sums to attorneys to help revictimize survivors and cover up the crimes of the clergy?
Why not take that $5 billion and simply admit the errors and evils and pay it to the victims instead of taking that same amount and giving a huge chunk of it to lawyers engaged in 'Operation Clerical Coverup'?
The latest official reports from the bishops last year: another $200 million up in smoke in the sex abuse cases.
A few hundred million here, a couple billion there. This stuff starts to add up after a while.
The whole problem — of which the lack of transparency in regard to sex abuse finances is just a prime example — is this: The U.S. hierarchy rejects any and all notions of transparency — that they have any moral obligation to reveal anything.
If it was their personal money, well, OK. But it's not. It's the patrimony of immigrants and our parents and families of previous times who died and left those sums for the Faith, not a slush fund for the bishops to work out backroom deals with lawyers.
The bishops have a moral duty to release their financials every quarter in every single diocese and clearly show how these enormous sums are being spent.
Instead, when you ask or inquire, you get told politely to go to hell, and then they say they will pray for you. And that's if you get any answers at all.
When Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute recently inquired why money from Catholics was being given to groups that support abortion and contraception and so forth, he got a polite kiss-off letter from Bp. Timothy Senior — the auxiliary bishop of Philly with oversight of the matter.
Senior told Hichborn — essentially — "Mind your own business. I've checked with the very people you're accusing and they tell me they're squeaky clean."
And, of course, there's the ending with the always galling and fantastically hypocritical line: "Know of my prayers for you."
That's insulting, degrading and revolting.
The same is true when it comes to even larger sums of money they get from the State — federal, state, county and municipal governments — hundreds and hundreds of millions every year poring into the coffers of so-called Catholic Charities thanks to the political lobbying efforts of the USCCB and its multi-tentacled leviathan.
Once again, here too, the bishops feel no compulsion or moral obligation to give an account of how that money is spent.
So they take Catholics' money and use it to cover up their crimes. And they use Americans' money, and it destroys the republic by spending it on the agenda of the Marxist Democrats.
That's why we felt it necessary last week in Washington to hold that press conference for the politically conservative media — not to talk about Catholics being bilked out of money, but American taxpayers.
First, we'd like to say a very generous thank-you to all of you who pitched in to make that a resounding success. It was a grand slam, home-run event.
The goal was to inform conservative media outlets of the threat to the republic of the bishops taking tax dollars and giving it to Marxist causes.
Much of the media present, as well those with whom we spoke in advance, knew nothing of this. They do now, thanks to you.
Being a lifelong media guy, I know the importance of getting the word out — informing the public through honest reporting about what's going on.
No one in the Catholic media cares at all about the bishops essentially stealing your money to cover up their crimes.
Most of the so-called Catholic media are owned — bought and paid for by the bishops — and nothing gets reported that they don't want reported.
The small, trad-world media are too busy publishing clickbait headlines about Francis.
So we decided, along with our Deposit of Faith Coalition partners, to skirt that entire mess and go straight to the secular media and then the politically conservative secular media and talk to them about tax dollars, not collection-plate dollars.
Here are the results so far. Online we did interviews on:
On the airwaves we did four interviews — with about six more to come — including syndicated and nationally syndicated radio interviews with:
Collectively, those electronic media reach tens of millions of viewers and listeners each week.
Then on the print side of the house, we talked to Epoch Times and PJ Media, whose articles about our press conference are out right now. Other media organizations that attended our presser — most in person and some virtually — include:
Religion News Service also showed up. They, of course, wrote a hit piece titled "In targeting Catholic Charities, Republicans amplify right-wing Catholic fringe."
Media 'works,' so to speak, by getting the conversation going. Honest media (I know that sounds like a contradiction, but they do exist) will learn and then report.
That's what the whole point of D.C. was last week.
Think of it this way: One week ago, tens and tens of millions of people had never heard this story about the bishops taking U.S. tax dollars and using those funds to undermine the republic.
One week later, those tens of millions now know.
And for the record, that's only the first step.
Once the media is informed and reports, now we start the business of following up. And given how crooked the bishops are and how they spend those tax dollars to undermine America, there will be a nonstop flow of information and stories to keep coming out.
It's interesting to point out — to put what we call a 'bow' on this — the politically conservative media got the exact same stonewalling from the bishops (when asked about all this) that they give to Catholics when asking about the collection-basket money being misspent.
However, it's one thing to tell inquiring Catholics to kiss off and pull rank on them.
It's an entirely different thing to think you can do that forever with media representatives who are now wise to your game and have the power of the pen.