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JobKeeper Payments To Priests Exposes Greed Of Catholic Church

JobKeeper payments to priests exposes greed of Catholic Church

The payment of the JobKeeper wage subsidy to priests exposes the greed and duplicity of the Catholic Church.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) says the payments are “improper and inappropriate” and another example of hypocrisy by the Church.

JobKeeper payments to priests exposes Catholic Church greed and duplicity 

The Catholic Church is one of the wealthiest organisations in the world, owning $3 billion in property assets in Australia.

Despite this, it applied for, and is receiving the JobKeeper wage subsidy for its priests.

The ABC revealed the payments in a report about the Church’s Parramatta diocese.

The diocese has been asking priests to donate half of their payments back to the Church.

Dr Andrew Morrison RFD SC, spokesperson for the ALA said:

“The Catholic Church has long argued that priests are not employees which has allowed the Church to escape liability for child sexual abuse claims.”

Church successfully argued priests are not employees

The ALA points to a 2007 case in the NSW Court of Appeal.

Cardinal Pell and the Archdiocese of Sydney successfully argued they were not liable for the sexual abuse of a child by a priest in the diocese because they did not employ the priest. 

Furthermore, they successfully argued in the Ellis case the Catholic Church is not a legal entity capable of being sued. 

The High Court refused special leave to appeal.

The Bishop of Ballarat used the Ellis defence to plead he is not liable in more than 30 cases of child abuse by priests.

Dr Andrew Morrison RFD SC said:

“By calling on Government to amend the JobKeeper scheme to allow priests to receive this government support they are claiming a defacto employee relationship.

“The JobKeeper scheme is designed to maintain the employee and employer relationship during the COVID-19 health crisis.

“It is completely hypocritical of the Church to claim JobKeeper payments for priests while, on the other hand, avoiding liability for serious and terrible crimes against children because priests are not technically employees.

“It is improper and inappropriate for the Catholic Church to receive these payments from the Commonwealth.”

Catholic greed

Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan notes the Catholic Church’s extreme wealth.

“How shameful and inappropriate for the Church to put its hand out for government support,” he said.

“We are talking about one of the wealthiest corporations in the world that pays absolutely no tax. 

“It’s good old-fashioned Catholic greed from the world’s biggest and wealthiest paedophile ring.”

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