Despite Recession, Catholic Groups Grant Charitable Funds to Anti-Gay Marriage Initiatives « The Washington Independent
1. the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.
When Wall Street collapsed in late 2008, donations to charitable groups and religious organizations quickly plummeted alongside it. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine, reported that the “turmoil in world financial markets and the resulting worldwide recession” had “significantly impacted” its books. In its fiscal year 2009 annual report, the church wrote, “To the extent these revenue shortfalls persist, we will have to reduce programs when some of them are needed most.”
Last year the diocese, true to its word, laid off employees at the Trinity Catholic School and made plans to close two parishes in Lewiston. But it also made the first of several generous — and controversial — new contributions.
In June, the archdiocese made a $100,000 donation to the Amendment 1 campaign to ban gay marriage. By the time the ballot fight was over, it had donated more than $568,000 to the cause. (In November, Maine voters overturned a state law giving gay couples the right to wed.) Now, Catholics across the country are criticizing the Portland diocese for having solicited monetary contributions for the Maine ballot fight, punished organizations that opposed its stance on gay marriage, and for having politicized churchgoers’ charitable giving.