An article written by the Associated Press and published by multiple media outlets July 10 seems to call into question the legitimacy of the Church’s request for COVID relief funding made available through the U.S. government. The Diocese of Trenton has responded to this article with the following statement:
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton represents a community of parishes, schools and organizations who together employ some 7,000 individuals, many of whom have been profoundly impacted by the pandemic shutdown and are struggling like everyone else to provide for themselves and their families during these difficult times. Our communities gratefully participated in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) offered through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020. As defined by the US Department of the Treasury, PPP “is providing small businesses with the resources they need to maintain their payroll, hire back employees who may have been laid off, and cover applicable overhead.“ The Diocese and its local communities were deemed eligible and qualified to receive such government funding for these purposes and we are using these funds exclusively for these purposes. The suggestion by some in the media that previous legal settlements paid by the Church have anything to do with needing this COVID relief is false and slanderous.