A United States-based organisation of Catholic business executives has decided not to collect from its members the portion of their dues that would constitute its 2019 donation to the Holy See. Source: CNA.
Legatus had announced in September that it was placing its annual donation to the Holy See in escrow until it can receive clarification on questions of financial accountability.
Thomas Monaghan, chairman of Legatus, wrote to members last week asking them to continue to pray “for the Church and all of our leaders,” as “it is evident that it is going to take time for the current crisis in the Church to be addressed to the point where the board believes the reinstatement of our annual tithe would be prudent.”
For that reason, he said, the board of governors has decided “to forego collecting the annual tithe represented in your 2019 dues.”
“For those who have already submitted their dues, the national office will refund the appropriate amount earmarked for the Holy See contribution in a timely fashion,” he said. “For those who have not yet remitted your dues, new invoices will be sent.”
Mr Monaghan noted that the tithe to the Holy See “has been an importance part of Legatus membership” and the board therefore intends “to reinstate this practice once we have sufficient communication regarding the specific accountability related to the use of these funds.”
“Legatus continues to pledge its devotion to and solidarity with Holy Mother Church; this is a time when we need to live the mission of Legatus more than ever,” Mr Monaghan wrote.
He concluded his letter urging members to “continue to pray for healing and courage for the Church.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Legatus’ 2018 tithe to the Holy See would have been about $US820,000 ($1.1 million).
Questions of Vatican financial accountability had been raised earlier this year by the Papal Foundation, a US–based organisation that offers grants to support the global work of the Holy Father.
In February, some members of the organisation sharply criticised a request from the Holy See for $US25 million ($34 million) for a Church-owned hospital that has been plagued by fraud and embezzlement scandals. Grants from the Papal Foundation are normally no more than $US200,000 ($276,000) and generally go toward initiatives to help the poor in developing nations.