Money is being thrown around.
The U.S. Roman Catholic Church hit the jackpot. Somehow, the separation of church and state was completely ignored here. As reported by AP News, The U.S. Roman Catholic Church used a special loophole in federal rules to garner at least $1.4 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus aid. To make matters even more repulsive, the church funneled millions upon millions of dollars to dioceses that have paid huge settlements or sought bankruptcy protection because of clergy sexual abuse cover-ups. Essentially, the COVID-19 money was used to keep churches that are known for sexual abuse afloat.
Churches, establishments of worship, and other faith-based businesses are not able to receive money from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Despite this, congress made this move allowable within the stimulus package. The sneaky bill, which funneled billions into special interest groups and businesses that are tied to politicians, allowed the church to apply for loans in the Paycheck Protection Program. AP News reports that the Roman Catholic church may have gotten up to $3.5 billion in total.
Religious groups have coaxed the Trump administration to bend rules, allowing them to get assistance in ways they could not previously. For example, the Trump administration helped the curch bypass a rule that would not allow them to seek aid if they had more than 500 workers. Without this special allowance, many Catholic dioceses would have been ineligible for aid because their employees exceed the 500-person cap.