January 22, 2020
By Lianne Laurence
The suit alleges that US bishops ‘actively’ misled Catholics into believing their millions of dollars in donations to Peter’s Pence would be used to help the poor.
A Dallas law firm filed a class action lawsuit Wednesday against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for “unlawful, deceptive and fraudulent practices” in promoting and collecting funds for the papal charity Peter’s Pence.
The suit alleges the American bishops “actively” misled Catholics into believing their millions of dollars in donations to the collection would be used to help “victims of war, oppression, natural disaster, or disease,” when in fact much of the money was funneled into private investments, such as Hollywood’s sexually explicit Elton John biopic, “luxury condominium developments” and “hefty, multi-million dollar commissions” to fund managers.
Stanley Law Group filed the lawsuit January 22 in the United States District Court in Rhode Island on behalf of David O’Connell, a parishioner at Sacred Heart Church in East Providence, who is seeking a jury trial, it stated in a press release.
“USCCB must come clean and give back the money it took from well-intentioned people who thought they were giving urgently-needed funds to help the destitute around the world,” said lead attorney Mark Stanley.
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