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A thread on the problematic nature of @USCCB government grants:

1) Here's how much the USCCB has received in government grants for "Migration and Refugee Services" (MRS) in recent years:

2018: $48M
2017: $72M
2016: $95M
2015: $80M
2014: $79M

(Source: usccb.org/about/financia…)
2) To put these numbers in context, the 2018 these MRS-related government grants represented approximately 60% of all USCCB revenue that didn't come from special collections (disaster relief, etc.) or national collections (religious retirement, etc.).
3) Why is this a problem? Let's put aside the political question of whether the services the USCCB supplies to migrants and refugees is a good thing. In fact, let's assume it *is* a good thing.
4) Also, let's assume no one is getting rich off of this money. I'm going to assume the grant money is used efficiently and honestly (although the "efficiently" assumption is highly unlikely).
5) Finally, let's assume that it's appropriate for the USCCB to be engaged in this type of work, instead of private Catholic organizations doing it.

Even with these three assumptions, these grants are *still* a big problem.
6) As can be seen by the numbers above, the USCCB has been receiving a *lot* of money from the government for a while now. This means it has to have a full infrastructure in place to provide these services. That means lots of employees (or contractors) with offices, etc.
7) All that infrastructure is dependent on those grants.

I was once a subcontractor for a government contractor that lost some big contracts. It was disastrous for them: they had to lay off employees and fight just to survive. They had grown *dependent* on the government spigot.
8) The same is true of the USCCB: it has a presumably massive infrastructure in place for migration services, and losing government grants will be devastating for that infrastructure.
9) I also worked at a company that had to do massive lay-offs (and I had to do a lot of the firing), and let me tell you, you will do almost *anything* to avoid doing that. I would imagine USCCB officials feel the same way.
10) They believe their work is Christian charity, and they also believe they are supporting families by this work. So, even if it's just subconsciously, they become very dependent upon these grants. They don't want to do anything to dry up that spigot.
11) The problem should be obvious now: anything that might upset the flow of government grants is, subconsciously or consciously, avoided. The intentions might be sincere and even charitable, but the result is the same: the USCCB becomes a dependent arm of the State.
12) As a dependent arm of the State, the U.S. Bishops become like many of the Russian Orthodox bishops were during the Soviet era: willing to compromise the Faith in order to stay in the good graces of government leaders.
13) It might all be done with good intentions, but the results are the same: a compromised Church leadership unwilling to be a prophetic witness to a degrading culture, for fear of upsetting the mutually-beneficial relationship they have developed with the State. /fin
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