US Catholic Church a $170 billion business
Among Pope Francis' challenges will be oversight of the sprawling, lucrative -- but embattled -- American organization.
It's a new era for the Roman Catholic Church as it welcomes its first non-European pope of the modern age.
Many Catholics are watching closely to see which direction Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, of Argentina, will take their church. Along with becoming the spiritual leader of the estimated 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, he's also assuming the leadership of one of the globe's largest businesses.
The church does not release financial data, but a lengthy report by The Economist last year said annual spending by the Vatican and church-owned entities in the U.S. alone was about $170 billion in 2010. While there are no hard data about the U.S. Catholic Church's annual revenue, Slate puts those spending numbers into some perspective -- noting that in fiscal 2012 Apple (AAPL) had $157 billion in revenue and that only 16 companies have more than $170 billion in revenue.
The Economist estimates that 57% of the church's U.S. spending went to Catholic health care networks, with an additional 28% to colleges, 6% to day-to-day operations at local parishes and dioceses, and 2.7% to national charities.
The church is also the largest charitable organization in the U.S. Its main group, Catholic Charities USA, along with its subsidiaries, reportedly has a paid staff of more than 65,000 and serves more than 10 million people. The Economist says it distributed nearly $5 billion in aid to the poor in 2010, with nearly two-thirds of those funds coming from state, local and federal government agencies.
However, the church has also suffered very high-profile financial losses due to some horrific scandals.
"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," The Economist notes, "$1.3 billion of that in California." And while that might seem a small sum for an organization that can dole out $170 billion, most of those settlements were made by local religious orders and dioceses, which have had to scramble to find those funds.
Overall, according to The Economist, Catholic institutions in the U.S. employ over 1 million people -- more than many corporations but still less than half the number reportedly employed by Wal-Mart (WMT).
Yeah, so what... And the US Government is a 2Trillion dollar/year extortion, fraud and racketeering business that is over 15 Trillion in debt that wastes over 50%of what it muscles in, employs 90% non-essential personnel and is run by a bunch of idiots and socialist money grifters who couldn’t run a lemonade stand.
Sorry, I'll take the Catholic Church business model over Governments any day.
"The Economist estimates that 57% of the church's U.S. spending went to Catholic health care networks, with an additional 28% to colleges, 6% to day-to-day operations at local parishes and dioceses, and 2.7% to national charities. "
SPENDING 170 billion...NOT sitting on 170 billion...so many so quick to make a judgement with only a teeny tiny percentage of fact or knowlege. What was the money spent on....HEALTHCARE 57%=96.9 billion I guarantee that number includes paying for medical care for those who cannot pay.
How much went to salaries? If you know someone who works as a church secretary or janitor, THEY received a percentage of that 170 billion.
You can't just throw these numbers out there, and expect to say things like...I won't every give them another dime because they are sitting on 170 billion dollars.
And for the person who said "Why aren't 'they' (not sure who 'they' are) in jail? If it was priests who committed crimes, many of them are dead, and others ARE in jail. Why was it "covered-up" ? Human stupidity. Lack of understanding of the sickness of pedophilia. Many offenders were "treated" by leading psychologists of the day and proclaimed cured. The leaders in various areas beleived the "experts" and the "experts" were wrong.
You don't want to believe in God? That's your business, and I pray for you. Please don't BULLY ME because I choose to do something different from you.
The Catholic Church is a bit strange. It's barely Christianity at all. Very strict, and i've seen different teachings. And I see it this way; Catholocism is a belief. Not a business. I think this is all ridiculous, with the spending and income. And I don't see why they're blamed for molesting children because of priests; it's the priests that do it. The whole religious community suffers for a few idiots.
Blessing of God for our new Pope. May he take the Church to it's deserved glory by excommunicating the pseudo
Catholic politicians infesting the religion. The Leftist media refers to them as "devout " Catholics as they
promote their sectarian values.
I do pray for this Pope. I hope that Pope Francis will lead in such
a way that he imbides the beauty of the Peace and Joy of St. Francis of Assisi.
I invite those to see Zafferettis movie "Brother Sun and Sister Moon." on the life
of this beautiful saint. Great story and great Beauty in this favorite movie of mine.
The love of humanity and his brother is the highest of virtues. It is with highest of
hopes that the new Pope, St. Francis will help the impoverished and display the attributes
of the saint of his name. .
Carol Zan Angele
Catholic Charities feed hundreds of thousands in the USA. They assist and take care of the most in the USA. Walmart is the largest contributor to people in need.
These are facts.
The other churches DO VERY LITTLE in comparison. Most of the others are always asking for donations and never giving anything out except BULLCRAP
GOD BLESS POPE FRANCIS AND THE VATICAN. HUMILITY IS A GIFT FROM GOD
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A basic income policy can actually ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.
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