Catholic Church wealth and charity and jobs
Posted in the Los Angeles Forum
Saint Louis, MO
#1 Jun 17, 2014
Pope Francis is not just the spiritual leader of one of the worlds major religions: Hes also the head of whats probably the wealthiest institution in the entire world. The Catholic Churchs global spending matches the annual revenues of the planets largest firms, and its assetshuge amounts of real estate, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Vatican City, some of the worlds greatest artsurely exceed those of any corporation by an order of magnitude.*
But it turns out to be surprisingly difficult to understand exactly how rich the church is. Thats in part because church finances are complicated. But its also because, in the United States at least, churches in general are exempted from the financial reporting and disclosure requirements that otherwise apply to nonprofit groups. And it turns out, that exemption may have undesirable consequences.
The main thing we know about Catholic Church finance is that in cash flow terms, the United States is by far the most important branch. America is a rich country with a large population of Catholics. Whats more, Americas Catholic population is a religious minority. Thats meant that, rather than using political clout to influence the shape of mainstream government institutions, as in an overwhelmingly Catholic country such as Brazil, the Catholic Church in the United States has created a parallel state: a vast web of schools, hospitals, universities, and charities that serve millions of clients.
Our best window into the overall financial picture of American Catholicism comes from a 2012 investigation by the Economist, which offered a rough-and-ready estimate of $170 billion in annual spending, of which almost $150 billion is associated with church-affiliated
Who has more money Bill Gates of the Catholic Church
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