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Setting the Record Straight on Federal Funding for Catholic Organizations

For release January 31, 2012

CONTACT: Stephanie Niedringhaus, 202-347-9797 x224, sniedringhaus@networklobby.org

Washington DC: NETWORK today issued the following statement regarding federal funding of Catholic human needs programs:

Catholic groups and members of the Obama administration have had some disagreements in recent weeks, but we at NETWORK believe that some Catholic complaints have been exaggerated or misinformed.

One area of disagreement concerns the continuing level of government funding for vital Catholic programs. The truth of the matter is that the Obama administration has actually increased funding for Catholic nonprofit organizations and programs. In fact, more than $1.5 billion went to Catholic organizations over the past two years.

Funding increases for Catholic organizations in recent years include the following:

  • An increase from $12.45 million (2008) to $57.89 million (2011) in USDA food assistance to Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
  • An increase from  just over $440 million (2008) to more than $554 million (2010) to Catholic Charities USA
  • Increases in Dept. of Labor grants to Catholic organizations such as Catholic Charities of Kansas for ex-offender reintegration and other programs from $300,000 (2009) to more than $5 million (2011)
  • An increase of HHS funding for Catholic Medical Mission Board global health activities from $500,000 (2008) to $7 million (2011).

These are just a few examples of the many types of support received by Catholic organizations. They stand in sharp contrast to the overblown rhetoric about government cuts to Catholic groups since HHS decided in late September to deny a new grant to the Church for services to human trafficking victims in favor of other groups.

Because we lobby strenuously for government funding for programs that serve the needs of people, we take seriously any charges that the government may be shortchanging them. For that reason, we want to set the record straight now. And we intend to make sure that this administration and others to follow continue to serve the common good.