News
Featured Image
 Shutterstock.com

LifeSiteNews has just been banned from Youtube. Click HERE to sign up to receive emails when we add to our video library.

February 10, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Some high-profile Catholics are raising concerns that the U.S. Catholic Church’s acceptance of COVID aid money from the federal government may result in the Church not only losing her freedom but having her unique moral voice silenced.

The concern comes in the wake of a recent hit piece by the Associated Press (AP) that accused the Catholic Church in the U.S. of “sitting on billions” in assets while collecting over $3 billion from the federal government’s COIVD relief program. Catholic investigative reporters along with U.S. dioceses are crying foul over the piece.

In a Feb. 4 investigative report, the AP accused “the Roman Catholic Church” in the U.S. of amassing “taxpayer aid” through the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program — brought in by the Trump administration as part of the CARES Act in March of 2020 — despite, according to the AP, having “billions” in assets. “That makes the Roman Catholic Church perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the paycheck program,” the report stated.

Numerous Catholic commentators immediately pointed out major fallacies in AP’s Feb. 4 report and in a similar July 10 report.

  • Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York: “First, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was designed to help employers continue to pay its [sic] employees when the economy went into lockdown in response to the coronavirus. The purpose was to keep employees employed during these difficult times.  Religious institutions were invited and permitted to participate, as they employ large numbers of people across the country.”
    • “Here in the Archdiocese of New York, if you combine the number of fulltime employees in our parishes, schools, agencies, and central administration, there would be 6000 fulltime and 4000 part-time employees. Without assistance from the PPP, many of our employers would have had no choice but to lay-off their employees, reducing the church’s ability to assist people in need, and forcing our people to seek unemployment.”
  • Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development: “The Paycheck Protection Program was designed to protect the jobs of Americans from all walks of life, regardless of whether they work for for-profit or non-profit employers, faith-based or secular.”
    • “The Catholic Church is the largest non-governmental supplier of social services in the United States. Each year, our parishes, schools and ministries serve millions of people in need, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion. The novel coronavirus only intensified the needs of the people we serve and the demand for our ministries. The loans we applied for enabled our essential ministries to continue to function in a time of national emergency.”
  • Catholic News Agency’s Jonah McKeown: “In reality, ‘the Roman Catholic Church’ in the US is made up of tens of thousands of separate nonprofits, most of which did not have legal access to liquid cash necessary to pay their employees when the pandemic took hold last year.”
  • Catholic News Service’s Tom Tracy: “U.S. dioceses are crying foul over an investigative report on coronavirus relief funding they say grossly mischaracterized the Catholic Church’s finances and unrestricted cash flows, leaving the crass impression the church used the 2020 CARES Act to hoard cash.”
    • “‘Since offertory is by far the largest part of the revenue stream for any parish, the PPP loans clearly saved jobs and kept people employed, which is what they were designed to do.’ The PPP was therefore an appropriate and necessary lifeline to preserve the nearly 3,000 jobs in our parishes, missions and schools to continue to provide ministry and services.”
  • The Pillar’s Ed Condon and JD Flynn: The AP article mistakingly “takes as a whole the assets and investments of the Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools, and other charitable institutions affiliated with the Church in the United States and treats them as a parts of a singular whole.”
    • “The Catholic Church is a society, not a monolith. The Catholic Church understands itself to be a communion of people and institutions, not a singular organization. Its legal structures are designed to reflect that theology.”
    • “Many news reports fail to understand the legal and theological distinctions between a diocese, a parish, a Catholic school, and other Catholic institutions like a cemetery. Those organizations are canonically distinct, and almost always distinct in civil law as well. Bishops don’t control the cash of most organizations within their jurisdiction — and for theological reasons connected to the Church’s basic self-understanding.”

But some Catholics are warning that taking government money will, in the end, “compromise” the Church from fulfilling her divine mission of saving souls.

Father Michael Orsi, an outspoken pro-life priest of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, who currently serves as parochial vicar at St. Agnes Parish in Naples, Florida, told LifeSiteNews that he is worried that the “free aid money” will prove to come with “quid pro quo” (something for something) strings attached.

— Article continues below Petition —
PETITION: Dump YouTube, Twitter and Big Tech for threatening our democracy and freedom of speech!
  Show Petition Text
75308 have signed the petition.
Let's get to 80000!
Thank you for signing this petition!
Add your signature:
  Show Petition Text
Keep me updated via email on this petition and related issues.
Keep me updated via email on this petition and related issues.

PETITION UPDATE (2/23/21) - 

LifeSite has signed on to a Media Research Center (MRC) letter to all 50 state Attorneys General, calling for an investigation into Big Tech.

Google, Facebook, and Twitter have monopolized the industry, and are using their influence to collect user data, suppress content, and silence those who voice ideas and beliefs counter to their own.

As we urged prior, action must be taken to combat these efforts, and that is why we’ve joined the MRC in this fight.

Please take a couple of minutes to READ this LifeSiteNews article about MRC's initiative: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/lifesite-joins-effort-asking-state-attorneys-general-to-investigate-big-tech-for-deceptive-trade-practices

Then, please SIGN and STOP using Twitter, Facebook, Google (YouTube) and Amazon to take back your privacy and freedom of speech!

________________________________________________________

PETITION UPDATE (2/9/21) -

YouTube just completely removed the LifeSiteNews YouTube channel. This isn’t a ban, every single one of our videos is completely gone. Being completely removed from YouTube means we’ve lost access to 300,000+ followers.

This is the latest and appalling affront to free speech which is happening to many conservative and Christian organizations.

Please SIGN this petition and STOP using YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google (owner of YouTube) and Amazon to take back your privacy and freedom of speech!

We are not going to take this lying down!

Thankfully, we have backups of all our videos:

You can watch our current videos on Rumble, here: https://rumble.com/user/LifeSiteNews
Or on our LifeSiteNews Catholic Rumble channel, here: https://rumble.com/user/LifeSiteNewsCatholic

You can also sign-up to receive email alerts about our recent videos here: https://bit.ly/LifeSiteVideoSub

Please help us build Rumble and our other alternative platforms by donating through our secure link: https://give.lifesitenews.com/

After you SIGN this petition, please also see our 'Goodbye Google' resources to find out how to quit Big Tech and learn more about good alternatives!

____________________________________________________________________________

PETITION UPDATE (1/26/20) -

Twitter has again locked LifeSiteNews out of two of our accounts on the platform for displaying a message noting that President Joe Biden’s newly named Assistant Secretary of Health “Rachel” Levine is a man.

Both accounts displayed a simple message which read: “Biden names transgender ‘woman’ as Assistant Secretary of Health. ‘Rachel’ Levine is a father of two who divorced his wife in 2013 after 30 years of marriage.” The tweets also included a link to LifeSite’s article Biden names transgender ‘woman’ as Assistant Secretary of Health, and contained part of the opening sentence of that article, “Joe Biden has announced his intention to appoint a gender-confused man” as Assistant Secretary of Health.

For stating biological or Biblical truths, Twitter and Big Tech are trying to shut down conservative voices.

Therefore, it is now more important than ever to consider dumping Twitter, Google (who own YouTube) and Facebook. To be clear: LifeSite is still using Twitter and Big Tech to encourage others to migrate away from these illiberal platforms.

This is not the first time that LifeSiteNews has been censored by Twitter. In December 2019, Twitter indefinitely suspended our account for a tweet that linked to an article on transgender activist Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv.

At the time, Twitter gave LifeSite the option to delete the tweet and reactivate our account right away. LifeSite remained steadfast that the tweet did not violate any of the company’s “rules and policies,” and sought several appeals with Twitter, while looking into legal action against the company.

And, while LifeSite's account was eventually restored, we must now consider what course of action we will pursue in this case, over and above appealing the ban.

Meanwhile, since taking office on Wednesday last week, Joe Biden has already signed an executive order which will force women’s athletic programs, restrooms, and locker rooms to be open to men. He has also turned back the Trump administration’s policy protecting women’s sports programs in schools.

Last week, LifeSite was banned for two weeks from our YouTube channel, after the site determined that one of our videos about vaccines violated YouTube’s “community guidelines.” We are also in the middle of appealing this ban.

Please considering SIGNING and SHARING this petition. Thank you!

__________________________________________________________________________

Twitter just deplatformed President Trump premanently! And, other conservatives, including General Flynn and Sidney Powell, were also summarily deplatformed.

Conservatives, Christians and freedom-loving Americans of all political persuasions must now take a decision to preserve their free speech AND their ability to peaceably assemble by dumping Twitter and Big Tech, and by finding other good alternatives to communicate with each other and share their opinions.

Please SIGN our petition-pledge to Dump Twitter and Big Tech, and take back your freedom of speech and privacy. [CLICK HERE for our "Goodbye Google" resources page to find good alternatives to Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Google!]

When you use Twitter or Facebook to communicate, and, or, Google and Amazon to search for something online, these companies can stifle your ability to share your thoughts and opinions and manipulate your search results, threatening your privacy, your freedom of speech, and even our democracy.

Evidence suggests that Twitter and Facebook's 'community guidelines' are selectively enforced against conservatives and Christians, while Google rigs their search algorithms to direct traffic away from conservative and Christian websites, effectively choking traffic to those sites.

Simply put, Twitter, Facebook, Google (who owns YouTube) and Amazon appear to be actively suppressing access to pro-freedom, pro-family and pro-life news and opinion.

Don't contribute to this assault on democracy: Stop using Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon as your default social media platforms and search engine! [CLICK HERE to find a good alternative to Google.]

To repeat: a few liberal and completely unaccountable computer programmers in Silicon Valley are dictating what we do and do not see in our Twitter and Facebook feeds, and in our Google searches.

We, here, at LifeSite, also recently had our Twitter account suspended by the company over "misgendering" a man who claims to be a woman.

LifeSite has also experienced a fall-off in Google search-related traffic since the company updated its search algorithms at the beginning of May.

And, since the November election, Twitter and Big Tech appear to have dramatically INCREASED their censorship of conservatives and Christians as the President Trump disputed the results of the election and when evidence of election fraud began to mount.

Now, it seems likely that they are trying to cut-off conservative leaders (like President Trump) from conservatives on the ground, and effectively exclude us from the national conversation.

But, this tactic will not work. Because Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon are not the only game in town! There are a good number of excellent alternatives which we list in our 'Goodbye Google' Resources page.

The great irony is that, while Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon executives talk a lot about maintaining freedom of speech and diversity, in fact, these hypocrites are ATTACKING free speech point-blank!

This kind of manipulation poses a lethal threat to our democracy, but as we see so clearly now, Twitter and Big Tech have shown no hesitation in excluding conservatives and Christians from the public square.

So, at this point, the only way to stop Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon is to quit using their platform.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition to pledge to stop using Twitter and Big Tech. Then, please CLICK HERE to find alternative search engines and social media platforms. Thank you!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Follow LifeSiteNews on these alternative channels:

Telegram: https://t.me/lifesitetelegram

Gab: https://gab.com/LifeSiteNews

MeWe: https://mewe.com/i/lifesitenewscom1

Rumble: https://rumble.com/user/LifeSiteNews

Parler: parler.com/profile/lifesitenews (currently down due to Amazon removing their web hosting)

Ready to say "Goodbye Google"? Find alternatives for search engines, browsers, email, and morehttps://lifefacts.lifesitenews.com/goodbye-google/resources/

'BREAKING: Twitter permanently bans President Trump from platform'https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-twitter-permanently-bans-president-trump-from-platform

WATCH LifeSite's exclusive series - 'Big Tech vs Free Speech' - of interviews with experts on how Big Tech censorship is killing free speechhttps://www.lifesitenews.com/bigtech/

From YouTube to social media and beyond, online censorship is rampant. Read the latest articles covering this ongoing struggle: https://lifefacts.lifesitenews.com/goodbye-google/censorship/

  Hide Petition Text

“My contention is that some parishes may have taken the money justly, but some did not need it. This could cause audits and fines. I wouldn’t put it past the Biden administration to threaten a quid pro quo for Church silence on moral issues,” he said. “I fear the administration will use this to bully the Church to silence on moral issues.”

Orsi is worried that the aid money may even be used by the Biden administration as a reason to begin to “persecute the Church.”

“We gave them a sword in taking the money and I don’t see why they will not use it,” he said.  “Accepting the money has put us in a moral and legal quandary.”

Dr. Tracey Rowland, a theology professor at the University of Notre Dame in Australia, would agree with the thrust of Fr. Orsi’s concerns. In a piece published in the Catholic World Report three days prior to the AP report, Rowland warned that accepting government money historically results in the Church coming under the sway of state power.

“The general conclusion of history is that whenever the Church becomes reliant upon governments for money she loses a certain amount of her freedom. It’s difficult to speak truth to power at the best of times, but even harder when the civil power is also the Church’s banker. It was precisely for this reason that Mother Teresa never accepted money from governments,” she wrote in her Feb. 1 piece titled Febronianism revisited: A brief and cautionary history.

Rowland noted that it is by means of the German government’s “Kirchensteuer” or Church tax that it is able to wield power over the Catholic Church in Germany.

“In 2019 the figure was 6.76 billion Euros. Such sums come into the Church in Germany on an annual basis. The threat of removing the Kirchensteuer is a weapon the Germany government can point in the direction of the German bishops if they step out of line. Those who do dare to step out of line often find themselves branded a ‘fundamentalist’, ‘ultra-conservative’, ‘ultra-montanist’ and a variety of other unfair labels,” Rowland wrote.

Catholic commentator Dr. Taylor Marshall warned in a Feb. 5 video that the Catholic Church in the U.S. has set a “dangerous precedent” by agreeing to receive the aid money.

“My concern with a ‘Catholic’ president, such as Joe Biden, he wants the bishops under his observation, under his thumb, under his policies. He doesn’t want the bishops calling him out on abortion or any of these issues. So, if he can purchase the episcopate for three billion every year, or every few years — kind of keep [the bishops] along, hold the carrot out in front of them — this is a dangerous precedent for Catholicism in the United States,” Marshall said.

“This sets the precedent, and we have a Catholic President who can use this precedent to silence the bishops, to bribe the bishops, to keep the bishops quiet,” he added.

Comments

Commenting Guidelines

LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.