These parishes took PPP loans. Here’s why

Catholic News Agency

July 18, 2020

By Mary Farrow

When the coronavirus pandemic necessitated widespread shutdowns, Catholic parishes were among those to feel the financial pinch almost immediately. No people in the pews meant no money in the collection basket. Mass after Mass, weekend after weekend, that loss added up.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Denver, Colorado is one such parish whose already-precarious financial situation was thrown in jeopardy by the pandemic.

To keep paying his small staff, Fr. Joseph Lajoie applied for a Payment Protection Program (PPP) loan through the Small Business Administration. The loans were meant to support the essential needs of small businesses and nonprofits affected by coronavirus shutdowns.

An article from the Associated Press published last week criticized the “U.S. Roman Catholic Church” for reportedly accepting between $1.4-$3.5 billion work of PPP loans. In fact, there is no single entity that is the U.S. Roman Catholic Church. Rather, each parish operates as its own small nonprofit, and weekly donations help to employ the priest, along with the employees who maintain the parish and its ministries.

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