Catholic Church Abuses Financial Laws for their Benefit in Multiple Ways
This month Catholic officials in Houston showed their willingness to take money that was not originally meant for them. But last year, our local SNAP leader learned that those same Catholic officials would be willing to bend the rules the other way in order to deny him his job, his income, and his stability.
For five years, Eduardo Lopez de Casas worked as the Director of Spanish Music Ministry and Cantor at Prince of Peace Church in Houston. Eduardo is an internationally renowned singer and was seemingly well-liked by parishioners and staff at his parish, but on August 30, 2019, Eduardo was abruptly terminated from his position. Critically, the way that Prince of Peace termed the removal – telling Eduardo that “the position no longer exists” – not only left Eduardo out of job but unable to receive unemployment benefits: the parish, as a non-profit institution, did not pay into the unemployment program and therefore Eduardo was not eligible to participate, despite working in Texas all his life.
It is disturbing to us that the same Church that abuses non-profit laws to leave employees like Eduardo out in the cold is the same Church that aggressively lobbies to overturn restrictions to ensure that they can receive PPP loans, tainted money that was meant for small mom-and-pop businesses. It is disheartening that the same Church that cries poverty to its parishioners while receiving billions in federal aid is the same Church that is willing to treat a survivor and employee like Eduardo with disdain and contempt.
Disturbing and disheartening, but not surprising.
We hope that parishioners and the public learn more about this situation and demand answers from the leadership at Prince of Peace and the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. They should question how many other good employees were let go without any recourse, and how many of those employees were people that spoke out against the Church’s culture of denial. And they should demand that their leaders explain what they are doing with federal money that was meant for small businesses if they are not using that money to pay their fair share and keep their employees’ future secured.
CONTACT: Eduardo Lopez de Casas, SNAP Houston ( firstname.lastname@example.org, 832-641-6319)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)