Church Leaders in New Orleans Defraud the Government, SNAP Is Not Surprised Since We Believe They Defraud Survivors As Well
According to reports, the Archdiocese of New Orleans is being forced to pay the U.S. government $1 million in order to resolve allegations that they defrauded the government of emergency funds in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. This is yet another sad story that shows Catholic officials care more about money than they do about being moral leaders.
It is worth noting that the Archdiocese of New Orleans is supported by one of New Orleans's richest families, the Bensons, who also own the New Orleans Saints. The family has given tens of millions of dollars to the Archdiocese and also provided in-kind donations, such as supplying their PR team to help advise Church leaders regarding their strategy to defeat claims made by sexual abuse survivors.
With all this money– stolen or otherwise – sloshing around in the coffers of the New Orleans Archdiocese, how is it that the Archbishop can claim it is bankrupt? The short answer is, they clearly are really not. The Archdiocese has cash, owns the property, and apparently can afford a $1 million payment and whatever legal fees it needed to defend its behavior. Once again, the priorities of Catholic officials in New Orleans are laid bare.
We believe that the money that New Orleans church leaders are alleged to have stolen from US taxpayers should be identified and earmarked for survivors. Studies show that each case of sexual abuse carries a lifetime cost of nearly $800,000, a burden most often borne by taxpayers. Because FEMA money IS taxpayer money, the federal bankruptcy court should endeavor to find it and allocate it to those injured by clergy sex abuse. This would be the most poetic way to force Catholic officials in New Orleans to remember they are in place to serve their community, not steal from it.