The Economist Estimates the Catholic Church Spent $171,600,000,000 in 2010

The Economist has attempted to paint a picture of what the Catholic Church’s finances look like, especially in light of the sexual abuse scandals. I’ll admit it. I may have salivated a bit at this paragraph:

By studying court documents in bankruptcy cases, examining public records, requesting documents from local, state and federal governments, as well as talking to priests and bishops confidentially, The Economist has sought to quantify the damage.

They estimate that the church spends about $171,600,000,000 a year. Not a typo.

The Economist estimates that annual spending by the church and entities owned by the church was around $170 billion in 2010 (the church does not release such figures). We think 57% of this goes on health-care networks, followed by 28% on colleges, with parish and diocesan day-to-day operations accounting for just 6% and national charitable activities just 2.7% (see chart). In total, Catholic institutions employ over 1m people, reckons Fred Gluck, a former McKinsey managing partner and co-founder of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, a lay organisation seeking to improve the way the church is run. For purposes of secular comparison, in 2010 General Electric’s revenue was $150 billion and Walmart employed roughly 2m people.

Wow. You knew the Church had money… but that much?!

Where does it all come from? Offering plates, donations, tuition money, Medicare/Medicaid payments, and other investments.

I thought that the sexual abuse scandal payouts would at least put a dent in their budget. Turns out it’s only a small fraction of it and most of the payments are made by local dioceses and not the Vatican:

The molestation and rape of children by priests in America has resulted in more than $3.3 billion of settlements over the past 15 years, $1.3 billion of that in California. The total is likely to increase as more states follow California and Delaware in relaxing the statute of limitations on these crimes, most of which were reported long after they happened. For an organisation with revenues of $170 billion that might seem manageable. But settlements are made by individual dioceses and religious orders, whose pockets are less deep than those of the church as a whole.

One of the consequences of the dioceses paying these costs is that some of them have gone out of business and more will likely follow:

Over the past eight years, a combination of these stresses has driven eight dioceses (including San Diego, Tucson and Milwaukee) to declare bankruptcy, as well as the American arm of the Irish Christian Brothers and a regional branch of the Jesuits. More of America’s 196 dioceses could be forced to do the same. Efforts are under way in the legislatures of Arizona, Illinois, New York, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Ohio and California (again) to extend statutes of limitations, according to Jeff Anderson, a lawyer who represents many victims of abuse. If any of these efforts succeeds, the expectation among lawyers like Mr Anderson is that some of the affected dioceses would seek Chapter 11 protection while they attempt to settle the cases. (Troubled dioceses generally settle suits just before the bishop is due in court.) The diocese of Honolulu could be the next to go bankrupt. In May it was hit by a pair of new lawsuits after the extension of Hawaii’s statute of limitations for victims of abuse.

The article also notes that there isn’t a long line of future priests, donations are dropping, and pensions are underfunded. All of that means the future doesn’t look very good for the Church.

There’s only one thing left to do:



About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Stev84

    This again shows that churches’ much vaunted charity is usually only a miniscule amount of their total expenses.

  • Guest

    Yep.  There’s nothing I would like to see happen more than a global institution that gave over 100 billion dollars to healthcare and charity go under.  The enlightened 21st century: where no amount of human suffering and loss is more important than winning an ideological argument; the first century in the last half millennium that would give medieval peasants something to laugh at. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001627228091 Alexander Ryan

    We’re several trillion dollars in debt, but the Government would rather add taxes to the poor and common items than to the religious. 

  • Yogibier

    And I guess the atheists would put together the money to buy the vatican?
    Are we talking about the people who didn´t even get enough SIGNATURES under a petition to get the US government to take an interest?

    Yeah, sounds practicable!

  • http://twitter.com/Lavvie Lavvie

    …..did you not read the article? This author actually pointed out at least one huge thing (the child molestation scandal) that the Catholic church has done to hurt people and of course there are many many more ways that this site and many others have pointed out that the Catholic church has done actual harm to people. This isn’t just about ideology, this is about real people and real lives affected. Also, there are other secular charities that people could donate to that probably could really use it and could do it in ways that do not have the horrible consequences that donating to the Catholic church brings.

  • jdm8

    If you think all that health care is a gift to the world, I think I have some bridges to sell you at a cut rate.

    The actual charitable expenditures is not even 5% of the budget outlay.

  • advancedatheist

    The Catholic Church shouldn’t even exist, according to creationist reasoning. All the Catholics should have evolved into Protestants by now. 

  • Guest

    Yeah, because these are such unbiased and objective appraisals of the Catholic Church.  Try reading other sources.  Going to places like these to see how the Catholic Church has done is like going to a Nuremburg Rally to find out the contributions of Jewish people to Western Civilization.

  • Guest

    So that’s 5% of a multi-billion dollar annual budget you’re willing to see go down the tubes? And what about that healthcare.  My youngest children were born in a Catholic hospital – and we weren’t Catholic!  But it had about the best care of any in the region.  Gone.  Puff!  Nice to see tolerant and open-minded atheists are still out and about.

  • jdm8

    Did you or your health care plan pay for the hospital services? Unless they gave you the care and did not take any payment for it, it’s not a gift or donation.

    Speaking of which, what has the Catholic Church done about the Final Solution? Very little, actually. They made deals to save their necks in exchange for silence on the matter.

  • Stev84

    You know Catholic Charities? They have a 4.6 billion dollar budget. Almost 3 billion of that is paid for by the federal government. Only the miniscule amount of 140 million actually comes directly from the church.

    It’s the same with Catholic hospitals, which are largely funded with tax payer money. For that the church then demands to be exempt from all laws they don’t like. Religious-based charity and social services are horrible since they come with far too many negative consequences.

  • Gus Snarp

    And how much did you/your insurance company pay the hospital? Catholic health care is not a charity, it’s a business. Show me where Catholic hospitals are cheaper or are reducing cost in any way over any other hospital system. And let’s be clear, if the Catholic Church went bankrupt they would sell the hospitals and they would continue to operate in much the same way they do now.

    As for the 5% down the tubes, how much of what’s donated to the Church goes out in actual services versus how much is spent on administrative and other functions? What’s the efficiency of the charity? I’m thinking it’s pretty bad. If the only argument you’ve got for the Catholic church is that it motivates people to donate money to charity, can you show that it drives enough donations to be worth how much of that money it spends on other things? If all those people who currently give to the Catholic Church no longer had a Catholic Church to give to, would they stop giving entirely? Or would they still give enough that when given to more efficient charities it would more than make up for that 5%?

  • Tom

     You were happy enough to use the figures in these appraisals for your own argument.

  • Gus Snarp

    The Economist is not exactly known as a liberal, religion-hating rag. If they’re not an unbiased source on this, I don’t know what is.

  • Stev84

    You really need to learn how health care, hospitals and health insurance work

  • Eric

    Ah yes, the old “at least the trains ran on time” argument.

  • The Other Weirdo

    So, out of a budget of $171bn , charities account for $4.7bn? Tell me where the good works are that justify its continued tax-exempt status?

  • Eric

    Again, “the trains ran on time” excuse.

    Also, pleas to anecdote mean nothing.

  • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

     “…where no amount of human suffering and loss is more important than winning an ideological argument;”

    AAAAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Oh, such sweet, deep, rich irony.

  • Guest081712

    Found a seller on spreadshirt that is trying to spread the message.

    http://ratanu.spreadshirt.com/tie-dye-atheism-A10738013/customize/color/253

  • SJH

    So by my calculations:

    4.7% donated to charities
    48.8% used as on education (also charity)
    57.5% used as health services (also charity)

    So that is 88.6% used for charity

    Not to mention the amount of money given to charities by every parish which would be included in the “Parishes/diocese” number which is roughly 6.4% of the total.
    The “Other” portion of the graph states that it includes private school education which would also be a charity.

    So lets say that only 10% of the “parish” and “other” numbers are charity (it is probably more).

    This means that the Catholic Church only keeps about 10% of its income and spends the rest on charity.

    Using the numbers provided it seems that we should all encourage the Church and its mission.

  • Kari Lynn

    Um, no.

    If you have to pay for the education and health care, it is not charity. I have never seen a Catholic school or hospital just giving things away for free. Anecdote: My best friend went to the University of Detroit (Catholic), tuition was outrageous and she even got a discount + scholarships. She joined the Army to cover the rest of her expenses.

  • kagekiri

    Catholic hospitals and universities and private schools have fees and are run like businesses as far as I know; this isn’t them spending on things that aren’t also making them money.
    They’re potentially good things, sure, but they don’t qualify as “charity”.

    Otherwise, what, you’d classify paying for a hospital visit as charity to yourself? Paying your doctor is charity? Buying a bandaid is charity? Please.

  • NeedingMoreFacts

    “They estimate that the church spends about $171,600,000,000 a year. Not a typo.”

    Hey!  That’s funny, because I know ONE guy that spent more than that in one year!  Actually, he’s spent almost $6 trillion in 4 years! 

    At least this is a worldwide church.  I love how people hang on to things like this.

  • NeedingMoreFacts

    So, what you’re saying is, if a charity gives someone $100 to cover their food for one month, and the same person spends $50 to cover the rest, that’s not charity? 

  • Gus Snarp

    Let me go find the itemized bill from the Catholic hospital where my kids were born and you can tell me if it looks like charity. The healthcare segment is listed in the article as health care networks. That’s the system of Catholic hospitals, outpatient clinics, and associated doctors. It is a business. Fees are charged for services, rooms, equipment, and consumables. It costs every bit as much as any other doctor or hospital. This is not the old Catholic hospital for the poor from the movies.

    Catholic universities cost more than public universities. They too are run as a business.

    Catholic schools – same.

  • Patterrssonn

    Sorry Guest but ranty nutty bullshit like that won’t get you too far on this site.

  • Patterrssonn

    Did you even read the post?

  • SJH

     How is it not a charity? Someone pays for abortions at planned parenthood yet it is still considered a charity.

    Charities still have operating costs and they provide services. The doctors must still get paid (many of whom are not even catholic). Providing an institution and infrastructure where these things can take place is a charitable activity in itself.

  • NeedingMoreFacts

    “Did you or your health care plan pay for the hospital services? Unless they gave you the care and did not take any payment for it, it’s not a gift or donation.”

    Wouldn’t it be implied that if this person used their own money or healthcare plan to pay for the hospital services, then they didn’t (probably) need charity?

    You know, some people *can* take care of themselves.

  • Patterrssonn

    I think it would be perfect for Disney, probably the Vaticans biggest competitor in the marketing of fantasy.

  • NeedingMoreFacts

    Wait wait, are you saying you needed charity?  Charity is usually given to people who need it, not people who don’t need it.Not saying you didn’t need it, just wondering?

    Also, Catholic schools give scholarships to their students, and lower-income families.  Of course, I’m sure you’re against that because it’s a religious organization, and we can’t have children exposed to religion at an early age by their parents because, surely, parents know squwat about raising their own children.

  • SJH

    Just because you have to pay for something does not mean that the institution is not a charity. Often times the price paid does not cover the actual cost.

    According to the chart, health care and education are expenses not income. Isn’t that the point of the chart to represent how much money the Church spends on these items. The Church is spending money on caring for the health of people and educating people. How is that not charity?

  • Don M

    Not sure I follow the shock, or the comment about where the money comes from.  It looks like the VAST majority of the expenses comes from hospitals and universities.  That means the money comes from tuition and from patients, insurance companies, and government support of those institutions.  This doesn’t say what the income is from these operations – there could be huge profits.  I would think that the expenses of running a metropolitan hospital would be hundreds of times more than a food bank. 

    I also am not sure if these figures include work by Catholic Charities and other specific charitable organizations.  I’m also not sure if the churches are separately incorporated, and whether their spending is off these books.  Think about it: there are at least 20 Catholic Churches in my city of 300.000.  I can’t imagine that their expenses are less than several hundred thousand per church.  At that rate, the churches in the United States must take at least $50 million to run.   That’s probably a very low estimate for one country with a moderate Catholic population.   The expenses, if anything, seem small.

    What I’d like to know is how much of the money, worldwide, comes from the faithful, and what the total giving is from all organizations the members support.

    This isn’t pro or anti this budget or the Church.  I just don’t think these numbers are surprising, or particularly deplorable, or detailed enough to draw any conclusions. 

  • jdm8

    It would help to go up the comment chain for context.  Guest originally said:

    “There’s nothing I would like to see happen more than a global institution that gave over 100 billion dollars to healthcare and charity go under. ”

    Suggesting that providing the health care was some kind of charitable act.

  • Gus Snarp

    If I was trying to say I needed charity, I’d have said that. Please try to read the words on the screen, not what you want them to say. I am saying one thing and one thing only: Catholic hospitals, health networks, universities, and school are not charities, they are businesses.

  • Gus Snarp

    Can you show me that there is a charitable contribution covering 75% of patient expenses in Catholic hospitals or or tuition at Catholic universities?

  • Gus Snarp

    This comment actually gets at the failings of the article. Catholic hospitals and universities operate mostly independently of the church, and are run as separate businesses with their own revenues and expenses. Does it even make sense to look at them as Church spending? Maybe to some extent they can be considered subsidiaries if you look at the Church as a larger business, but it’s very hard to look just at expenses and learn anything without a similar breakdown of revenues or any sense of how revenues and expenses are segregated among the various entities.

  • NeedingMoreFacts

    Actually, it’s 66ish%.

  • Gus Snarp

    Pedantry is no replacement for facts. Do you have the financial data to back up those numbers or did you make them up out of thin air and they have no relationship whatsoever to reality?

  • Normandyso

     Not the Federal Government, the Rethuglikons in Congress, who are totally owned by the corporatocracy.

  • Normandyso

     Gotta keep the korpulent kweens in the style to which they’ve become accustomed.

  • Normandyso

     Gus, you are making too much sense. We love you anyways!

  • Normandyso

     LOL

  • Cat lady

    I don’t understand – I thought hospitals, etc. took in enough fees and insurance and government payments to come at least close to breaking even.  If the RCC is spending in addition about 100 billion on such, they really do need some bigtime financial advice.  These figures don’t add up.

  • RobertoTheChi

    You can not be serious about the Catholic Church not causing harm. Have you never heard of the horrible things they’re doing in Africa with peddling the “condoms don’t stop diseases” bullshit? The harm they are causing women with their archaic beliefs? I could go one, but surely you have heard of all of these things.

  • Stev84

    It’s possible that the money they claim they are spending isn’t theirs in the first place

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6OE7LEYELE4MZTVXGZUSVTBFUI julie

    I get scholarships from my liberal arts college, but they are most definitely not a charity!
    It’s a business. I pay them and I get an education. I greatly appreciate their scholarships and you could consider a scholarship to be a charitable act, but that does not make them a charity. That’s like calling a grocery store a charity for giving out coupons.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FDGYHBEWVNGUG763L5X4TON3JQ Nazani14

    The church should sell off its health care and education assets.  I am content to see them continue to raise money to maintain  their architecture, art, and documents.

  • http://www.facebook.com/theAccidentalHousewife Leah Elzinga

    Being “able” to re-mortgage your home to pay for health services is NOT the same thing as not needing help.  The implication that needing/accepting help in what is often an impossible situation is somehow “less than” is offensive.  When was the last time that you had to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospital fees?  Until you find yourself  in that position, probably best not to judge.  And to be clear, isn’t that a basic tenet of christianity: Judge not, lest ye be judged ?  I might be an atheist, but it’s tough to argue that logic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/theAccidentalHousewife Leah Elzinga

     or the Catholic-run pharmacy in my town that refused to sell birth control.  Very helpful, thank you.  Conscientious rights = fun times.

  • http://www.facebook.com/theAccidentalHousewife Leah Elzinga

     These are simply the expenses associated with.  This doesn’t take into account the income that they accrue or whether they break even, make a profit, etc.  So while they might spend $98.6B I suppose there’s every chance that they are still bringing in, say $150B, resulting in a profit.

  • Scott Ferguson

    Yeah I think these assholes could afford to pay tax.

  • geo

    The Catholic church is the biggest charity in the world.

    How many mouths do the atheists feed, again?

  • Masarweh

    sorry we you don’t say about the ware in the whole world, 2% from US army expanses its enough to feed  the whole Africa 

  • Masarweh

    sorry why you don’t say about the ware in the whole world, 2% from US army expanses its enough to feed  the whole Africa 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eugene-Edward-Yeo/1163041810 Eugene Edward Yeo

    Ah, so we’re asking for sources now? Tell me, where are the sources sited in this article?

    That’s right, there are none. They “estimate”.

    In other words, they “guess”. Shameful.

  • Susan

    Not selling birth control is the Catholic Churchs constitutional right. If you don’t like it, go somewhere else. They don’t force you to go to their pharmacy. 

  • Susan

    The Catholic Church allows emergency abortions under drastic measures to save the life of the mother. However, being a single mother myself with two children, if I were in that situation, I would allow my child to be born. Again, if you don’t like how that institution is run, go somewhere else. You weren’t forced to go to that hospital. 

  • Susan

    There are Catholic hospitals that do charge. If you couldn’t afford it, you wouldn’t go. There are also FREE Catholic hospitals that the poor attend and will give care when needed. We have one in my hometown. 

  • AntonioPeYangIII
  • FunStats

    I wonder what are the sources for the all the figures. I am glad I stopped subscription of the magazine long ago. This make me recall the book I read long ago ‘How to lie with statistics’. you can always make statistics work for you since most people don’t know exactly how those statistics are obtained in the first place.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XG6BWLGRISYQ5SJ5DH453MUX3E Lucy

    The 171bln is all charity under the US laws. The church kind of help the US govt in delivering services to the citizens and that the govt saves trememdous money.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XG6BWLGRISYQ5SJ5DH453MUX3E Lucy

    Your calculations are correct. 90% of the money is used for charitable programs.
    What a church indeed.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DRG4DEDE7BFXOK6F2BBJSJIVMQ László

    and you forget to read that more then 50% percent goes to health care networks:))) 

  • SandbagsMC

    Every single private school in our county save 2 are church run.  They collect on average 30% more per student in income than the 2 commerial (for profit) private schools charge.  Some of the schools are more profitable than the church associated with them.  Some of them put on ELABORATE public free events just to spin off income such to maintain their non-profit status.  Their instructors are paid on average 40% higher than public school teachers and enjoy greatly increased benefits.  No, their expenses on schools are rarely charity.  Their helthcare expenses are also largely specific to their employees, and to the numerous not-for-profit hospitals they run, yet, each of the 2 chuch-run hospitals in this county have better equipment, fancier facilities, and higher paid doctors than others in town.  Why?  because they’re allowed to turn away non-paying sick people at will where the public hospitals don;t require that.  Yes, they do treat lots of people for free or for little pay, but it;s SELECTIVE, where you and I subsidize the cost of everyone getting the same treatment at the county hospital only 4 blocks over and we don;t have that choice.

  • Abean20

    The church collects money from the laity, and the laity give freely to the church because they want to have a place to practice their faith that’s well kept and beautiful. The church isn’t a government, they can’t steal the money from people at gunpoint through taxation. I really don’t understand this campaign to depict the church as some kind of greedy corporation. Any “wealth” that the church has was given to it freely by the laity, and the manifestations of those gifts are freely available to the laity at any time. Anyone can walk into a catholic church and worship there. Yes, Catholic schools and hospitals are run like businesses. But that’s how things need to run, or they can’t function. And yes, some people of the church have done horrible things; but there are 1 billion catholics, and as the church teaches, they’re all sinners. An institution comprised of people is going to have some black marks on its record, because its comprised of people. 

    Don’t get wrapped up in the idea of thinking that the church is hypocritical because the Vatican is really nice. The kind of wealth contained in the Vatican isn’t material goods that could somehow be redistributed. They’re artistic and architectural treasures, built over 2,000 years by the faithful. It’s wrong to think that the poor would somehow be better off if the Pope lived in a mud hut. That’s like thinking you could sell the Mona Lisa, and somehow that would feed a bunch of people. It makes no sense. 

  • N M

    Wait a minute–this atheist blogger is trying to discredit the Catholic church by providing data that shows that it actually spends most of its income on healthcare, education and charities? Is Hemant Mehta a plant working for the Vatican?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000361460812 Daniel Robinson

    they are both moron. They help those who need it, they dont offer free healthcare to people like you who can afford it -_-

  • Tim Welch

    I am not a fan of the Catholic church, but if you sold the Vatican today to feed today’s poor, how would you feed them tomorrow when you have no Vatican anymore?

    Relief efforts should focus on setting people up to take care of themselves for the long term.

  • mcdowell.peter

    Gus, Catholic hospitals charge people who can afford it the going rate. For the poor and illegals, they pay a very low cost or nothing at all. Most of the Catholic hospitals are non-for-profit, which is NOT a business, merely managed like a business. Peter

  • pcraig

    The source is included in a link in the first paragraph. It came from an article in “The Economist”. Did you read this article?

  • dirtydishes23

    THIS. Thank you.

  • dirtydishes23

    Yes

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DA6B6VMHXGVXTDZOVZGEAOGIEM Daniel

    That’s just stupid.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DA6B6VMHXGVXTDZOVZGEAOGIEM Daniel

    Outside of yourself, you mean.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DA6B6VMHXGVXTDZOVZGEAOGIEM Daniel

    You’re right…those awful, awful nuns who renounced their entire private property to an institution.

  • Pattrsn

    Very pithy and it only took you 6 months.

  • big meech

    non-profit businesses are considered charities in the economic world bro

  • jay

    look at any non-profit hospitals expense report, you will see millions in “bad debt” aka free care

  • kB

    Can we sell the Wall street, feed the world, stop the wars and travel the universe with their money?

  • Bob

    NO you schmuck, have you ever been treated at a Catholic hospital, or sent your kids to Catholic school, it isn’t charity, you pay for that. Its revenue, dollars in and dollars out.

  • tmarc

    They help those who need help. If you do not need charity then no you have to pay the regular price. All private institutions cost more than public ones not just Catholic. If they did not run like a business they would not be around long, but this business gives a lot to the poor.

  • tmarc

    charity: : benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity
    2
    a : generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering; also : aid given to those in needb : an institution engaged in relief of the poorc : public provision for the relief of the needy
    3
    a : a gift for public benevolent purposesb : an institution (as a hospital) founded by such a gift
    4: lenient judgment of others (Webster dictionary)

    There are ways to do decide a for profit business and a not for profit one. Chances are your college is a not for profit one. If you received a scholarship because you are poor and in need then it is charity. If you received a scholarship because of previous performance in academics or excelled at other things then it is payment for what you will do for the school. If you do not understand the difference between a grocery store and your college or a good church then I suggest you take an economics class at your school to help you out with that.

  • tmarc

    Buying a bandaid is not charity. Helping the needy that is charity and Catholic hospitals do that. If you are not needy then you should not want a handout. Which is what it becomes if you are not poor, and mostly likely, exploiting a system that is set up to help the people that need it most. Exploiting the system takes away from the people that truly have no other way of getting care.

  • Four More Years

    Precisely. That is what the Catholic church does on a scale larger than most can imagine.

    It is 100 times more likely for sexual abuse in the public school system than by a Catholic priest, however, the liberal press won’t publish that.

  • Jacob Maloney

    Yes they are. 100% open for business. Can we take away their exempt status?

  • Fiona Reid

    Catholic hospitals are generally non-profits. Just saying. And the reason Catholic universities cost more than public universities is that they are not funded by the government. (Also, many Catholic universities, like other private universities, offer a higher standard of education than some public universities.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/theAccidentalHousewife Leah Elzinga

    the pharmacy was not run by the Catholic church, simply by Catholics. It was the only pharmacy in town and the only one for 28km. So is it my understanding that I should not be allowed access to something that is my RIGHT and should LEAVE the community I was born and raised in, because someone feels uncomfortable providing that government-sponsored service? And to be clear, that pharmacy ended up shutting down and leaving the town, including it’s many elderly citizens completely without. This same town also did not have a public school option, ONLY a Catholic one, which was deemed unconstitutional. But again, I was told “If you don’t like it, LEAVE.” NO. We changed the SYSTEM, and we STAYED in the community that we were raised in, thank you very much. But hey, thanks for that very Christian attitude.

  • Dave Schofield

    Lots of arguments about whether that money ends up helping people down the line, and what constitutes charity, but I guess, what helps me see it clearly, is when I see the pope on the TV he’s driving through his own city, with his own private army, in a carriage made of gold, so……………..

  • Joe

    A non-profit organization is still a business, and it still makes money(in most cases a lot of money) what makes a business non-profit is that they spend every penny they make and at the end of the year they report a profit of $0(thus non-profit). the way they do this in the case of a hospital is they either buy new and better equipment(less likely option) or they simply give their doctors and administrators in the hospital giant bonuses, there is a third way because they are tax exempt they can donate large amounts to charities that they then use as piggy banks in the future. I find it sad that the only person that has a clue about economics is a 17 year old.

  • 1415dr

    OK, this is really simple. I know you beleive in talking snakes, so it might be difficult for you to understand, but if you read this very carefully it might sink in.
    If I go to a Catholic hospital and pay them 1,000 dollars for treatment, and they spend 950 dollars on the procedure (to pay the doctor, buy the tools, etc.) then they made a profit of 50 dollars and SPENT 950. That is my money being filtered through the hostpital as a cost. That would be included in this chart as medical expenditure. There was no charity involved at all. If they cut my bill by 50 dollars as a charity then it would do into the charity category. Nothing in the medical category can be called chartity.
    Now go get your fucking shine box.

  • Accent

    Catholic education (despite the individuals’ contributions) is more of an investment in future funding. The more children you can indoctrinate, the more donations will accrue to the church when they start earning.
    It certainly does not qualify as a charity.

  • Swiftright Right

    You should probably actually read up on that.

    Catholics were second only after Jews when you look at people who were killed by the Reich because of faith. For instance after the Pope issued Mit Brennender Sorge 1200 nuns, priests and laypeople were rounded up and sent to Dachau with in 1 month thats almost 10% of the leadership of the church dead in 1937.

    Oh and those “deals” are called the ReichsKordat. They were signed in 1933 years before anyone had any clue what was going to happen.

  • Swiftright Right

    I work at one of those horrible Catholic hospitals and in 2 hours I will be caring for 12 people 9 of which have complicated comorbidities who’s care cost exceeds what the government pays for.

    At ANY for profit facility they would be down graded from Avelox to Cipro (220$ IV antibiotic Vs less effective 18$ antibiotic) and they would be getting the JACHO standard Basic wound care which costs about $80 per day instead of Aggressive therapy that costs $328 per DAY. At my facility that extra 13500 per month per person is funded directly by the Catholic church and that’s just 9 people in 1 unit of 1 wing of 1 facility.

    Oh and your number are of. Catholic Charities Medical mission in the US has a budget of 4.87 billion of which 2.1 billion comes from the Fed 1.83 comes from varios investments, endowments and direct donations and 140 million comes from diocesan churches IE tossing money in the hat at church.

  • Swiftright Right

    I am a nurse at a faculty were I currently do direct care.

    In the past I have worked in billing of 2 hospitals, I have worked as a negotiator with various insures and have helped write Standards of Care which includes a hard calculation of cost of care. I served 1 year on an ethics board who’s main job was deciding who would get care they could not afford and at what cost to the facility. Prior to being a nurse I worked in pharmacy were I handled billing. In short I DO know quite a bit about how “Health care, hospitals and health insurance work.”

    I also know a bit about Catholic Charities and I know that out of every dollar donated they spend 89 cents on rent assistance (which I received in nursing school) food and uncovered medical expenses.

  • Swiftright Right

    You made that up, The only pharmacy in 28 kilometers? kilometers? And this unnamed “town” only has one catholic pharmacy and the only school is a catholic school?

    And even with a total pharmaceutical monopoly they closed up and left?!?

  • Swiftright Right

    To bad the Catholic church is the biggest provider of evolutionary education outside of the federal gov in America because other wise your attempt to portray the Church as just another group of evangelicals would have worked

  • Leah Elzinga

    Legal, Alberta, Canada. Feel free to confirm before making assumptions. It and it’s sister community of Morinville were in the national Canadian news throughout last year because of the anomaly that was their school system. Though Morinville was granted a public school, Legal schoolchildren are still expected to bus an hour cross-country into Morinville if they would like a non-faith based education. Why would I make it up?? Seriously, here’s the link to the town’s website with the list of local businesses: http://www.town.legal.ab.ca/businesses.php. If you’re going to troll, at least bothering checking your facts.

  • ohwhatfun itis

    Prove it. Cite facts

  • fergalf

    His own city? Dude, the Vatican is 0.17 of a sq mi! The average American farm is bigger. The gold carriage belong to the Queen of England not the Pope.

  • fergalf

    Sure but all aspects of the church run independently. The American Catholic church is finally independent of the Vatican. There is no central budget.

  • fergalf

    They have the liberty to refuse to sell that stuff. Its their call not yours.

  • fergalf

    Any scientific proof? It is an urban myth that the CC spreads HIV in Africa.

  • Leah Elzinga

    I never implied that it wasn’t their call. It’s completely within their rights not to sell something. And it’s completely within my rights to say that, while legal, that decision was WRONG. There are plenty of things that are perfectly legal that are not kind, or respectful, or responsible. They were also perfectly within their rights to shut their doors despite the devastating effect to the community, especially to it’s senior citizens. That doesn’t make it “right”.

  • fergalf

    Exercising one’s conscience is always “right” actually.

  • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/ Ed Darrell

    Most care delivered at Catholic hospitals in the U.S. is not charity — how much of that $172 Billion was Medicare? How much insurance-paid? How much patient-paid? And how much charity?

  • yuri

    I don’t know what’s with these anti-Catholics who keep on attacking the Church. The only thing that matters is that the Catholic Church has helped more people that all the other charitable institutions grouped together. These anti-Catholics are just blinded by their hate and prejudice against the Church that’s why they refuse to see the good that the Church has done.

  • NecktopPC

    “A breathtakingly composed jeremiad against the folly of Neo-classical
    economics and the threats it represents to all we should hold dear.”

    Source; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fbvquHSPJU&feature=youtu.be&t=56m17s


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